Earl Bronsteen had a rather unique New Year’s resolution in 2010. He planned to do something many thought impossible, even unthinkable. He set out to eat 50 free lunches at financial seminars. That’s right; Bronsteen became public enemy number one to some financial advisors. He became that thing that causes many in the seminar business to lose their lunch. For one year, Earl Bronsteen was a professional plate-licker.
When I caught up with the 86-year-old Bronsteen an obvious question came to mind: “Did you gain any weight?”
The question got Bronsteen laughing. “No. The meals all balanced out. For every dinner of filet mignon, I had a couple of soggy tuna salad sandwiches.” In other words, not all seminar meals are created equally.
The project to attend the seminars and to write a book about it (The Adventures of a Free Lunch Junkie) came about after Bronsteen received a mailer to attend a reverse mortgage seminar at The Cheesecake Factory. Although he didn’t need or want a reverse mortgage, “the food there is to die for.”
As he developed the book, he knew the tone he wanted to take: “I didn’t want to write an exposé. I wrote it as a satire.”
Bad food…and so little of it