Date: Wednesday 18th February 1998
Venue: Berrow Court, Edgbaston
Sponsor: Bruno Roncarati
Minutes of a Piedmontese Dinner
Thoughts on the Piedmontese Dinner
The minutes of the Piedmontese Dinner provide a rare insight to the working of the Club. Although they represent the views of the Dinner Secretary over twenty years ago, shortly before I became a member, many of the issues described still plague the committee today.
Having identified a worthwhile theme, a suitable venue will always need to be found. Berrow Court certainly sounds ideal for an Edgbaston based club, although something as basic as acoustics can play a huge part towards the overall enjoyment of the evening. A committee member will need to liaise with the management and chef at the chosen establishment. Some are better than others, and the biggest headache is when personal move on – as happened in this case. Recipes can range from the precise, as it appears here, to the inventive. For example, a historical dinner frequently requires a large degree of guesswork and experimentation. Even with specific instructions, diners are at the mercy of an over zealous, or incompetent, chef.
Sponsors are frequently contacted years, rather than months, in advance of dinners. Many are notable speakers and/ or authors who have heavy demands on their time. Because the Club only pays sponsors expenses, rather than a fee, some individuals are especially difficult to tie down to a solid commitment. The possibility of the last minute illness, or withdrawal, of a sponsor will frequently cause sleepless nights. A “Plan B” is imperative for any committee member arranging a dinner.
Nevertheless, it sounds a fascinating dinner. Further thoughts on the evening would be most welcome.
Andrew P. Morris