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Good-Fd-Feast-art - 3/30/98


Description of the Good Food Feast given in the Barony of Politarchoplis in the Principality of Lochac, October 26, 1997. This was an "above the salt" event with a high ratio of servers to guests.


NOTE: See also the files: headcooks-msg, feast-serving-msg, Kentwell-Hall-art, feast-ideas-msg, feast-decor-msg, p-menus-msg, pot-luck-fsts-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that

I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some

messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.

These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with

seperate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes

extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs  were

removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I

make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information given  by the

individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these

messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is unclear  at this

time. If  information  is  published  from  these messages, please give

credit to the orignator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  Lord Stefan li Rous

    mark.s.harris at motorola.com            stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 01:48:57 +1100

From: charles at macquarie.matra.com.au

Subject: SC - Good Food Feast or doing an over the top feast at $50 per head.


As previously mentioned and requested, below is the menu and introductory for the Good Food Feast. I have added a bunch of comments immediately after to try and set the scene. Spelling mistakes within this document are just there to test your powers of observation (this mailer has no spell checker).


The feast was run in the Barony of Politarchoplis on the 25 of October and was served to 50 guests by 20 servers and 9 kitchen staff. The event was created by the Politarchopolis Assault Catering Corps. Politarchoplis's motto is "Eat, eat you're all too thin". The Politarchopolis Assault Catering Corps is a slightly varying group, who creat events to show the motto is appropiate. People eating lunch before a PACC "light supper" have required medical treatment.


We have been discussing this feast for about 3 years. The idea was part of a household discussion on what we could you provide as a feast if there were no or few financial restrictions.


We decided to provide a fully catered (drinks included) feast that was a replica of an (wealthy) italian nobleman's dinner C 1440 to 1500. We wanted the food to be the best ever offered to a feast in Lochac with a suitable atmosphere to match. We also wanted to push back the boundries of what was concidered possible to provide in a feast. The feedback we have received suggests that we can be proud of our efforts.


Guests paid $50AUD per head, Servers paid $8. Kitchen staff paid $0.


The Kitchen staff started at 9am, the servers at 3:30pm for "rehearsals" and their dinner and the guests arrived at 6pm for a 6:30 start. We started at 6:45pm and finished on sheduled time. the last people left the site at 3am.


The servers had all agreed to just be "servers" for the night. There would be no familarity with the guests. One of their main functions was to make the guests feel like they were an invited noble guest. They were great! There was some very interesting discussion on the Lochac list about how uncomfortable one guest was, being served by people he knew and not being able to help.  After being assured that the servers were having fun too, he felt better. The formality and structure of the event was quite different to previous feasts. I hadn't thought what an impression finding out that someone was going to wash your dishes, not once but three times, over the evening while the guest relaxed and was entertained, could make on our guests. It was especially strong on the guests who were the "I need to help" types! As is the above mentioned guest. However most of the guests said that they could get used to blinking and finding a server was beside them offering drinks, food, drinks, help, drinks, food, or more food.


Not mentioned below in the menu, is that we also provided with the food, red and white wines, ales and cordials (cordials are sweet non-alcoholic concentrates in Australia). The wines were from 2 of the better wineries in Australia and the beer was "Irish Red", a light flavoured dark beer, brewed in a local boutique brewery. The cordials were made by a local Politarchoplian, served were lemon, raspberry and rose.


The hall we used can easily seat 200 with some room left for dancing. We split the hall in two, the front half was used as the feasting area and the back portion was the relaxing, entertainmant and dancing area.


The feasting area was laid out in 4 corners of a square with gaps between each corner. Think of a square and rub out the middle of each side. The guests were seated on the  outside of the corners (only on one side of the tables) so thay were all looking into the centre. The tables were laid with white cotton cloths with a red damask table runner down the middle. Candles were provided using 2" diameter short candles on black metal 6"tall holders placed along the inside edge of the table. Water was available on the tables in white jugs with a red griffin on the side. The centre area was used as a display position for subtlies.


