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Canterbury Faire Feast, 2012

Submitted by Vettoria di Gio... on January 16, 2012 - 3:56pm

Caterine de Vantier is cooking the feast at Canterbury Faire in February,  and has enrolled several other members of the Barony of Ildhafn to help her; William de Cameron and Katherina Weyssin as hall stewards, Anna de Wilde to manage plating and presentation, Ludwig von Regensburg as kitchen help. This is where we're keeping our notes - all the odds and ends that several of us need to be able to consult. 


[who, what, where]

Confirmed roles:

  • Caterine, cook, kitchen
  • Anna, plating & overseeing dish washing, ante-room
  • William and Katherina, hall stewards, hall
  • Alan, napkin display
  • Ludwig, katherine kerr, Jadwiga Arcasiaru, Katherine of Glastonbury, Catherine Le Nouveau?, Edine?
  • Servers: Angel, Christine, Martuccio, Gregory
  • Dish washers/Cleaners: 4 dedicated dishwashers from 6pm to the end of the feast; another 4 people after the feast to help with clean up (and probably wash large kitchen dishes)

People we still need:

  • 2 more servers? - William and Katherina to find
  • ? platers, ante-room help - Anna to find - may be able to use some of prep help with this
  • hall set-up? - William and Katherina decide - playing with this in the hall on Sunday
  • entertainers - Caterine, William and Katherina to figure out schedule, # of slots, and start asking people; Bartholomew reading from Castelvetro?
  • herald - William and Katherina find - ask Callum? and/or ask Tour d'Or for advice?
  • musicians - William and Katherina find, after discussing with Caterine


Total of $20pp to spend, for 108 people.

Caterine to approve any expenditure.


Entirely Caterine's department.

Style: Late 16thC Italian feast, adapted to suit modern tastes and practicalities.

Served in the style of Scappi/Lancelotti, with five courses. Three credenza courses, alternating with two kitchen courses - all served to table. Napkins, toothpicks, confits/confitures and fennel to be served at the end outside the main hall; Caterine will come out from the kitchen and serve something.

Menu constructed using dishes from Scappi, Messisbugo, Rosselli, and Castelvetro.

Preliminary Menu


Just water. Possibly set up a station for refilling on extra 'credenza' table, set up at base of hall, next to dais.

Special dietary reqs:

Everyone can eat most of the items on the menu, all of the special dietary needs people will miss out on 2-3 dishes each but can still eat the rest.

Caterine will email the ingredients lists out to them all ahead of the feast. She will also forward this to the stewards to print and give to these people when they sign in. Extra copies will be available for all servers, entourages of those at high table, and some spares for those that ask.


Feast is 6-9pm?

  • set-up and preparation
  • ewering?
  • 1st credenza course
  • 1st cucina course
  • 2nd credenza course
  • 3rd cucina course
  • 3rd credenza course
  • raising of tablecloth?
  • confits (outside)
  • clean up

Still to put in: entertainments; court?

~ 1/2 hour per course (i.e. from trumpet to trumpet)

Vary this through meal? Less for credenza, more for seated courses? Discuss as group - C has final decision.

[Table below: just messing about, seeing how this might work - KW. ]


Possible Schedule
Time Kitchen Ante-room Hall - service Hall - clearance Dishwashing
  prep 1st cucina course       deliver clean serving dishes for 1st cucina course
 T-? deliver 1st cucina course plate 1st cucina course      
 T prep 2nd cucina course 1st cucina course plated 1st cucina course to HT   deliver clean serving dishes for 2nd cucina course
  deliver  2nd cucina course plate 2nd cucina course 1st cucina course to hall    
 T+1/2 hour  prep 3rd cucina course 2nd cucina course plated serve 2nd cucina course to HT clear 1st cucina course wash dishes XYZ first
     etc serve 2nd cucina course    
      etc clear 2nd cucina course  




William and Katherina's department. Comms with kitchen go through Anna.

Expect 12 tables of 8 people (96), + high table (12).

Require also

  • card table for presentation of napkins, soteltie, etc.
  • 3 credenza tables?
  • 1-2 extra "credenza" tables for drinks, displaying plates?

