The Big 4 accounting world is shrouded in mystery to those who aren’t business majors. Most college students haven’t heard of Deloitte, EY, PwC, or KPMG, the giants of accounting that control billions of dollars.

This is the second summer I’ve interned with Deloitte, one of the leading firms that had revenue of $36.8 billion last year – not to mention their global spread, committed employees, and impressive outreach to students. Every summer, Deloitte flies their interns to Deloitte University, a premier training and conference complex in Westlake, Texas.

Although the guest speakers, fancy showers, and idyllic views are nice, the real jackpot is the free food and beverages around the campus. From all the La Croix waters I could ever drink, to any type of warm, gooey cookie I could imagine, and macaroni and cheese that would make Paula Deen proud. As a SpoonU fanatic, I was salivating with article anticipation and photographer’s thrill.

There are three main aspects to the foodie wonders of Deloitte University: the Market, Barn, and the “around the world” snack rooms in the hotel portion of DU.

The Market

Mackenzie Patel

The Market was the main dining area featuring buffet-style food reminiscent of a classy, upscale mess hall. Professional mingling was served alongside lemongrass chicken and sweet potato skins. Desserts (i.e. macaroons, meringue pies) were small but tasteful, a dose of fruit and whipped cream making them “healthy.”

Main courses changed every day, but the burger, vegetarian, and fruit stations anchored the lunch line – as well as the frozen yogurt area. Vanilla and caramel flavors, trays of toppings better than Cold Stone…never was I happier to be an accounting major. The dining area resembled a sit-down restaurant, with smiling waiters and cloth napkins that college has made me unfamiliar with.

The Barn

grass, pasture, tea
Mackenzie Patel

An “after hours” Market, the Barn was an outdoor trek away from the main campus. A snaking sidewalk between the cacti and scuttling roaches led to the doors, opening to the sports bar/lounge/Southern buffet that was found inside inside. The bar was stocked full of liquors I was too young to drink, although their sodas and La Croix waters were free for us minors.

Resembling a Speakeasy of Southern food, the butter and cream-heavy dishes were accessible only in the back. Rich macaroni and cheese, mountains of jalapeño guacamole, a cast-iron pot of bread pudding that was always empty, the professionals sucking it down like a free Happy Hour…a minimum of five pounds of weight gain is necessary to be a proper Deloitte University student.

After a heavy breakfast, a filling lunch, and a satisfying dinner, a nightcap at the Barn was only natural. I was bursting out of my slacks, my stomach unused to being filled 110%. Brisket cascaded on the cutting board, the juices filling the crevices and my arteries. The Barn closes at 1 a.m., leaving plenty of time to eat and not exercise at DFit – I. Love. Accounting.

"Around the World" Snack Rooms

beer, cake
Mackenzie Patel

Besides the snack stations in the lower levels, the highlight of DU is the “around the world” snack rooms in the hotel (floors 2 through 5). Each floor has four+ rooms, a food specialty from each location showcased in the ritzy lounges. London, Dallas, L.A., Miami, Houston, Mumbai, and São Paulo, just to name a few of the cities.

My favorite room was Tokyo because of the Pocky sticks. Bright, retro packaging with a chocolate zing, these Asian snacks were better than any DU cookie. I grabbed fistfuls of Ghirardelli chocolate in the San Francisco room – sea salt caramel, 72% cacao, and milk chocolate caramel squares stuffed my tiny carry-on.

Beef jerky from Dallas, Cape Cod chips from Boston, and Cracker Jacks from Chicago…I was covert but wild, sneaking snacks and writing this article in my head all the while. Besides food, many of the rooms had beverages as their specialty item.

beer, soda, ice, alcohol
Mackenzie Patel

I tasted Guaraná Antarctica, a Brazilian soda that is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev now, somewhat diminishing its authenticity. It was hilarious that Vitamin Water was the beverage for L.A.; how exotic and taste-bud-titillating. Atlanta, of course, had cans of classic Coca-Cola, the iconic cherry-red reminding me of my summer home. 

Since the hotel has 800+ rooms, each floor is an eternal stretch of corridors; I had to walk what felt like miles before finding the nearest elevator. But, the snack rooms were worth the amount of blisters I now found on each foot.

coke, soda, beer, ketchup
Mackenzie Patel

Besides their premier professionals and training, Deloitte University is a mecca for food writers/photographers like myself. I even met a former Spoon University Editorial Director in my intern class – food connects everyone, from foodie experts to accounting students bewitched by tax returns and walkthroughs. Another free La Croix, anyone?