What's For Lunch at the GC Session

(Spectrumbot) #1

Sheri Clemmer is Associate Session Planner for the world church's General Conference Session in San Antonio this July. Spectrum asked her some questions about the menu for delegates and how it was chosen.

Question: How many people do you expect will be eating lunch every day at the HBG Convention Center during the General Conference session in San Antonio?

Answer: We have the capacity to serve up to 10,000 at each meal.

Question: The menu for the week has already been chosen, and is available for all to peruse on the GC session website. According to the GC session website, "menu planning includes intentional efforts to address the suggestions and recommendations of our attendees." How was the menu chosen?

Answer: The menus are designed in consultation with the Divisions in our attempt to provide cuisine that will accommodate the needs of the worldwide attendees. We do our best to take into consideration the information regarding menu items received from the World Divisions.

Screen shot of some of the first Friday's lunch menu from the Session website.

Question: Pleasing the palate of a Russian delegate, Mexican, South Korean, North American and so on is surely no easy task. How did you decide what "international" food to include?

Answer: Rice is a staple in over half of the world — around three billion people eat rice every day. You will find rice in some form in our menu selections each day during Session.

Question: Is the GC absorbing some of the cost of the meals for delegates? How about for visitors? Does the $18 per meal price tag represent the total cost?

Answer: The $18 per meal cost is the exact amount we are paying to the caterer for the meal. The General Conference is absorbing all additional costs involved such as software development, printing of meal tickets, staffing, etc.

Question: Which GC representative is in charge of coordinating the food for the session?

Answer: Jeanette Jump is our Food Service Coordinator. Jeanette has been our liaison with the caterer.

Question: What were your main considerations for choosing the menu?

Answer: Providing a nourishing and pleasing meal for a reasonable price that will be appreciated by many people groups. No matter where we hold a meeting, that is our goal.

Question: I noticed Special K loaf on the menu for the first Sabbath. Surely Special K loaf is not one of the convention center's traditional offerings! Did you give them a recipe?

Answer: The recipe was provided by the General Conference Cafeteria.

Question: Will the chef try it out ahead of time?

Answer: I am sure that he has!

Question: Fritos corn chips is listed as the base of the Haystacks on the menu on the second Sabbath. Does this codify the Haystacks formula once and for all?

Answer: Haystacks are unique and personal to everyone that makes one. One is not required to use Fritos corn chips if they do not want them.

Question: Did someone think that the Texans might prefer tortilla chips?

Answer: Again, one may choose to use the chips or not.

Question: Your website says that "Every effort is being made to alert the greater downtown area of the specific needs of our attendees so quality meals are available." In practice, what does this mean? Is a GC representative visiting the major restaurants around the convention center in person?

Answer: The local restaurants are being made aware of the dietary requests they may receive from our attendees which will not only make our attendees happy but will also increase the revenue potential for the restaurant.

Question: I believe that the GC paid the Starbucks located in the Atlanta convention center to close for the duration of the GC session there in 2010 so that coffee would not be available. Has a similar deal been arranged in San Antonio?

Answer: The General Conference did not pay Starbucks in the Atlanta convention center to close. In fact, we never even spoke directly with any Starbucks personnel at all. The Starbucks was advised by Convention Center staff that as per our agreement with the Convention Center they could serve de-caf products only. They elected to close their doors instead.

Question: Has the food menu for 2015 changed in any significant way for this GC session from previous sessions?

Answer: Every Session brings a new set of menu options.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6788

(Winona Winkler Wendth) #2

White bread?!?! The Shepherdesses and Dorcas ladies should have been contracted to make all the bread for all the meals by hand. All of it. Whole grain.

(Eric Webster) #3

I wish the Food providers every blessing. I do trust that the GC representatives will take much time with the caterers to ensure that the food will be tasty and appetising. I attended the Toronto GC session and was embarrassed for the Caterers. The first Sabbath the hall was packed with clients. Thereafter the attendance steadily declined until caterers were standing outside the hall begging attendees to come to the feast; and delegates were trying to sell their meal tickets. As Adventist Christians we have a duty and a privilege to give the best menu in the city for the $18.

(Rohan Charlton) #4

Cool article! I love it how Spectrum publishes these little insights :slight_smile:


Pretty sexist suggestion.

