[Sca-cooks] Choosing a Cook, was Cooking and Serving Equipment

Sheila McClune smcclune at earthlink.net
Sat Feb 23 11:00:15 PST 2008

Aldyth wrote:

"What made me laugh about the whole thing was that our group is having 
an event in April autocrated by a self proclaimed wonderful cook.  And 
since she made the local cooks guild mad at her she outsourced the feast."

Acually ... I feel obliged to set the record straight here ...  The cook 
to whom she "outsourced" the feast (and in this case, "outsourced" means 
from another SCA group, not from outside the SCA) has been actively 
seeking opportunities to cook a feast, so it's quite possible that he 
sought out the autocrat rather than vice versa.  (He's very 
enthusiastic).  He has also done cooking for events in that shire 
before, so it's not like he was a straight-out-of-the-blue choice.  He's 
a good friend of mine, and I've been consulting with him about the feast 
-- it sounds like it's going to be very tasty!

The members of your Cooks Guild should not feel obligated in any way to 
lend out their personal equipment if they choose not to do so.  I've got 
a stash of equipment of my own, and I'm fairly selective about who I 
lend it out to.  I'm not as worried about the pots and pans that I got 
for $6 apiece, but the roasters only go out to people whom I know are 
trustworthy.  The good knives only go out if I'm actually working in the 
kitchen, and the Mandoline Of Death no longer goes out of the house at 
all (having sent someone to the emergency room last time it was used)! 

In this particular case, the feast cook will be borrowing some serving 
equipment from me; he may also borrow some from our barony's supplies.  
Our barony has a decent amount of equipment, though we could use more in 
the way of serving gear; most of it was either donated or purchased by 
the barony after discussion at Baronial meetings.  Our Cook's Guild also 
has some equipment, which as I understand it is not part of the Barony's 

But Aldyth's posting does bring up an interesting question:  One thing 
I've often heard is, "I'm not part of the local cooks guild, so I didn't 
think I was allowed to cook a feast."  Do any groups out there actually 
have such requirements?  Should there be such a requirement?

Our group has no such requirement, but I have heard it said more than 
once that we do.  That distresses me, because I don't like to think that 
people who would otherwise be willing to volunteer are hanging back 
because of some perceived prerequisite.  On a gut level, I'd really 
rather not see someone cook a large and high-profile feast (such as 
Crown Tournament or Twelfth Night) as their first feast, but for a 
smaller feast, I'd be less concerned.

How do other people feel about this?

Arwen Southernwood
Caerthe, Outlands
(Denver, CO)

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