The information included below is a general guide. It is not the only way to do things, it is simply a recommendation for those who may never have completed this role before, and who need assistance in knowing what to do and where to start. When possible, it is always best to shadow someone with experience before diving in.
If you have any additional tips, advice, resources, or guidance please let us know, and we will add it to the guide.
How to Feastocrat an Event
Your territory has an event to do, and has chosen a theme and time period, and you have chosen to feastocrat. Now its time to figure out what to cook. As Feastocrat you are in charge of deciding on the menu, purchasing the food, determining the cost of food, preparing and serving the food.
Step 1 – Gather all the people who want to assist in the kitchen and cooking and plan the menu. Start with the region and time period. Is it Italy in the 1450s? Or Norway 1150? This will help steer you in the direction of what should be included on your menu. Check the Kingdom Menu Book for ideas and inspiration. Don’t get crazy with exotic medieval dishes; people tend to remember what they liked, not how much research you did.
Things to consider when planning a menu
Storage ability (can you make in advance and heat up? Or do you need to make on site)
Cost of food (veal vs chicken will be a big price difference)
How much help do you have
Do you want to cap off feast (at 50 people / 80 people) - if you are new, start small.
How many removes do you want?
Typically there is a day board, a 1st remove, a main course (2nd remove), and dessert. You can certainly do more or less – but this is a benchmark.
Step 2 - Once your menu has been decided on – estimate what it will cost. What do you anticipate your total grocery bill to be, divided by how many people you are feeding.
Example – I anticipate spending $500 in groceries for a feast – and am planning on cooking for 50 people. Onboard fee will be $10 per person.
Step 3 – Consider the layout of the kitchen and what you have at your disposal so you can plan your day successfully.
Questions to ask the autocrat:
How big is the kitchen (how many cooks can fit in there to help)
How many burners does the stove have
Can we use the oven and the stove top
Do they have serving dishes, and utensils, or do I have to bring my own?
How many outlets are in the kitchen (in case we need crock pots)
Do we have freezer or refrigerator space
Do they have chaffing dishes – or do we need our own
After having a good idea about the size and layout of the kitchen, as well as how much staff is present, determine if and when people are able to utilize the kitchen for washing feast gear. Announce that to the autocrat for publication on the event page.
Step 4 - Announce the menu (with ingredient list for allergies) and the on board fee to the territory, and the autocrat for publishing on the website. If you want to make a cap off, be sure to include that information as well.
Step 5 – Now that the menu is planned – plan out what you can do in advance, and plan out cook days with your feastocrat team. Cooking in advance and freezing until the day of is a great way to lighten the load the day of the event.
Step 6 – Time to shop. Keep your budget in mind. Fill out a reimbursement form to request reimbursement and funding for shopping. Buy needed groceries – save the receipt to provide to the Exchequer on the reimbursement form. Check with the prior feastocrat (from the last event) and ask about the traveling pantry – see if there are ingredients left over from the prior feast that you can utilize before spending money on it (coffee, juices, spices, and dry ingredients).
Step 7 – Cook and freeze what you can. Prep what you can in advance. Make the day of as easy as possible. If you need help –ASK! Whether its freezer storage, help cooking, help hauling food – whatever it is, no one knows you need help until you tell them – ask for help!
Step 8 – Plan out how you want to distribute food – do you want a buffet table, do you have staff to serve each table, do you want to assign each table with 1 head person in charge of retrieving food from the kitchen? Coordinate this with your feastocrat team, and discuss with the autocrat.
Step 9 – for the Day of the event – have a plan. Who will be distributing food, who will be cutting veggies, who will be cooking the food? Plan out what time what foods need to go in the oven/be heated up in order to be served as close to schedule as possible. Be sure that you and the autocrat have the same schedule in mind.
Day of your Event
Step 10 –Be onsite early for set up and prep. Make sure you thaw out everything in advance where appropriate.
Step 11 – Set up the day board. And start cooking according to your schedule.
Step 12 - Have a drink. You did it!
Step 13 – Clean up, send people home with doggie bags if needed. All dry ingredients that have not been used, add back to the travelling pantry, and hand off to the next feastocrat.