ck-4.jpeg In an era of government bailouts, fancy office parties are out — even for Marriott, the hotel chain that owns the lavish Ritz Carlton or the Marriott Wardman Park (where Albritton held a recent holiday party as stated in an aforementioned Fishbowl item).

Instead of an opulent affair at one of its dozens of ballrooms around town, several dozen Marriott employees celebrated at the Chevy Chase home of MSNBC “Hardball” Host Chris Matthews whose wife, Kathleen, is Marriott’s Executive V.P. of Global Communications & Public Affairs.

Who needs fancy hors d’oeuvres?

The Matthews’ served guests a light lunch from Fresh Start Catering, a service spun from DC Central Kitchen, the downtown soup kitchen that got its start salvaging excess food from Inauguration parties to give to the needy. Staff comprises those formerly in need of the charitable services who were trained in the DC Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training Program.

The 6’5″ cable host provided what was described as “modest entertainment” and worked the room clad in an elf hat.