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700 on the go

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

This summer I am cooking for a youth group of 700 people, we are going to be hiking in the desert for a week. We will be cooking at a different location every meal. Everything we need we will have to take with us. I have to keep the menu pretty cheep, but want to avoid box lunches as much as possible. I have been working with my dad doing this since i was 12 but never over 300 and we were always in a set location. In the past we have done a lot of dutch oven (bbq pork ribs, teriyaki chicken, sauteed vegg., Cobblers) but i am worried about being able to get set up and get the food done on time. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated! 

post #2 of 17

You have 700 people so you are going to be hauling, for example, what, a hundred dutch ovens?
 

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes whatever we will need we will have to take, I will have about 10 camp stoves and one flat top grill, plus however many dutch ovens i can pull together. I personally have 25 dutch ovens that range from 12-18". I just cant figure out how to pull this off?
post #4 of 17

Unless you're on private property the whole time, your permits will spell a lot of this out for you. You do have permits? You'll need them from the land agency in charge of where you'll be doing this. BLM or Forest Service at minimum. You'll likely cross state lands and SITLA as well. You'll need permits for each as you change jurisdiction with that kind of a group.

 

If you're in July or August, expect fire restrictions so don't plan on dutch ovens, even on private property, the fire restrictions still often apply.

 

You're going to have a lot of sanitation requirements as well.

 

You'll have leaders for each group up to a 10-15 individuals probably. They'll need food handler permits and probably a wilderness first aid cert as well.  If you don't have leaders to that level, you're likely to have issues with your permits and managing the group anyway. Lots of the cooking should be pushed down to a group level because it just makes little sense in primitive conditions to do a cafeteria line unless you're serving vats of soup/stew.

 

Supply the recipe, ingredients, fuel and equipment and have your leader run the group cooking.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
We will be on forest service land the permits and reservations have been taken care of by the guy incharge of the entire treck. i only have to worry about the food. I forgot about fire restrictons, which will cause a problem with dutch oven. We will however still be able to use camp stoves. I'm looking into taking a couple of trailors and setting up a mobile kitchen. The guy who is incharge of the entire camp wants us to do all the cooking frown.gif They have it set up so the youth will be walking and doining activities all day, and dont want to take the time to cook, but just show up. There will be about fifteen of us in total cooking. Everyone is required to have their food handlers but i am also setting up a servsafe class to cover all of the saftey and sanitation basics. They have certified First aid and cpr people coming as well.
Edited by Jolie4686 - 1/19/13 at 3:21pm
post #6 of 17

OK, waiting for the other shoe to drop.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolie4686 View Post

We will be on forest service land, the permt
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
The permits, reservations, ect. are being handled by the guy incharge of the whole treck. I am only taking care of the food aspect
Edited by Jolie4686 - 1/19/13 at 3:21pm
post #8 of 17

Hello,

 

Wow, I am pretty much speechless. I can just barely imagine 700 people hiking... looks like an army.

 

  What about water?  What about washing up?  Will you assign plates and forks or use disposable?  Where does the trash go?  What is your energy source for cooking?  Not camp fires, not in the desert for 700! 

 

You say cooking in a different location for every meal - as in 3 times a day for 700?  I don't think this is possible.  Don't do it.  Make them pack and cook their own food like MRE's.  Water and portapottys alone are already going to require like 5 trucks....  Yuck.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

We will have to supply the water we need for cooking. Like Phatch said everyone will be broken down into small groups and they are responsible for their own drinking water. We are planning on using disposable, and having a trailor for garbage. Typically there are people who come and leave every day and we have them take the trash so we dont have to have a weeks worth of garbage. Right now the only energy source i can think of is prophane, has anyone every tried using an electric oven off a generator? We will probally do box lunches, im thinking about just making mass amounts of sheet bread so i dont have to mess with any indivdual buns. My plan for breakfast is to wake up crazy early and start cooking things in batches(hashbrowns, Bacon, ham, eggs) and keeping them hot in a cambro, or maybe 10 and to have a build your own buritto bar, and throw in some pancakes to change it up. The dinners is where i am having the most issues, i cant think of a way to cook enough food for everyone. Is it logical to make it before hand and just retherm it? or do we send people ahead and have them start cooking dinner while others handle lunch? Ideas?

post #10 of 17

No boil noodles make a simple skillet lasagna reasonable.

 

Similarly, asian rice noodle dishes don't need a lot of cooking time, mostly a warm water soak. and come together quickly in a stir fry.

 

Hash browns, Golden Grill brand dehydrated hash browns. You can hydrate these overnight if kept cold. At that point, they're heat and serve. browning offers more flavor to them, but it's not essential to the product. A surprisingly good product too. There are other brands from the same factory production, but that's the one I find the most often here in Ut.

 

You can craft a reasonable red flannel hash from only canned goods. Shoe string beets, canned corned beef hash, dried minced onion, (fresh is better, but might not be feasible for this size crew.

 

But this raises the issue of alternative meals for allergic/intolerant hikers. Gluten/wheat, nut, soy allergies will be present in a group that size.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #11 of 17

Maybe you can rent a food truck from Tastees?

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
We will have a list of people with allergies and cook for them separately
post #13 of 17
Hahahahahahaha. Good luck.
post #14 of 17
Oh man I got a good laugh from Sergeantpeppers thought there and I completely agree. This sounds like one those nightmares that plague my sleep where i find myself in the middle of dinner service and none of the cooler doors will open or the grill won't light or something. Yes man, good luck.
post #15 of 17

Good luck pulling this off without any major problems. I see many possibilities of it going sideways quickly. Sanitation, Hot and Cold Holding, No Mechanical Refrigeration, Cooking in Dutch Ovens, No stove, ovens, Cross Contamination for those with Allergies, Trying to accommodate Vegetarians,the list goes on and on.

I have cooked similar numbers, sit down meals w/ white tablecloths three meals a day in the middle of nowhere, in a field, on a mountain side in Moab, in a back yard, Death Valley in the Summer, a dry lake, a missile range, skid row, on a beach, etc,   but with the advantage of a 26' mobile kitchen with a refer truck for back up supplies and a skilled crew of 7-8.

Moving between each meal will be more than challenging, you will loose a lot of your cooking time, you will want to cut corners, this is where things will start to go wrong first......It will all be down hill after that.

Good Luck!

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Haha thanks guys, Do you think sous vide is a possibility? And we might have access to a steam table that runs off prophane and a 106kw generator which should help a lot
post #17 of 17

I wouldn't say sous vide, I'd characterize it more as boil in bag, and yes, that's a possibility.

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