Feeding the 5000

Jesus did it with just a couple loaves of bread and a fish or two…and we did it with 45 dozen eggs, 4 or 5 cases of Pillsbury biscuits, several gallons of non-sausage gravy, 60 pounds of bacon, 250 pounds of pork barbecue, a mountain of macaroni & cheese, 400 or so hamburgers, 150 pounds of flank steak, 120 pounds of roasted turkey breast (with cranberry sauce, gravy, and dressing), several cases of “imitation” shrimp (didn’t know it existed), a ton of cookies, rolls, cake, and the likes, a couple hundred pizzas (when we could get ‘em out), and a whole bunch of other stuff. And we’ve repeated the miracle everyday this week!

I never saw anything like it, but what a rush! We pulled it off and everyone was happy.

Classes are officially in session at ASU and playtime is over.

It was a fun time this summer though and we did some fun stuff. A few weeks ago we prepared one of the nicest dinners I’ve done in years.

Pan Seared Tuna with Wasabi Potato Salad, Asian Chili Sauce, and Pickled Onions

Crab and Avocado Salad with Salmon Tartare, Citrus Cream, Vanilla Bean Essence, and Sesame/Ginger Crackers 

Champagne/Black Currant Granite

Pork Tenderloin and Pan Seared Sea Scallop with Cucumber “Noodles”, Port/Soy Glaze, and Spicy Corn Salad

Chef’s Selection with Grapes, Apples, and Toasted Nuts

Flavored Handmade Marshmallows and Chocolates

Seared Tuna with Wasabi Potato Salad

Salmon Tartare

Stuffed Quail

Pork Tenderloin and Sea Scallop

Panna Cotta

This was a meal for about 36 people that we do every year. The host is a friend of the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, and a world traveler with a discriminating palate. When it was all over, my staff and I received a standing ovation, and a letter of praise the next morning stating that it was the best meal ever prepared for this event.

Over the course of the summer we made a lot of food for summer camp groups of 15 to 450, with as many as 1000 per meal period during the height of the season. And I found out the hard way that young children apparently don’t care for lima beans or shrimp & grits. Football players eat the hell out of most anything you put out (especially lasagna), and women volleyball players are cuter than cheerleaders (they like lasagna too).

The school year kicked off last Sunday night with a customary Luau that was attended by about 1000 students, mostly new to ASU, complete with roasted pig, plastic leis and karaoke.

We had a couple of casualties over the summer too.

A retail supervisor stopped by one Saturday night/Sunday morning and helped himself to $1000 out of the safe (that he had a key to). Told the police he was gambling and needed the money. Said that he thought he would make it back and return it, but “that didn’t work out”. He’s doing 2 years.

One of my catering staff kidnapped his son from his wife and fled to Florida, where he intended to find a job, live with relatives, and file for divorce. A few weeks later the wife went to Florida and got the kid. Now the cook is back in Arkansas minus a wife, a kid, and a job.

Another cook left work one day and shoplifted something from a nearby store. She was wearing her chef coat with company logo and her name embroidered on it. Police stopped by work the next morning looking for her, but she’s never been back.

My boss, who I love dearly, was reassigned to another campus in Missouri at our client’s request.

And one of our banquet servers was arrested for molestation of a minor and possession of child pornography. He won’t be back.

Hell, even I got a ticket from a campus policeman for running a stop sign…but I’m fighting that one next week in court. I didn’t really run the stop sign (I don’t think). I’ll let you know what happens.

So there’s no telling what’ll be next. Football season starts next weekend and supposedly I’m in for a whole new color in my paint box.

Until next time…