Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why I'm NOT going to Iron Fork.

I like the concept, I really do.  I'm sure the event sponsors make big bucks from this.  I'm sure the organizers get a huge mark on their resume and there is a lot of media coverage.  What I don't like, is a lot of other things.

At the last Iron Fork I was at, there was a huge mass of people, more people than you could find at a JT and Rhianna concert.  The people, that were there, came in two groups.  I would say that about 90% of the people there were those who were not really interested in trying new foods, flavors and even following up and visiting any of the restaurants or place sin question.  The final 10% are foodies and are all up in doing everything with food.  Those 10% can be seen and picked out as they were dressed in a less business casual but more formal attire.  I saw many foodies talking about the way different flavor combinations worked, what they saw on a recent episode of Good Eats and whether or not they would visit the restaurant based on the few samples they had.

The other huge 90% know that they will get an all you can eat and all you can drink for $45.  I've seen people passed out, outside of the event.  I've seen drunk people yelling and screaming and running through the rest of Union Station.  I have even seen people pushing their way past less dominate people so that they can get more food samples and more drinks in any line.

Is there a way that this could be fixed?  Yes, it uses a velvet rope or chain links barrier or something that would make people form lines.  I've notices that humans have the innate ability to not form a single file line and instead mob in.  If you take 50 people and tell them to get in a line to sample a glass of wine from one representative, the 50 people will not form a single file line, but instead gather around line people do at a bar: line up parallel to it.  Then the people behind that line group up and mob up, so there is no order or line.  That is a tough one to deal with.

This also means that there is no set number of times that someone can sample from the same location.  My wife and I went to this Iron Fork event with VIP tickets right at the start and by 7:30, some vendors were running out of food.  I tried some gooey butter cakes but didn't get a chance to eat some artisan chocolates, because I spotted a large woman get chocolate, eat it, bump her way to the front of the line, get another chocolate, while still holding a half-full wine glass in hand, and then find a friend near the middle of the line and talked her way up to getting a third sample.  The people handing out the food, don't have a set amount that they can give someone and were not told to stop giving sample out to repeat favorites.

The chef and cooking competitions were cool and I love watching healthy and friendly competitions to see what is cooked and what is happening.  I love how the special guest was just a news anchor.  The idea and the event was a goo idea.  I just wish that there was also a dress code.  Seeing girls in tshirts and flip flops at the ballroom at Union Station, while drinking alcohol and complaining that there isn't an indoor smoking section and it is too cold outside, doesn't make the even more favorably memorable for me.

Who knows, though, perhaps this time all of these issues have been fixed and it will not be utter chaos.  Try it out for yourself.  This Thursday night.

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