(Steve Mga) #6

When I attended in Atlanta all the various “fast foods” next door had great food at cheap prices. The area was packed with delegates.
Other food places in just off in the downtown area had menu items that were OK with vegetarians. Not sure about always for Vegans.
I dont know about prices in SA, but in Atlanta one could eat cheaper than $18 a meal at the various Fast Food offerings and in down town. Downtown was $8 to $12 per person.
I wonder how many SDAs are going to be disappointed with NO Starbucks to get their caffeine wake-up medicine? The Starbucks here in Macon also sells some neat tasting munchies.
Will the vending machines have regular and diet DrPepper, Pepsi, Coke? Or, just caffeine-free?
Taco Bell and Burger King was very popular in Atlanta at the Food Court.
The Hotel Rooms:— Will maid service be allowed to keeps packets of real coffee and tea replaced every day in the rooms for guests?

(Paula) #7

Is that cheese I see at the top of that haystack? that thing is not good for human consumption. I guess Israel will always be Israel.

(Robert Sonter) #8

While I accept that the church recommends abstinence from caffeinated beverages, I’m still amazed that the church would go to the trouble of mandating that they not be served, rather than simply advising Starbucks that they may expect a higher than normal ratio of de-caf coffees ordered. Drinking tea and coffee is not a test of fellowship, and a very large number of Adventists in good and regular standing, do regularly drink coffee (the real kind.)

(George Tichy) #9

$18? Will Spectrumites have a discount? Or will they be charged $22?

(George Tichy) #10

Steve, we need to talk. You sound “coffee obsessed.” :smile:

(Winona Winkler Wendth) #11

I’m hoping everyone recognized that as grainy humor—tone gets lost on the screen.

(Rohan Charlton) #12

Serious? Sarcastic? Either way welcome to Spectrum!

Great comment!

(Winona Winkler Wendth) #13

Note that they didn’t ask Starbuck’s to remove desserts, candy, and sugary syrups—only caffeine. But consuming unhealthy food is not a test of fellowship, either, “temples of God,” notwithstanding. Enough of the elderly will be attending to warrant access to caffeine, or, maybe, someone didn’t want acute thinkers with sharp memories casting votes. Maybe the group is going to issue running shoes and logo-ed athletic clothes and provide exercise sessions in the AM?

(George Tichy) #14

A mandate to serve only decaf reflect a tendency to make decisions for others.
This obsession against drinking coffee became a true SDA paranoia.
I once saw a person weighing 300 lb lecturing someone about coffee… imagine the absurd scene! And how many would not touch coffee but drink Coca Cola regularly…

Those people who mandated “decaf only” are like the parents that hide the cookies at home, then go out leaving their children at home and say, “Kids, don’t eat the cookies!” Childish indeed!

(k_Lutz) #15

Starches: bread, rice, AND potatoes = 3
Protein: ____, ____, AND ____ = none, nada, zero, zilch

Someone has done their homework!

Trust The BEing!

(Steve Mga) #16

I know quite a few SDAs who enjoy their caffeine fix. LOL!!!

(George Tichy) #17

I wonder whether on the day people will be “electing” the Prez the lunch will be a very heavy meal. The vote will be taken right after lunch, when people will be kind of “nap ready” and won’t notice that they are not really voting for anything. At that time the real voting will be already done by the nominating committee, the delegates will be part only of a façade spectacle. But after “that meal” they may not notice anything like that…

Chris Christie would say, “Just shut up, sit down buddy, and push that button supporting our choice!!!”

(Steve Mga) #18

THAT is Fat Free cheese. Made with skim milk. So healthy!

(Peter) #19

I despair that this denomination can ever get over emphasizing relatively minor issues. Is the use of caffeine a test of faith? Is it a test of employment by the church? Will we be eternally lost if we use caffeine? If not, then why should members not be trusted to decide for themselves whether to use caffeine? This kind of thing makes our church look rather ridiculous to people, and it is another reason why we are confused with Mormons.

And there is really no protein in the first menu other than the yogurt which will probably include plenty of sugar. Did anyone say that the traditional Adventist diet is carb rich?

(Peter) #20

Surely you don’t think the GC can reflect reality, do you?