I was really happy with how this feast came out on multiple levels. There were some positive challenges, and I feel they were all met if not exceeded. My priorities for a feast I serve are that it be delicious, abundant, well researched, and always safe.
Most of the recipes were from a single source that I have become extremely familiar with, so I've gotten to know the flavor profiles and how they work together. The request for this feast was to wow them, and convince people that historical food is delicious. I think we absolutely succeeded in showing that is it completely possible to have an entire feast based on historical sources that everyone is happy with, provide lots of delicious food, and still come in more than $100 under budget.
I knew going in that there are some significant dietary restrictions in the group, including celiac level gluten intolerance so we had to be hyper aware of containing any possible sources of cross contamination. I also knew early on that there would be a vegan in attendance and was able to plan the menu so it was hopefully fairly seamless for everyone and there were minimal dishes that were impacted/ needed substitutions.
I tried to express clearly expectations and boundaries, like having diners submit their restrictions early, and make clear that I was only able to accommodate those I was warned of in advance. I was also VERY firm about the timing, that I would be happy with whatever time they told me to start, but that there would be no schedule changes on the fly, and every course came out like clockwork every 30 minutes. There were a few kerfuffles, and nothing is ever perfect, but overall, I was really happy with how it all turned out. I was delighted with the feedback I've received, all around.
I was able to pull off this four course feast with a rock solid team of four, and fresh bread supplied by our event steward.
This is the first course as plated for the head table- the small plate of additional breads are the gluten free alternate for the head table to the amazing foccoccia which was made on site the day before. The stuffed eggs are the Italian style, stuffed with "the freshest, fattest cheese", and fresh herbs as well as the hard boiled yokes, they were then sprinkled with saffron.
Head table servings of the second course.The head table had to be served not only gluten free, but without any cross contamination at all- we had to use equipment that had not previous had gluten cooked in it.
Second course including the vegan alternates. Most of the dishes were made vegan by default, which was fairly easy since many dishes in this manuscript offers options for meat or meatless days.
Third course pork with beef alternative, three sauces (double garlic, sweet & sour apple, and fresh ginger), green salad, cauliflower in a sour orange sauce.