[Sca-cooks] 14th Century French Feast in January

Volker Bach carlton_bach at yahoo.de
Mon Dec 7 05:35:42 PST 2009

--- HL Bebhinn O'Siodhachain <hlbebhinn at yahoo.com> schrieb am Mo, 7.12.2009:

> Von: HL Bebhinn O'Siodhachain <hlbebhinn at yahoo.com>
> Betreff: [Sca-cooks] 14th Century French Feast in January
> An: Sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> Datum: Montag, 7. Dezember 2009, 14:20
> Good morning everyone, 
> I am new to this list, but I have a question for you all. 
> I am doing a feast in january for the 25th anniversary of my
> Barony as well as the investiture of the new baron and
> Bariness.  It is a once in a lifetime feast.  It also
> happens to be my first.  I have cooked for approx 60
> before, but I will be cooking for 160 this time and I just
> wanted to know if anyone had any tips for me that might make
> my time of it a little easier.  This is not a truly period
> feast, as per the request of the new nobles.  Some of my
> dishes and sauces are completely period and some of my
> dishes are merely frenchish, but it is all taste tested and
> approved by the incoming nobles and they are thrilled.  My
> biggest problem is planning and timing.  Any tips??

Apologies if this is trivial (sounds like you've done this before on a smaller scale), but:

- get at least two people in your kitchen who have your recipes and shopping list ahead of time and update them on all changes of plan. I once spent three hours supervising an eager but clueless kitchen team while bleeding from a cut that would take eight stitches  later that day, because nobody else was clued in enough to take over. It's not a good experience.

- make a big flowchart of things that need doing and whenthey are supposed to be finished. Strike out completed tasks in contrasting colour. It feels good, and you don't have to depend on your own brain to keep track of things. 

- plan for about half of the dishes in your menu to be either served cold or re-heated/held hot.

- break the work into chunks, to be done on the chargee's own responsibility. That way, your team doesn't feel that hassled and you don't feel like you're fraying at the edges. That's also what in-the-know deputies are good for if you don't suddenly become unavailable or incapacitated.

- Do not let anyone tell you that kitchen can also manage or supervise/organise portioning and serving. For over 100 feasters, that is a full-time job for someone with experience, a gunnery sergeant's voice and a supremely organised mind. If you need to get it done under your own power, detail a deputy early on to plan and set up the serving area.

- ave two pots and one oven more than you need.

That's about what I can usefully contribute. You're not looking for recipes, right=? I could send you an almost-finished advance copy of my English omnia cibaria translation, that is 14th century French.

Good luck!


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