ForkFest Fun!

My first food event has come and gone! That sentence is punctuated with a large sigh of relief. Everything went well, with very few major catastrophes. Of course being the perfectionist I am, I have many small critiques of everything, but my guests were very complimentary on the food quality as well as the atmosphere. I want to thank everyone who attended for supporting me and making my first event special and fun!

I wanted to have my first event be a relaxed and down-to-earth environmentt so all my guests would feel welcomed and comfortable in my space eating my food. So of course, a menu of Southern comfort food fit the bill, especially as my date sat only two days after the 4th of July!

(Pictured here as in a traditional Southern BBQ, slaw is eaten on sandwich )

My menu included:

For the Appetizer
Jalapeno Corn Bread with Whipped Butter and Homemade Pomegranate Jelly.*

For the Entree
Pulled Pork Sandwich with a North Carolina Mustard-Vinegar BBQ sauce
BBQ Homemade Seitan with Kansas City BBQ sauce**
Peanut Asian slaw with red and pablano peppers, fennel, and carrots**
Yogurt Potato Salad with Dill*
Cheddar and Chihuahua Macaroni and Cheese *
Green Beans with Bacon and vinegar.

For Dessert
Peach Melba Cobbler with Vanilla Ice cream and Raspberry syrup.*


Any room for dessert?

I served food in two seatings; 4-6 and 6-8. My biggest concern, in that I have never worked professionally in food before was the timing of food for each seating and the turn around for clearing the first seating in time for the arrival for the second seating.

Allison, Chris and Frank of the first seating.

Everything went very smoothly in terms of food prep. I had prepared as much as possible before hand.

Here I am preparing the pulled pork for the oven on Saturday.

By serving cold salads and pulled pork, I could have almost everything prepared a day or two ahead which gave me time on Sunday to set up the dining area in my dining-living room as well as take care of last minute details.

The dining area before the guests arrived.

The turn around of the two seatings also went well. I had everything ready to serve so each of the courses were brought out as punctually as possible. By the second seating, we had a more streamlined process of how best to plate the food in large batches.

Plating up dessert.

I wished I had given 3 hours for the first seating instead of two to allow guests more after dinner visiting time. However I asked different guests from the first seating and they all assured me they didn’t feel rushed.

I planned for 15 people per seating allowing for a total capacity of 30.

I had 11 guests for the first seating, and I sold out the second seating with 17 guests! (pictured above)

Citrus slices and water were served in old fashion glass gallon milk jugs on each table

I definitely could not have done this without my three helpers. Ira served as our host and server as well as keeping track of the cover donations. No photos of Ira because he was behind the camera on Sunday. Above and below shows his station for taking money and keeping track of the Rsvps.

Laura, my good friend and coworker pictured below on right, did an amazing job of assisting me in the kitchen and problem solving to keep all the last minute problems from becoming crises.

Eric, my neighbor across the hall, was incredibly generous in allowing me to invade his kitchen to make use of his stove and fridge for the past week. (I promise I’ll get my stuff out of there tonight!)

Eric is looking embarrassed as I presented him with a very expensive crown in gratitude!

All in all, after I subtracted all my expenses from my earned donations and divided by my man hours, I discovered I had earned $3.25 an hour. Do I have a career in front of me or what??

Related posts:

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