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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Old 07-08-2014, 02:10 PM   #1
rickr96
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Join Date: 04-24-14
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Wink Survived my first event and lived to cook another day.

I signed up to cook for The County Sheriffs Department Command Staff's annual picnic. I was asked to provide a minimum of 3 meats and 2 hot sides for a total of 120 adults, and hot dogs for 30 kids. And they wanted me to cook onsite.

I expected problems of some kind... but everything went great. Food came out about as good as I can do, everything was hot and received good reviews.

The only real snag was timing... It seems EVERYONE that showed up wanted to check out the smokers and my Santa Maria Style Grill and ask about a million questions. How hot? How long? When did you start? Where did you buy the meat? What seasonings... and on and on.

If they would have all came up at the same time to ask t wouldnt have been so bad... But as one group would leave, new arrivals would head over and begin the interigation again...

With all that I was about 20 min late getting everything sliced, pulled, into serving trays, and to the buffet line...

Should I expect this at every event? How do you guys deal with this?
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:16 PM   #2
jeffry1970
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Always a lot of curiosity and questions when you cook and serve on site but that's why they want you there, you're a sideshow.. I bring help whenever I do a event or fundraiser like that. I don't have a problem with it but I'm a talker that has a hard time shutting up so it comes naturally to me I guess.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:16 PM   #3
ButtBurner
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I would enjoy that immensely. Talking about bbq to those who are interested in it all day

if the food is 20 mins late so what?

I bet they still ate it!!!
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:29 PM   #4
landarc
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You need to bring help, and to assume that you will be doing the talking. The help will get the work done. You can use pop-up walls and tape barriers to close off areas, but, that just makes folks more curious.

One thing you can do, is to put up signs, saying you will be happy to chat about the food after it is served, but, that you cannot talk while rushing to prepare the food.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:13 PM   #5
rickr96
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Thanks, guys. I followed your advise for my second catering gig and decided to embrace the Q&A from the curious in the crowd. Gave friendlier and more complete answer to questions, and even served up some early samples to the guys handing around my pit and prep tables.

It seemed to work in my favor and those who had the most questions before service seemed to be the most enthusiastic and complementary after eating my food.

I think I was overly stressed my first time, you know, wanting everything to be perfect, and I forgot to have fun and enjoy the experience of serving good food to great bunch of people. I actually had fun the 2nd time... Worked my butt off (no pun intended) but had a good time doing it.

Thanks for the advise.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:46 PM   #6
ButtBurner
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well thats good!! I was thinking about your post this past weekend when I did my first big cook for some veterans.

We cooked overnight and I enjoyed talking to them about my cooker and the other pits our team had, how I got it, what we were cooking and how, telling the story over and over.

It was a event I will never forget
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