So over the past year one of the things I have been truly enjoying doing is themed Hospitality tables. It first starts with a idea what time/ place did this food come from?Is it for a specific event or person’s Persona? Once that is decided the research begins. After pouring through medieval recipes that fit what ever theme I have picked and compiling a list of favorites I then select which recipes to use. This is based on 3 things :Is it going to translate to finger food? Is it going to transport well ? ( …i.e. Can it be served cold or left on a table without going bad) And finally Will it be tasty to the eye and pallet? That last one is the most important because putting so much time and effort into something no wants to eat no matter how historically accurate can be disheartening to the most tenured cook.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Before doing a table I often try out recipes I think will work on my friends. Sometimes recipes stay in my permanent cookbook other times they get nixed and sometimes I only use them that one time for the table. But you never know till you try.
Know your food. People like to know what they are eating so be on hand to explain the dishes what’s in them and warn of any allergens. It also is great if you can explain the history of the dish they are trying.
Cooking historically accurate dishes is a art. So treat it as such. Make it a pretty display. Sure you could lay the food out on plastic trays and Tupperware but how much more enticing would it be in wooden dishes and silver trays. I have found the thrift store to be a wonderful asset to find such things. And using such tools only adds to the ambience of your table.
At the end of the day it’s all about feeding the masses. And maybe learning a thing or two.