- Hospitality Area
- The Cast Iron Chef Pantry
- Equipment and Supply Closet
- Wash Station
- Community Fire Pit
While we do expect our cooks to supply certain items on their own, we know it is unreasonable and impossible to pack up an entire kitchen’s worth of equipment in an attempt to anticipate whatever surprises are thrown at them during the tournament. That is why Cast Iron Chef does its best to provide as much of the most commonly used and frequently needed kitchen gear, so no one is left out of entering due to lack of resources, and no one is burdened with the added responsibility of assembling and transporting a whole traveling kitchen.
Improvements and additions are made to the Cast Iron Chef infrastructure every year as we strive to provide opportunities for cooks to learn and grow as amateur food historians in the SCA. Currently, Cast Iron Chef happily makes the following amenities available for all registered teams to aid in their success:
This space is set aside to serve as a place where anyone attending A Shoot in the Wildwood can stop by to enjoy a bit of shade, hydrate, observe and get information about Cast Iron Chef.
This area also serves as:
- The on-site drop point for donations made to the Cast Iron Chef Pantry
- A home base for tournament organizers and volunteers
- A central location to direct any and all inquires related to Cast Iron Chef
- The hub for all administrative needs related to the tournament
- The place on site for teams to register in person and sign in the morning of the tournament
THE CAST IRON CHEF PANTRY
A staple since Year One, the Cast Iron Chef Pantry is a constantly-evolving entity that is integral to the success of our cooks and, by consequence, the tournament as a whole. One of the few things that remains a constant in Cast Iron Chef’s ever-changing format is the core rule that, even though the cooks will not know its exact inventory prior to the start of the tournament, the only ingredients they will be allowed to use will be those which are found in the pantry; Therefore, it is important that the Cast Iron Chef Pantry is stocked for success.
Because the Cast Iron Chef Pantry relies on donations made by individuals in the SCA culinary and artistic community who want to support our efforts, cooks should not assume the availability of any ingredient, regardless of how often it has been included in previous years’ stores. What we can guarantee is that our cooks will not be given a task that we cannot properly equip them for, nor will they be issued a challenge that is impossible for them to meet.
EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLY CLOSET
Sometimes this is just a section along one side of the pantry tent, while at other times it may have a whole tent of its own. No matter how it is laid out, though, this is the most frequently-used area of the tournament. Here is where our cooks will find the tools, utensils, and other equipment they will need to process and prepare ingredients, and what they may use to produce and present all of the components in their entry for evaluation by our judges.
The items that can be found in this area may include, but are not limited to:
- Mixing and work bowls in various sizes
- Cutting mats
- Vegetable peelers
- Mixing spoons
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Serving Utensils and Vessels
- Extra cookware
- Food graters
- Can and bottle openers
- Storage bags and aluminum foil
- Garbage bags
Please note that all of the items in this area are available in limited quantities. We expect that each item taken from the supply closet will be properly cleaned and returned once it is no longer needed so it can be used by another team.
With nearly all of the cooking equipment in limited supply, teams will inevitably have to share some items from the supply closet. A wash station will be provided so these shared items can be cleaned and sanitized before being handed off to the next team who needs to use them.
To ensure that the tournament area remains clean and sanitary while food is being handled and eaten, the following items can be found in this area for anyone to use:
- Wash tubs (soap water, bleach water, and clean rinse water)
- Extra water for tub refills
- Dish soap
- Sponges and scouring pads
- Scrub brushes
- Disinfectant wipes
- A hand washing station (small tub, pitcher of clean water, hand soap, and paper towels)
- Hand sanitizer
- Probe wipes for food thermometers
Everyone is expected to maintain the safety and cleanliness of their work area and the equipment they use.
COMMUNITY FIRE PIT
The literal and figurative center of the Cast Iron Chef Cooking Tournament is the community fire pit. No grills or separate, personal fire pits are permitted during the tournament. Cooks must use this singular source of heat to transform mere ingredients into exquisite, edible art.
Prior to the start of Cast Iron Chef, we will prepare the fire pit and get the fire started for our cooks. Once the tournament begins, and the fire gains enough strength to support itself, it is the responsibility of the cooks to maintain the heat they need to execute each dish appropriately.
There will be at least one tripod set up for use in the community fire pit, and plenty of firewood. Please keep in mind that cooking over an open fire in a trench can be dirty, smokey, and very warm. Please plan accordingly.