My Introduction

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I also just discovered this site today -- look forward to reading and posting.

I am professional Catering manager for a large firm (which has to remain nameless, lest I lose my job) here in Los Angeles.

Before getting this job last October, I catered a number of private, historical feasts and have a passion for research and recreating gastronomic adventures from history.

I also have an online antiquarian bookstore and read vociferously. I trained at a local cooking school (Epicurean) which does a 20-week "Pro-Chef" course. I am also preparing to write a book on The Eating Habits of the Victorian Gentry.:chef:
 
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Carolyn, I can't wait to read what you have to say! I love reading about cooking from other eras, but know little about the Victorian table except that the upper classes ate a gazillion courses. How did the working class eat? You mentioned historical feasts; have you done other eras besides the Victorian? We've had some interesting conversations about medieval food now and then. Your insights will be interesting to many here.

Welcome!
 

isa

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Welcome to Chef Talk Carolyn!


Can't wait to read you. I’m already looking forward to learning more about your book project.
 
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Once every three or four months, I prepare and serve a 14- to 17-course Moroccan feast for a local Fraternal organization. Quite recently, I researched and prepared a Cole Porter celebration where different buffets were set up for each decade of Cole Porter's career: The 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, and "After the War."

And, yes, I've done way too many Medieval feasts that I'm happier forgetting (awful food, really).
 
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Joined Feb 11, 2002
Hi Carolyn -
I love the idea of themed feasts - Cole Porter sounds fantastic. Did you have a band or piano playing his music while dining? That would be too divine!

What about a Sinatra dinner? You could start out Hoboken Italian, move through to 1940's Toots Schorr and finish out Rat Pack style a la Vegas! The dessert would have to be wild, sinful and chocolate - Ava Gardner
And of course cigars, great wine and a lot of booze in general :bounce:

What did you serve for your Moroccan feast? I recently did Moroccan - one of my favorite foods BTW - for a large dinner party at the Sundance Film Festival and had an interesting time trying to find items like orange blossom water in Park City!

Peace:)
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
Welcome to the boards Carolyn. I hope you enjoy your time here.

I know what you mean. I have worked in restaurants and now I work in catering, and though, I like the catering world, I have found owners of catering companies to be some of the most paranoid people I have ever met (this does not apply to all catering owners). When I came to work here I had to sign my life away, including a confidentiality contract, and a form stating that I will turn in all recipes that I have, back into the chef before I leave (indluding any notebooks that I have used to write recipes down). Also had to sign a "non-compete" cause, stating that when I live my place of employment, I will not work for another caterer within a 50 mile radius for the following year. I must also turn in my employee handbook, my supervisors handbook, any disks that may have anything related to work. Hard copies of any interoffice memos or banquet sheets I might have.

Don't get me wrong, this is not some ranting and raving, I just find this all to be amusing. I a good laugh as I read and signed all these forms.

Well, back on track. Once again, Welcome!!!! You will find lots of helpful, friendly people here on the boards, I know I have.
 
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Joined Feb 19, 2002
Funny thing -- I, too, have signed confidentiality agreements, etc. I find the whole thing laughable as I continue to work all my personal events anyway.

The Cole Porter event was staged by a local, very upscale venue (gee, it shouldn't be hard for locals to figure out where I work). There were lots of Hollywood stars in attendance and a piano bar was set up to give the feel of a 30's nightclub. I just staged the food.

On the Morrocan feast that I do personally, I stage them in my house. All the furniture in my living room is moved out while tons of Oriental rugs are brough in with pillows. I tend to keep it down to 20 people and then it gets a bit tight.
 
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I agree those confidentiality contracts seem like a joke, but they can turn around and bite you in the ***!

As a former personal chef to some very high profile people, I've learned to be discreet in even the most casual mention of a subject.
A dear friend was a chef to a Big Hollywood Star and inadverdently let slip an innoccuous (at the time) statement to someone at a party.That person called the National Enquirer where it was immediately published front page,
resulting in not only dismissal for the chef but serious threat of lawsuit.
(Eventually it was settled-only because the chef threatend to REALLY reveal
things if charges weren't dropped) Not a pretty story -eh?
I love Hollywood - it's so hardboiled!
BTW- about revealing a local upscale venue -
EVERYBODY in this town thinks their place is just that:lol:

Peace.:)
 

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