William and Katherina serve high table; manage servers. 4 or 6 more servers; 2 tables each. [presently have 6 servers including us - do we need two more?]

William and Katherina to offer to rig hall and ante-room on the set-up weekend, so they can play with hall layouts. [done]


Complete courses to be served to one pair of tables at a time (so some tables have to wait to be served, but when the food appears, all the dishes in that course appear at once).

- high table is served first

- then top pair of tables, with 3 servers for each table

- then each pair of tables in turn


- Each course needs to be plated such that three people can carry it to one table in one go (maximum of 3 large dishes/platters, or 6 small ones)

- Service does not start until the last dish in that course is ready

- Plating to be done 2 tables at a time, not dish by dish

William to handle left side of room (with Gregory and Martuccio); Katherina to handle right (with Angel and Christine).

Likely layout:

High table (2-3 trestles) at end of hall furthest from kitchen.

2 columns of 6 tables, seating 8 each; columns at right angles to high table, individual tables parallel with HT; leaving centre aisle for presentation/performance/service.

Possibly rotate bottom table slightly, so tables effectively laid out in "crescent". Retain central space by HT.

Credenza tables: in central space; at bottom by dais; at sides; outside ?

If credenza tables in central space, remove them after 1st credenza course. Replace only for final course (or serve final course outside).

Have small, easily moved card-table or similar. Starts in front of high table with napkin display. Moved to side (but still where populace may admire) for feast. Possibly returns for carving. Returns to display soteltie.

Table settings:

May have some flowers, pending flowering of rose bushes.


Entertainments / showy bits of feast:

  • napkin display - Alan makes- W&K place - on display when guests arrive
  • ewering - only if time in schedule, and gear-  perhaps only HT?
  • before each course - trumpet (Greg) - herald (ask Callum?) [Tour d'Or's advise asked]
  • 1st dish of each course - music (ask Ulrich? Elen?) - W&K dance in first pair of plates to HT; serve rest normally
  • carving - Caterine has found period sources - Katherina to attempt to learn to carve well - carving for HT done at HT; carving for rest done in ante-room - stuffed lamb in 1st cucina course - do after rest of cucina course is served, or as 1st item?; discuss with C, K, W.
  • raising of tablecloth - HT only - only if time in schedule, suits royals
  • soteltie - Caterine to make - Caterine to present - then display on card table
  • confits - Caterine to make - circulating servers?


  • background music?
  • other entertainments? - C, W, K to discuss total possible slots, C to decide which she wants,  C (probably) will approach performers in advance, W&K will schedule, manage on night

Will need to do in advance:

  • decide final list of entertainments, and schedule
  • practice dancing with plates, arrange music, etc
  • practice carving
  • write litany for herald - include some information about what is *going* to happen - e.g. "in the first of three hot courses, served from the kitchen to the table, we have XYZ . ..". Confer with C about who writes this; confer with herald about content.


Anna's department.

- manage communications between hall and kitchen

- all finished food leaves kitchen, goes to ante-room for plating and presentation. Servers recieve from ante-room.

? staff eat in ante-room in slow patches?

If so - who? how many? do we book for feast or no?

Food presentation / order of dishes in course:

This has been discussed and planned for service with the SG feast gear. Anna will upload the plating details to the website.

A full inspection of the SG Feast Gear will be done by Anna on Monday. Notes will be made also of all utensils and other equipment that will be used from the Waipara Kitchen.

Below is the plating details for the Feast.  

