[Sca-cooks] A question of service

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Fri Feb 1 19:42:37 PST 2008

Communal or common service, based on the methods of the Roman Era Christian 
communes, although I doubt it was called that in the Middle Ages or the 
Renaissance.  In practice, it probably would have been limited to religious 
communities such as monestaries and abbeys where all were equal before God 
(just some more equal than others).

The flunkies or lackies are generally referred to as waiters.  Waiters 
usually fall into two classes, gentle waiters (pages. squires, the lord of 
the manor attending the king) and yeoman waiters.  Waiters serve the tables 
under the direction of the steward of the hall (often a knight, who acts as 
the host of the manor on behalf of the lord) and the senior waiters and 
clear the tables under the direction of the almoner.

Your serving hatch is "the bar."  The bar marks the division between the 
cook's domain and the domain of the steward (or possibly butler or pantler). 
Meals and portions that are sent across the bar are accounted for and 
compared to the menus from and quantities requisitioned by the cook from the 
clerk or the wardrobe (treasurer, exchequer, privy purse, etc., etc., etc.).


> In mundanity, there are names for different types of meal service.
> Russian, French, Buffet, Family-style, etc.  I've read of different
> styles of service for feasts in the SCA, but I can't recall that I ever
> really heard any of them _named_.  So, my local group's next feast is
> probably going to be the type where you delegate 1 person from each
> table to go fetch the serving bowl or tray from the serving hatch.
> We've always had enough flunkies, er, lackeys, er, um, volunteers to
> fetch & carry before.  This is the 1st time we've tried it this way, and
> we don't know quite what to call it.  Can anyone tell me a good term to
> use?  Is there a recognizable SCAdian term for this style of service?
> When the head cook asked me this question today, I was at a loss.  The
> only idea I came up with was "cooperative service", but I was just
> making it up out of my head.  Anyone got any ideas?
> Yours, in puzzlement,
> Maria from Alderford/Mary Piero Carey

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