Dear caterers…

Stop doing this. Now.

Mixing various sandwiches on a platter so you get the visually appealing mix of colour is an absolute delight to see, but every vegetarian, every Jew or Muslim, and every allergy sufferer just steadily shakes their head and dives into their bag for the emergency muesli bar.

I’m vegetarian. I don’t eat meat. I don’t really want my sandwiches to be bathed in meat sweat and juices. I don’t want cross contamination.

I have Muslim and Jewish friends. Pork to them is unclean. Random meat of indeterminate origin is not their bag. They usually take the vegetarian route where the meat is unclear, but when it’s all touched each other it’s not really fair.

My wife, well she can’t eat sweetcorn. A hint of it sets off a bad reaction. She doesn’t want to go anywhere near the tuna and sweetcorn. That would be very bad.

You can’t even smell for it on one of these platters because with these platters you just end up with a mixed smell, often drowned out by the tuna.

Even the supermarkets do it, although they do now seem to offer a vegetarian version (some do, at least).

What’s wrong with a plate of each type of sandwich? Seriously? It’s not that difficult to do… You could even do us a favour and write on the edge of the plate in Sharpie what the sandwiches are. Takes the guesswork out of the meats.

As for the samoas and “random filling rolls”, well they’re just a minefield! It could be meaty… It could be people meat… You just don’t know.

At least quiche is a little easier to guess!

Until something changes, the tracker bars will remain on standby.

A great wedding but a vegetarian nightmare.

As a vegetarian of over 20 years I can tell you that I am not the only vegetarian who gets struck down with fear and terror at the very word “buffet”.

That cavalcade of cross contamination. Where a vegetarian is pretty much guaranteed to only be able to eat salad, and perhaps the crisps or nuts.

10 years ago the buffet was much better. We didn’t generally struggle – you had a tray of egg mayo, a tray of ham, a tray of cheese. So what’s changed I hear you ask?

Pretentiousness has.

At one time we didn’t go to town on making it look like a technicolour rainbow of fillings (some of which do look like cat sick). I bring forth my first exhibit:

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Spot the egg sandwiches. Yes, they’re in there with the meat flapping all over them and the tuna sort of touching them.

Yum! Meaty vegetarian sandwiches. Just what I always wanted! Even the token rainbow salad buffer down the middle can’t possibly save this plate. If you are vegetarian, or indeed have a seafood allergy then this isn’t the plate you are looking for. Move along.

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Even supermarkets and bakeries have got into the act. The obligatory black tray with the plastic lid contains this explosion of colour. And again I see cat sick. Particularly chunky cat sick. I wonder if the cat had a mouse before shouting soup into this little number?

Yum. Cross contamination.

But what really really riles me is the lack of cheese and onion rolls. There are always enough sausage rolls to feed an army. Often, so I’m told, poor quality sausage rolls. Amazingly at the end of the night the sausage rolls seem to have increased in quantity. What was 3 plates is now 9 and that’s after half the family have taken away a few “in cling film” for later. I suspect the vomiting cat can also poop a perfect sausage roll.

I whine on, but I suspect that most buffet suppliers would mix the meaty and cheesy rolls. On the few occasions I have seen cheese rolls at a function they are usually all gone within 30 minutes. Surely that should tell caterers something?

Of the wedding itself

Other than the anti vegetarian statement made with the buffet I must say last night’s wedding was rather nice and in excellent company.

After much soul searching and deliberation earlier in the day I decided that leather was not the thing to be worn (I also briefly flirted with the idea of latex trousers and waistcoat but quickly cast that to the maybe pile – hmm….sweaty and clammy). I therefore decked myself up in my light grey stage suit (with a blue shirt and tie rather than my usual pink and purple combination).

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The wedding was for a couple of prog friends – Brian and Jackie – Brian in particular being a massive Whovian so you can probably imagine the theming…

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But that was only half of it… You can’t have a Doctor Who themed event without…

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Aaaaargh!!! My childhood fears. Daleks terrified me! Cybermen not quite so.

A prog band played for us (those non prog fans in the audience probably sat there yawning, not understanding the ramblings of Mr John Dexter Jones and his troubadours) but I enjoyed that bit… Although I did get plungered by a Dalek.

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It was nice to see the amazing Doctor Who theming though… Although I think the TARDIS should have been placed in front of the door to the toilets just for fun.

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All in all, fun was had! I’ll leave you with this.

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Nyaaaaaaarh