One Lunch At the UN

Every day more than 1,000 diplomatic officials, civil servants, interpreters and also students walk along the long corridors and meet inside the majestic halls of the UN building in Geneva. They look through the windows at Mont Salève and enjoy the panorama of Lake Geneva, which is an excellent complement to the sculptures of famous artists placed in the interior park. Gorgeous peacocks attentively watch all these people during the lunch, sometimes asking for food in summer.

SUISSEPIC did likewise in early January, having a small tour around those huge galleries and several halls, and taking a look through the glass to the foggy Mont Salève.


I must have heard dozens of languages in the corridors, despite the fact that the building was almost empty. I was able to distinguish some of them: English, French, German, some Arabic, Italian, Russian, Chinese and Japanese, and I immediately started to expect a great diversity of cuisine in the canteen. Entering, I found a light space that had a modern interior with simple furniture in warm colors and several food stations.

Curious people driven by their appetite were flocking into one multinational group at the chefs’ table with hot meals. They were waiting for their chicken, beef or fish. And two chefs were making adorable jokes about the weather and the temperature of the dish. I previously encountered a similar peaceful atmosphere of food fun in the dining rooms of famous IT companies like Google or Russian Yandex.


“Steak, s’il vous plait”, I smiled to a chef, trying to take some pictures of him serving the dish to someone else. This funny moment caught the eye of his companion at the food-station and he jumped, giving the maestro a peck on the cheek.

“Rare or medium, miss?” he smiled back.

“Just the best one, monsieur”, I answered.


One deft action and the perfect steak appeared on the plate, oozing with a brown yummy liquid.

At the self-service station I added some healthy beans and salad to balance my lunch, accompanied by a cup of hot Chai tea. I took my place in front of the window, hoping to see the peacocks, who decided to hide.

Diplomatic food turned out to be simple but delicious.

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