The hall divider was 10' high and 50' wide, draped vertically in alternate red and white lengths of material with a banner of the opposite color placed over the top to provide a further contrast. The centre of the divider was pulled back on each side like a tied back curtain to provide a door to the entertainment area.


Behind the divider were the drinks servery and the musicians (Politarchoplian musicians guild) who played background music all night. A second consort (Concordia Mirabilis) played entertainment pieces and the dance music between courses.


Between each course the guest were invited to watch and participate in entertainments in the back area. While they were absent the tables were cleaned and all of the guests dishes were washed, dried and their places relaid ready for the next course.


The feast started with each guest being met at the entrance to the building by the servers dressed in red and white tabards who took their feasting baskets and guided them to their place as the guest was announced by name to the hall. The servers laid the guests place and offered them a drink. The feast had begun.


All food was presented by a procession of servers who then split off to serve their appointed tables. Each table (a corner, seating 13 guests) had four servers, a drinks butler, two food servers and a supervisor. All food was served on matching bowls and platters.


Some other items not mentioned in the menu were, the serving of a Bayler, (sp?) a large sea snail which many guests tried to our collective surprise (the taste was very much like abalone), the displaying of an intricate colored toffee and sweet pastry stained glass window of a knight in armor which was immediately smashed and served to the guests, the blind soothsayer who came and read the entrails of the sucking pig before carving and many other little extras to keep the guests constantly amused and hopefully amazed.


We were very happy with the result of our labours but the feast was more difficult and more work to run than feeding 250 as a principality event. Oh yes, we also ran on time :)


Charles (of the Park) not the other (original) Charles on the list.


                      The Good Food Feast


          A feast of three courses with divers dishes

                      and entertainments

     Course the First

     A platter of sausages forcemeats and meat puddings

          Cuttlefish croquettes Isica De Lolligine

          Crabmeat Croquettes Isicia de Scillis De Cammaris Amplis

               to accompany above - Mayonaise with mild herbs?

          White Sausage Isicia De Cerebellis

               to accompany the above a Green Sauce

     In broth:

          Dumpling of Pheasant Isica Plena

          Chicken Forcemeat Isicia De Pullo

     Braised beef ribs

     Ember day tarts

     Brie tarts

     Pears poached in wine with custard




     A dance display by Master Delbert

     Dancing for all, led by Master Delbert

     Refresher - flavoured ice



     Course the Second

     Whole baked stuffed fish  (We served a 10lb whole fresh snapper)

     Smoked trout and salmon (whole smoked fish were served to each table)

          with the above a green sauce

     Stuffed trout in pastry

          with the above Sorrel and bitter orange sauce

     Seasoned stuffed roasted boned quail

          the above joined with strawberry sauce


     Sweet spinach tart

     Mock entrails



     Divers Entertainments

     Music by Concordia Mirabilis.

     Nicodemus - A reading of poetry.

     Dance display by Master Delbert



     Course the Third

     Whole Roast Suckling Pig stuffed with fruits and nuts

          sauces to accompy the pig will include; boartail

          gravy, camaline, gallintine, yellow pepper, boiled garlic

          and sauce Robare.  (Served after a soothsayer read the entrails. and

          Sir Hugh the Little carved.)

     Herb fritters

     Green peas

     Rissoles closed and fried

     Rosemary trees with snow, surrounded with comfits and sweetmeats.




     Biscuits and good sweet strong wine


The Servers menu consisted of:



Pea and ham soup

Lucanian sausages

Vension pies

Herb fritters

Spinach pancakes


Rissoles closed and fried

and the pickings from the guests tables



Introduction given to the guests:


                     The Good Food Feast

     A Politarchopolis Assault Catering Corps production.

