How to be a Feast Steward

Written by Master Thomas Towlewardie

    1. Budget – The budget is part of the event bid process and is to be a part of the event steward’s bid submission.
      1. Know your budget!!
      2. Keep in mind the type of event when making the budget – i.e. – Birthday, Mid East Feast, Tavern Tourney, or Winter’s End
      3. Is feast part of the site fee or a separate fee
      4. Plan your menu accordingly
    2. Menu – Plan each Remove to be a complete meal if possible- ex. Meat and Vegetable.
      1. Event- is your event themed and does your feast match the theme?
      2. Royalty – may have special request(s)
      3. Event Steward – may have something in mind – speak to them about heir vision for the theme
      4. Special Occasion – wedding, investiture
      5. Site Restrictions – kitchen limits
      6. Dietary Restrictions/Needs
        1. Food Allergies
        2. Religious Restrictions
        3. Vegetarians
      7.  Determine how feast is to be served
        1. Sample Sketch Feast:
          1. Remove – Appetizers –  (determined by the type of feast) cheese, fruit, finger vegetables – broccoli, carrots,
          2. Remove – Chicken – use less expensive meat
          3. Remove – Vegetarian
          4. Remove – Beef
          5. Remove – Dessert
    3. Recipes
      1. Cookbooks – all types i.e. cultural/ethnic/regional
      2. Grocery store checkout lines
      3. Internet
    4. Pricing – Stay within budget
      1. Determine number of people to be served – get a rough count from past events.
      2. Use recipes as a guide – serving portions per recipe (many can be stretched by one or two servings – think about portion size and where the remove is located in the serving of the feast (which remove is it)
    5. Sample feast – If recipes have not been used this is a very good idea
      1. Invite all kinds of people, especially:
        1. Event Steward
        2. Baron and Baroness
        3. Picky eaters
      2. Will let you know difficulties with recipes
        1. Time requirements – how far in advance can things be done
        2. Preparation sequences
        3. Cooking restrictions
        4. Taste preferences/adjustments
      3. Is it a good recipe/dish?
      4. Keep or trash the remove
    6. If you find specific items on sale before the feast – buy them. E. meat, specialty items
    7. Preparations for serving the feast
      1. Determine how feast is to be served
        1. Family Style
        2. Buffet Style
      2. Discuss hall set-up with event steward
      3. Determine number of servers needed for the feast – Only Peers can serve Head Table (Royalty)
      4. Get necessary supplies from the Regalia Officer
        1. Kitchen supplies/Cleaning supplies
        2. Table cloths
        3. Serving trays/utensils
        4. Dish rags/soap/drying towels/rubber gloves
        5. Lots of trash bags (big ones) – heavy duty
      5. Kitchen Crew
        1. Make sure to have at least 6-8 people in the kitchen
        2. Designate dish washer/dryer
        3. Can relieve each other
        4. Hall Steward – organizes servers
        5. Have a separate cleaning crew if you desire
    8. Be organized
      1. Prepare and cook as much as possible before the event
      2. Ask friends to help store items in freezers if necessary
      3. Know restrictions of the kitchen – visit the kitchen beforehand
      4. Create poster of how each remove is to be plated – make it in color and label the items on the platter
      5. Check with royalty and determine the time when they would like the feast to be served – remember that you are working for Them to make sure the event is pleasant for everyone
      6. Create a schedule – STICK TO IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      8. Put a copy of each recipe in plastic covered sheets
      9. Meet with servers and hall steward before the event
    9. The night before
      1. Make a list of everything you will need for the event
      2. Pack everything you will need
      3. Do not forget recipes
      4. Do not forget ice/water for the feast as well as the kitchen crew
      5. Make sure kitchen crew knows when to arrive
      6. Make sure all frozen items – meats/soups are thawing
      7. Get some rest
    10. Upon arriving at site
      1. Make sure to dress comfortable and appropriate for kitchen work – no dangling sleeves please, always wear comfortable shoes
      2. Unload everything and place in refrigerators
      3. Sanitize all food preparation surfaces
      4. Make sure you have hot water ad that all sink drains are clear
      5. Know what equipment you can use at the site
      6. Post your schedule
      7. Take a deep breath and remember to eat and drink – have a kitchen crew assigned to make sure to remind you to eat/drink/sit
      8. Check with event steward/Royalty about court times – adjust schedule if necessary
      9. Check with troll to get a more accurate feast count as day progresses
      10. Have servers check in with hall steward and have the hall steward report and have the hall steward assign/designate tables for each server
    11. During the event
      1. Make sure to stay on schedule
      2. Check with event steward to see if court times have changed or remained the same
      3. Make sure kitchen stays clean as you go. This will alleviate a big headache at the close of the feast.
      4. Make sure hall steward knows when to call for the servers and ask the Herald to call the servers to the serving area at the appropriate time
      5. Go over serving procedures/positions with kitchen crew
      6. Plate what items you can before the serving of the feast
    12. Serving the feast
      1. Have all foods ready to be plated and served
      2. Have royalty platters ready to be served first
      3. There should be a 15 minute interval between each remove
      4. Make sure to have at least 2 crew members clearing returned platters and 2 crew members washing as you go.  You can use these people to help plate if necessary then return to cleaning duties.
      5. DON’T PANIC
    13. At the end of the feast
    14. Allow your crew to rest before final cleaning
      1. Be sure to thank your crew over and over again. Let them know that they are appreciated.
      2. Make sure your crew has had something to eat as well.
      3. Have your crew recognized during final court – they deserve it
      4. Make sure the site is cleaner than it was when you arrived
      5. Make sure all baronial property is packed and accounted for
      6. Make sure site equipment is returned to original places (if used)
      7. Make sure all food is removed from freezers/refrigerators/kitchen
      8. Set the example – be the last one out of the kitchen – you are responsible
    15. Closing the event
      1. Make sure all original receipts have been turned into the exchequer
      2. If an advance of cash was given to purchase food/supplies for the feast, make sure to return all monies to the exchequer. You are responsible for the accounting of these funds.
      3. The Site Steward has a 30 day deadline from the date of the event to submit a report to the Baron and Baroness/Seneschal/Exchequer/Chronicler.  Your report needs to be in the hands of the event steward in plenty of time so that their report is not late.
      4. Recognize anyone who assisted you with the feast in any way at the next court night. Present them with some token of appreciation.


Sample Schedule


8:30 am

Arrive and unload food and store it appropriately

Sanitize/clean and set-up kitchen

Post schedule / plating diagrams

Check to see if all frozen items have thawed

Have recipes in plastic covered sheets handy


9:00 am

Prepare serving trays – cover with aluminum foil and stack

Cut remaining veggies other food items

Make sure crew is aware of menu and serving order

Review crew assignments/responsibilities


10:00 am                    

Plate 1st remove if possible



11:00 am

Prepare garnishes for each remove

Get desserts cut/plated (5th remove)


12:00 – Noon

Eat lunch and make sure crew eats


12:30 pm

Cook chicken/Beef


1:15 pm                     

Get ready to serve 1st remove – final garnishes

Start plating 2nd remove


2:00 pm

Serve 1st Remove


2:15 pm

Serve 2nd Remove

Start plating 3rd remove


2:30 pm

Serve 3rd Remove

Start plating 4th remove


2:45 pm

Serve 4th Remove

Finalize plating of 5th remove


3:00 pm

Serve 5th Remove


4:00 pm                     

Clean kitchen/empty trash


6:00 pm

Site closes






The above information was provided by Master Thomas Towlewardie