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

Raphaella DiContini raphaellad at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 8 09:16:08 PST 2009

All of the advice so far has been spot on (at least from my experience).  I second the suggestion to bring an oven thermometer, and would add that a fridge one can be a lifesaver too! I've ran into a situation cooking for 50-60 where I got one site to find neither of the fridges working and had to beg for coolers, but at least I had some just in case! 

I did my first full feast for 120 last February and I think it was mostly a success because of the spreadsheet of joyous DOOM! aka I had a column for every prep surface, cooking, and heated holding space with rows detailing all tasks in the order and length of time estimated to complete. 
Be generous with your time estimates! If it takes you 20 minutes to prep one pound of widgets, multiply it by how much you will be serving and add %25-%50 depending on the experience of your staff. 

We actually ran ahead of schedule for much of the day until we got up to the time when we couldn't do any more in advance, then it ran near like clockwork. Having the spreadsheet up meant that when people came in and wanted to help they could tell at a glance what was still needing to be done. 

I also had a dedicated serving staff, and nearly all of my kitchen crew were extremely talented and experienced, so I could charge individuals with the care of specific dishes and let them run with them in advance (this was a live saver too!) and we had a crew washing dishes all night! 

All in all I'd also say that don't hesitate to ask for help, both far in advance and on the day of. It takes a village (or a barony) to make a feast happen, and then help clean up so the head chef can fall over when it's done. :) 

In joyous service, 

--- On Mon, 12/7/09, HL Bebhinn O'Siodhachain <hlbebhinn at yahoo.com> wrote:

> From: HL Bebhinn O'Siodhachain <hlbebhinn at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [Sca-cooks] 14th Century French Feast in January
> To: Sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> Date: Monday, December 7, 2009, 5:20 AM
> 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??
> Baroness Bebhinn
> Barony of Darkwater
> Kingdom of Trimaris 
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