Welcome to the Good Food Feast. We hope you will be delighted

by small efforts to produce a feast to remember. The feast is

served in three courses of five to nine dishes. There will be

breaks between each course for dancing and entertainments .

The feast will start at 6:30pm and finish by 11:30pm. A word

of  advice, we highly advise that you eat lightly through the

dishes as we have saved some of the best for last.

The hall is divided into half. The rear half is where you will

eat and the stage portion is where the dancing and

entertainment displays will occur. During the breaks between

courses we would ask all to move to the entertainment section.

This will give us the opportunity to tidy the feasting section

and to wash your dishes ready for the next course.

The damask napkin laid at your place is yours to take home as

a keepsake of the feast.

Thanks due and gratefully given to:

     All the servers who volunteered to take a lesser place to

     make this night special for the guests.

     The musicians for their sweet sounds.

     Master Delbert for the dancing displays.

     Meloria de Curci and Drake Morgan for cordials, beer and ingredients

     William for letting us take his parents.

     John Dai and Adam the Renegade for sharing their bathtub with a pig

     Julianna Richelot for sewing and cooking.

     Baroness Politarchopolis for sewing.

     Filippa Ginevra Francesca di Lucignano for cooking above and beyond the

        call of duty, and

     Baron and Baroness Politarchopolis for letting us do this feast.

An eternal debt of gratitude to the Corps who do the work to make my silly daydreams become reality, especially to Aelfthrythe who created most of the food you eat tonight.

The Politarchopolis Assault Catering Corps (this time) consists of:

     Charles of the Park

     Francesca Cellini

     Aelfthrythe of Saxony

     Adelin of the Welsh

     Dickon Shorth and

     Francois Henri Guyon

     Adam the Renegade


                Eat, eat, you're all too thin.


- ---------------------------------------------------------

Charles Dean    charles at macquarie.matra.com.au

Matra Internetworks - Internet service providers.

Ph (06) 251 6730  Fax (06) 253 4840

PO BOX 714, Jamison Centre, ACT 2614 AUSTRALIA

- ---------------------------------------------------------



Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 19:05:32 +1100

To: "Mark Harris" <mark_harris at risc.sps.mot.com>

From: Meliora & Drake <meliora at macquarie.matra.com.au>

Subject: Re: SC - Good Food Feast or




The Good Food Feast was held on 25 October 1997.  As it was also the day

before my (and my husband's) 1st wedding anniversary (we had an SCA wedding)

so it was a pretty special event for me personally, and unfortunately I

can't remember all of the details.


At the beginning, myself, Drake (my husband) and my mother were the first

"guests" to arrive.  We had arranged for ourselves and our wedding party to

be on the same table.  I felt rather  conspicuous as all of these servers

(who are normally my equals) lined up and formed an honor guard as we

entered the hall. Our names were announced to hall, we were led to our

places  and our feasting basket taken from us and our places et for us,  we

were then offered drinks.  Drake (my husband) was helping organize the beer

so he was absent,  Mum and I talked in whispers and were really embarrassed

for a while simply cause I wasn't sure how to act.  A few more early

attendees showed up and were escorted to tier places at the other tables.  we

looked at each other but it was at least five minutes before any of us got

up to go and talk to people on the other tables because we weren't sure

whether we should or not. As the hall filled the embarrassed feeling lessened .


On each table were matching waterjugs and candlesticks which PACC then

donated to the Baronial Chandlery/Hospitlery/Gold Key.


The head waiter came to entrance of the hall and announced first course (not

the R word) was to be served.  He then announced each dish in turn.  The

servers marched into the center of the room and then peeled off towards the

tables.  There were four sets of tables (as Charles has already described)

and each table was served at the same time as the others. There were no

royalty and no high table.


The end of the first course was announced.  We were shepherded into the

other section of the hall where we watched a dance demo by a Dance Master

and his apprentice. As it was a rather long dance I wandered to the "wrong"

side of the curtain and saw the washing up crews.  It was absolutely

incredible that someone else was doing our washing up. They washed up after

each course AND once more before we went home.


