From year to year, there were members of the Roundtable who brought up the interest of having more authentic foods presented at the feast. There was no one on the Roundtable who knew how to go about preparing such food. And so, the search was begun to find one who could aid us in this endeavor. While doing research for a lecture on Robin Hood, Lee Freeman cam across a website, http://www.godecookery.com/. He was completely amazed at what he saw, noting that the owner/webmaster was a medieval chef within the SCA, and knew pretty much anything one could possibly ever want to know about medieval/renaissance food & cooking. His website was a treasure trove of information, and even had a number of recipes translated from Old English into modern speech. Assuming that this person has a full calendar, our volunteer decided to email the chef and simply ask if they might recommend someone in our area, who might be able to cook for our feast.
Enter Jim Matterer, surprisingly, Jim replied that he did know of someone who would be available, and that someone was he, himself. The rest as they say is history.
In the earlier post, it was mentioned that we had moved to the Florence/Lauderdale Coliseum and could have room for up to 250 perople. However, it was decided to hold that number to 200, providing a more intimate atmosphere and helping to insure that we would sell out (we love to sell out, it means that people enjoy coming to something different. The ticket price is $25, and what you get is 2 ½ to 3 hours of food and entertainment. That is 4 removes of food as they are so called, because each one is “removed” from the table to make room for another. Each remove will have 3-4 dishes in each, for up to 12 different food items on the menu. We now offer much of the ceremony, pomp & circumstance that was lacking from the earlier years. Entertainment wise, it is quite difficult to find actual true to history entertainment, so we have to make peace with this (as we do the faire) and offer the best we can get. Entertainment goes on throughout the evening, and we try to offer variety from dancing, to singing, even some improvisation at times. Costumes, like the faire, aren’t required but admired and appreciated.
In the early years of the feast, it was thought that medieval and renaissance folk brought their own table ware and place settings with them when they went to a feast. We have since learned that it was simply not the case. Just as we do not bring our table ware with us when we go over to someone’s house for a meal today, so they did not do such during their time. It would also be considered quite the insult if you brought items of more value than the host. For the feast was where the host showed off their own wealth to others, not the other way around. However, it has become a favored tradition amongst feast goers to decorate their tables. We even offer a contest for the favorite decorated table. The current Monarch will choose a favorite table by the end of the evening and the recipients will receive 2 free tickets to next year’s feast.