I Love Vegans But This Takes The Cake

| USA | Working | March 21, 2017

(Right out of culinary school, I get a job as a baker for a hotel. We make pastries, breads, and desserts for the hotel restaurant and the attached banquet halls. The bakery is very small, usually just myself and the bakery manager. The job is fantastic until the manager quits and is replaced by a new girl. This new manager is a vegan, and a judgmental one at that. She seems to think that everyone else’s diet is evil, and that we should all switch to hers. I mostly ignore her and get on with my job. Because our hotel is situated on the edge of an industrial area, we get quite a few business breakfast meetings and lunches from the nearby businesses, and we provide the baked goods to these events, to be served by the banquet staff. One day, I am approached by the banquet servers, who are working a larger business lunch for maybe 60 people.)

Banquet Worker: “This cheesecake is not good. The customers are complaining.”

(She slides a plated, un-served slice of cheesecake across the counter to me. I notice the color is not right: most cheesecakes are off-white to pale gold in color, and this cheesecake is stark white.)

Banquet Worker: “I’m embarrassed to served this. It’s gross.”

(I use a fork to take a small bite and can barely swallow it. The mouthfeel is… squeaky. Like cornstarch. The consistency is creamy, but the taste is bland and just awful.)

Banquet Worker: “Did you change the recipe, or something? You guys have always made good cheesecake before.”

Me: “I wasn’t here yesterday. [Manager] made these for today’s banquet.”

Banquet Worker: “Oh….”

(Over the last few weeks, the manager had been tweaking recipes and making mistakes, which I would then have to fix. The manager comes in the next day.)

Manager: “How was that banquet yesterday? Did it go well?”

Me: “No, not really… Did you change the cheesecake recipe?”

Manager: “Yes! Wasn’t it fabulous? I made all-vegan cheesecakes! You know how sometimes customers ask for the recipes? I wanted them to all have that cheesecake and then be surprised to find out that it was vegan! Now all of those people know how yummy vegan food can be.”

(I think I just stood and stared at her. She tried to trick 60 or so people into eating vegan cheesecake without thinking about the fact that at least some of those people might have been allergic to those ingredients or might have had dietary restrictions. She was so pleased with herself, right up until the executive chef dragged her into the office to tell her that her little stunt was unacceptable. I left a few months later, and when I dropped in two months after that, I was unsurprised to hear that she no longer worked there. It seems that management had encouraged her to leave, due to the fact that she kept putting her own agendas ahead of those of the company. I don’t mind vegans in general, but pushing your diet on unsuspecting customers is never okay.)

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