This concept was repeated for the next two courses. It was very regimental

with everything being announced, but it made sure that everything happened

on time.  Some of the other between-course entertainment included some

all-in dancing, a poetry reading and performance by our musicians,  The

poetry reading was particularly memorable, because of the delivery.  He

spoke the words of a couple of famous sonnets (can't remember the names of

the sonnets unfortunately) and he walked up to a different woman for each

couplet and look deep into her eyes as he spoke them.  A masterful performance.


I know I have not described the food, but I am trying to give you the

ambiance of the event.  It was a mixture of embarrassment (how am I supposed

to act) flattery (wow, they do this for us) coddled (didn't have to lift a

finger, was told exactly what was going on and where I was supposed to

be) and great food.


My mother has Coeliac's disease and so had a number of dietary requirements.

I spoke to the PACC months before the event and they took this into account

and where feasible, *slightly* changed the food so she could eat it.  None

of the recipes were substantially changed and their were still a few she

could not eat.  But this was the same for ALL people there with eating

disorders.  I am grateful that PACC made the changes they made.


Note:  Coeliac's cannot ingest gluten.  That means no wheat flour, oats, rye,

barley etc.  I was informed that some of the dishes would be thickened with

cornflour or arrowroot instead of wheatflour so that Mum could eat them.


I think that what I enjoyed most about this event was the relaxed

atmosphere.  It sounds strange but as there were no courts and everything was

planned, there were no last minute surprises or food being held up due to

other things happening.  


I was informed later that the kitchen was NOT a well of serenity, but this

was certainly kept from the paying guests.


Foodwise, paying guest was the best place possible.  We got the best food.

I heard that the servers got the have any leftovers, but for many of the

dishes there WERE no leftovers.  We REALLY pigged-out.


I think learning-wise, being on the autocratting team would have been best

as I could have learnt so much, and I have been informed that PACC members

did have a ball creating the event.


Next time I would still be a guest (can't pass up on that food) or possibly

try to grovel my way into helping the kitchen staff.  I would also be less

embarrassed and possibly play-up the "I am a noble, you are my server" snob

that some people did.  From what I witnessed all of this was done in good

fun and jest and no-one took offense (at least not in what I witnessed).


My favorite dish has to be the quail.  Partnering it with the strewberry

sauce was inspired !!!  The spinach tarts were also especially memorable.

They were sweet and people who would never eat spinach were seen devouring them.


All in all a memorable event that I would happily dish out $50 Australian,

to attend again.





Date: 3 FEB 98 14:48:15 AES

From: RMcGrath at dca.gov.au

Subject: Re: SC - Fw: [Mid] Feasts:  Serving and Carving


Yes, I know I'm late in replying, but not only do I have much paper on my

desk, I also have *piles* of virtual paper too!


The Good Food Feast which was held in Politarchopolis, Lochac, in October

last year, was a wonderful example of how pomp and ceremony can add to the

atmosphere of a feast.  In this case, there were only 50 honoured guests,

who sat at four tables, and each table was attended by at least 3 servers.

There was also a butler and assistants to serve drinks.  A truly incredible

team in the kitchen provided the gentles with magnificent dishes, each of

which was announced before being brought before the feasters by *trained*



Yes, I was a server, and yes, we were told *exactly* what to do, where to

place items, how to serve, etc. before the honoured guests arrived.  And it

added greatly to the atmosphere.


The Politarchopolis Assault Catering Corps outdid themselves in providing

not only fantastic period fare (and they could show the recipes :-), but

also provided subtleties, and, the piece de resistance, a suckling pig

which was carved in front of the guests.


The subtleties included a ginger bread stained glass window, and individual

pinetrees (OK, they were approx. 30 cm high) complete with snow (uncooked



What fun!


Rakhel Petrovna

Politarchopolis, Lochac


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org