Friday, 25 June 2010

Degree Day, Thursday 25th June 2010 (and the annual chef's race!)

7:30am on Degree Day 2010
 The gardens are peaceful and the birds are singing; the empty marquees are the only hint of the excitement to come! By 1:00pm 600+ guests and graduands will descend on the gardens for lunch, prior to the Graduation ceremony at The Senate House. In total, thirty catering staff will be on-hand to serve lunch and refreshments
The second of two marquees, this one containing seating for 200
The two tables in the foreground will be used for drinks during the lunch
Over 400 chairs are arranged throughout the surrounding gardens
The main marquee pictured here is used for food and drink service
A few of the 20 waiting staff on duty for Degree Day
Preparing glasses for wine and soft drinks
Happy staff are an important factor in a successful service
Chefs Shane, Sara and Matt
Now joined by Adam
From left to right: Nick, Shane, Sara, Adam, Peter, Matt Sr and Matt Jr
The Chefs preparing the 650 coups of fruit salad served as part of Degree Day lunch
Setting-up the food tables
Preparing for the yearly race!
Each year we divide our chefs into two groups. Each group works on opposite sides of the marquee and is given equal amounts of food and plates. At 12:45am, fifteen minutes before we open, the chefs start to plate the lunch. Each year we have a race between the two teams with the winner being the first team to plate 325 meals. Traditionally we pick the teams on the morning of the race by pulling names out of a hat, however this year we tried something different. During the last 12-months we've recruited four new chefs who have all shown great promise. We decided to group the four new chefs together with one veteran of the competition, and pit them against the more experienced team headed by Nick, our head chef.
 Pouring the drinks minutes before opening
 The new chef's team with their three front-of-house helpers, two minutes before the race
 The veteran team headed by our head chef
 The race is on and the veterans start well
 The newbies are picking up the pace and have caught the veterans
 This photo was taken 6 minutes after the start of the race!
 Nick's team is feeling the pressure and has fallen behind the newbies!
 The newbies, headed by Sasa, our veteran sous chef
 The newbies finishing the last two plates in a new record time of 15:20sec's! An average of 21.66 plates per minute, or one plate every 2.77seconds!!!!!!!!!
Absolutely amazing! Well Done to Sasa, Sara, Matt Jr, Matt Jr and Adam!
 Lunch is served
 We opened at 1pm, and by 1:25pm we had fed 650 people!
 Our Graduands preparing to walk to the Senate House.

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