[Sca-cooks] Pennsic State Dinner

euriol euriol at ptd.net
Wed Aug 13 08:48:13 PDT 2008

I wouldn't necessarily consider it a "bad" experience, but certainly a
learning experience. I was told there were some non-retainers that took
part of the food that was designated for the retainers (It is hard to
remember all the details since I put in 15 hours at work yesterday). If I
remember correctly, the dessert were finger foods, so no Royals standing
around with plates in hand. The "served" courses, were done up on a single
plate were presented to the Royal "couple"... I think it was due to this
that the portions would/could appear small. Plenty on the plate for one,
but perhaps not adequate for two.

I agree, something like a Royal State Dinner, is where we cooks and staff
can really make the whole experience shine. One of the things that puzzled
me was although there was wash water brought out to the retainers pavilion,
the part of the serving pieces that the Crowns (or more rightly so the
retainers) had to provide were not cleaned and returned. (Side Note: Plates
were provided for the dinner, but the Royals needed to provide their own
flatware and drinking  vessel). Was it expected for the retainers to take
these pieces back to the retainer pavilion and wash them? What I ended up
doing was taking the flatware back to near the kitchen and asked if I could
have some wash water so their Majesties flatware could be stored properly.
I was pleased that those serving there took care of the flatware for me.

My big bug-a-boo is why were the retainers served modern food? Certainly
there are quite a number of period recipes that are just as easy to make
and can be served for the same if not less cost than a spaghetti dinner.


On Wed, 13 Aug 2008 10:35:38 -0500,  wrote:
> I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the
> meal. I would think portions would be better controlled
> since the cooks knew pretty much exactly how many
> would be in attendance.
> It was nice they at least tried to get enough for the folk
> that went hungry. 
> I really hate "buffet style" dining for feasts or fancy dinners,
> especially something as lavish as the Royal Dinner. The only
> excuse being that you set out a sideboard of finger nibbles
> the attendees may frequent when mingling. But if it has to
> go on a plate, it is wrong. I guess I just hate the sight of a
> bunch of Royalty and Nobility standing in line with a plate in
> their hand like bums at a soup kitchen. That is not the
> game we are playing. 
> Of course a buffet sideboard where food is provided as a
> part of the entertainment is different.
> I did have some of the mead. Her Majesty Ansteorra gave 
> me some she brought from the dinner. It was indeed very
> good.
> Gunthar
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