In my opinion the most satisfying job for a cook is to cater for a retreat.
Taking full control of the design and cooking of a menu while having no boss peering over your shoulder is a joy for any foodie!
You get to visit interesting places, meet wonderful people and inspire them with your fabulous food!
Yet you do have to be super organized to pull this off well.
To cook for a group of people can be a difficult task in itself, but to provide great, tasty, nutritious food for a week or more, to strangers, in an unfamiliar kitchen, with very little assistance..
Well, it’s bloomin hard work!
Not only is it physically, but also mentally demanding.
The facilities can be limited, the hours long, the logistics can be a nightmare and all plans are subject to change.
That’s why I wrote this guide to help you if you want to cook for retreats or in other group situations. You won’t get this information anywhere else!
I’m going to share with you my hard-earned trade secrets for preparing, organising and implementing a fantastic catering job from beginning to end.
I’m giving you ALL my knowledge about how to make it run smoothly.
I’ve included everything I can think of to help you prepare except for write your menu for you!
I’ve also included some useful lists, charts, tricks and secret ingredients to help it all flow along nicely so that you will emerge on the other side like a (slightly weary) star retreat chef!
How to Rock as a Retreat Chef
This is a digital information product in printable pdf format. You will receive a zip file, please download within 30 days.
The information here is gleaned from my own experiences of cooking for large groups, events and retreats spanning over 9 years and a further 12 years in the broader hospitality industry.
I have kept it concise and easy to navigate so you can refer back to it as necessary.
This advice is based on a week long event for approx 40 people but the information is adaptable and valuable to any large group cooking situation.
Copyright of Red Willow, Eat Sense, 2018.
Allow me to introduce myself!
I've been making my way through the hospitality business in one form or another since 1998. From the lowly pub kitchen sandwich section, to assisting with a star-studded, charity gala in kensington palace, I've worked on events of between 10 and 1000 guests, in private homes, public buildings, boats, barges and in the middle of fields!
I've served canapes, bowl food and buffets out of tiny corporate tea rooms, tents and back alleys!
I've personally organised, orchestrated and cooked for festival stalls, private parties, cooking classes, workshops and retreats for up to 50 people.
In short, I've become rather good at arranging the movement of food and equipment around the world!
There is a lot to consider, and it goes way beyond just writing a fancy food menu. The logistics are 90% of the job but as soon as you get your head around the fact that your 'kitchen' is your equipment, not the four walls around you, then you can cook up a feast from where ever you may find yourself!
I made this for you, if you have been wondering how to get your foot in the door, if you have ever contacted me and kindly offered your assistance, if you are plannng to facilitate your own retreats and would like to discover what you are truly expecting from your chef.. :)