[Ansteorra] General event question

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Mon Aug 16 23:43:32 PDT 2010

Greetings Herr Winther,

Let me throw in my couple of cents here, and some pointers to some ideas and comments.

On Aug 16, 2010, at 10:26 PM, Will Manning wrote:

> How big of factor is offering feast at an event? Would that be the deciding
> factor whether you came or not?

There are a number of events I attend that don't have feasts. This is often the case with bigger events where the logistics of severing a large number of people gets too difficult. Steppes Warlord, or really any event at Canton, and Gulf Wars and Pennsic come to mind.

> If the sponsoring group had a tavern
> instead, would that be a better idea? Meal ticket options would be offered
> as well.

Take a look at this file in the ENTERTAINMENT section of the Florilegium for some ideas and comments about SCA taverns (as well as period ones)
taverns-msg (52K) 5/25/06 SCA and period taverns.

Some of this file in the FEAST-REVIEWS section might also be of use:
Tavern-Feast-art (14K) 1/13/99 An all-day tavern-style feast.

> Would your prefer to know what you are being served,

Headcooks should definitely make their menu available ahead of time, so that people can decide whether to make other arrangements or not. If it is just going to be a modern foods dinner, it is quite possible that I won't stay for it or will plan on eating something in my camp or going into town.

<<< As someone who has strict dietary restrictions, the presence or lack of
feast plays no part in my decision to attend an event.  I almost never do
feast at an event.  When I did do feasts, the lack of one never stopped me
from attending an event, but some groups feasts were so consistently
wonderful that I always attended their events if at all possible.

Robert >>>

It is probably best not to try to make special dishes for folks with allergies, many folks will simply not show up and won't tell you ahead of time that they aren't going to show up after all. On the otherhand, menus should be varied enough without having the same ingredient in most of the dishes so that folks can still get a full meal even if they have to skip some dishes. At the same time, this means you must publish your ingredient lists ahead of time and if you make any changes to this, because of a great sale price on something for instance, make sure these changes are made clear in the ingredients list.  For more on publishing ingredient lists, see this file in the FEASTS section of the Florilegium:

ingred-lists-msg (18K) 4/ 6/07 Posting ingredient lists at SCA feasts.

> and it being a great meal, or something period.

I definitely prefer period-type meals.

> What if there was a cooking competition for
> period recipes, and a regular good ol meal for feast, using the word regular
> loosely.

Why does it have to be a competition? I have wondered if you couldn't do two types of feasts at an event. One being period in style and food and one simply being a picnic style dinner. When I brought this up on the SCA-Cooks list, the problem has been logistics. There is usually only one kitchen available. Even trying to do a Crown luncheon can be difficult because the main feast is already being done in the kitchen.

<<< I will not order feast without seeing a menu. Knowing the
reputation of the cook may influence my decision. I would not
participate in a feast that was the result of a cooking competition.
Too much uncertainty in both knowledge in advance of the offerings and
possible food safety issues.

~Eve >>>

I agree with Eve on this. In addition, most cooking competitions don't produce enough food to base a feast around. They can have their place, but not as a feast replacement. See some of the files in the CELEBRATIONS AND EVENTS section of the Florilegium for a number of comments on various types of cooking contests and some reviews of various ones, especially siege-cooking contests.

> My question I guess would be what kind of food arrangement, if any
> would most prefer. Would feast alone ever be the only reason you went to an
> event?

It certainly could be. If someone were to put on a feast like these below, I would go just for the feast. I would also expect to pay much more than the usual SCA feast amount as well.  But it would be worth it.

Perf-P-Feast-msg (40K) 11/28/09 "Perfectly Period Feast" cooked by Mistress Crystal of the Westermark. A medieval feast, with atmosphere, 'done right'.

Good-Fd-Feast-art (26K) 3/30/98 Description of a fancy feast done in Lochac.

> All comments welcome and desired, hit me with it please!!!!!!

If you would like to read some reviews of feasts cooked across the Known World, see the files in the FEAST-REVieWS section of the Florilegium. These often include recipes and they span a wide variety of period cultures. There are also a number of files with useful ideas and hints on cooking good feasts in the FEASTS section.

For more information and useful comments on cooking feasts, I would also highly recommend joining the SCA-Cooks list. Hosted on the Ansteorra server, but with all levels of folks from those just beginning to cook, much less cooking medieval foods, to folks that have cooked numerous SCA feasts to those who are published period cooking scholars and authors to professional chefs, from all over the Known World.  It's been slow there, but now that folks are getting back from Pennsic things should pick up again.

> Herr Winther der Trüwe
> Seneschal Adlersruhe


THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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