Arrangement of dishes for Feast
Primo Servitio di Credenza
High table
Caid – 1 blue plate
Use 4 mong cups to hold the olives and pistachios
Place on 2 small oval platters the mong cups and arrange on the platter the cheese, prosciutto, cherries and fried bread balls.
2 pink/grey shallow bowls will hold the white dish
One table of eight
On 1 large serving platter
2 white ramekins filled with Olives and Pistachios
Then arrange the cheese, prosciutto, cherries and fried bread balls on the platter
1 small white oval dishes – will hold the white dish
Primo Servito di Cucina
High table
Caid – 1 blue plate
1 large oval platter, the leg of lamb will be lying on a bed of lettuce leaves, ready to be carved.
1 small oval platter will have on it a shallow casserole dish of tortellini which will be surrounded by lettuce leaves.
2 blue plates will have on it the Fried eggplant.
4 large shallow white bowls hold the pea soup and stuffed lettuce.
One table of eight
 1 large oval platter – on one half the slices of leg of lamb will be lying on a bed of lettuce leaves, and on the other half of the platter a shallow casserole dish filled with tortellini will be surrounded by lettuce leaves.
1 blue plate will hold the Fried eggplant
1 deep rice bowl will hold the Pea Soup
1 deep rice bowl will hold the stuffed lettuce
Secondo Servitio di Credenza
High Table
Caid – 1 x blue plate
2 mong cups filled with garlic sauce and 2 small metal bowls filled with eggs.
3 small oval platters holding lettuce salad, bean salad and cucumber and onion salad.
One table of eight
1 large oval platter will have placed on it three large purple or green cabbage leaves to create a bowl.  In each cabbage leaf bowl will be the lettuce salad, the bean salad and the cucumber and onion salad.
1 small metal bowl you will place 1 ramekin filled with garlic sauce and surround the ramekin with eggs. Or have the ramekin separate and the bowl just filled with eggs.
Secondo Servitio di Cucina
High Table
Caid – 1 blue plate
2 pie dishes will hold the rice and cheese
2 shallow casserole dishes will hold the pork meat balls
2 blue plates will hold the pie
2 deep casserole dishes or 2 metal bowls will hold the lettuce soup.
One table of eight
1 deep rice bowl will hold the rice and cheese.
1 deep rice bowl will hold the lettuce soup
1 shallow casserole dish will hold the pork meat balls
1 blue plate will hold the pie.
Terzo Servitio di Credenza
High table
Caid – 1 blue plate
1 small oval tray for the zuccarini and almond and date pies
1 small oval tray for the melon and peaches served on a bed of crushed ice.
1 small metal bowl of clotted cream
1 small bowl of artichokes in vinegar
One table of eight
1 small white oval platter for the melon and peaches on a bed of crushed ice or metal bowl to hold the fruit and crushed ice.
1 large tray to hold the zuccarini and almond and date pies
1 ramekin of clotted cream
1 small metal bowl for the artichokes in vinegar.
Confits course - trays will be circulated by servers.
4 large oval trays will be filled with confits.
2 large oval trays filled with napkins.


A gets final call on plating on day. C decides order of dishes, in advance, but may vary on day according to needs of kitchen/plating/service.

Dishwashing and Cleaning:

W&K have dishes cleared from hall. Dirty dishes go out back door, direct to kitchen back door (i.e. not through passage by ante-room); so we can have service and clearing happening at same time without traffic jam. Servers clear dishes, deliver to table in pantry for removal of food. Dishes go from there to the sinks out the back for washing - one will be reserved for feast washers.

Need list of what needs to be cleaned when - this will be critical as we are using everything at least twice.

Clean (serving) dishes back to ante-room - delivered or collected by Anna, avoiding kitchen.

Access to the Hall/Kitchen:

We have access to the hall from after lunch. The kitchen is available all day for feast prep, but to be considerate of those preparing lunch only Caterine & Anna will be in the kitchen in the morning. The rest of the kitchen help has been requested from after lunch onwards.

Communications with CF stewards, SG officers:

Caterine to send the emails (consistency and all that); cc Anna, William, Caterine.


  • tell them which people we already have lined up for which chores
  • tell them which chores we'd like to ask people directly to do
  • tell them which chores we'd like them to ask people to sign up for at booking/gate (and how many needed, and for what time, etc)
  • confirm bookings and budgets
  • details of special dietary requirements

Comms with Royalty / Baronages:

William and Katherina handle

  • confirm number and composition at high table [looks like 12]
  • confer with their servants about who does what (dishwashing, drinks etc)
  • check if TRMs require/expect court, etc
  • check on day with TRMs servants, see if They're on time, running late, etc.
  • Caterine? to check in advance about dietary reqs
  • will we need to reserve seats at feast for ladies in waiting etc

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