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Old 10-20-2008, 11:15 PM   #1
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Feed the Town of Erie Colorado, 1600 people

We were asked to feed the town of Erie, Colorado. This was a large event as we expected 1200 to 1800 attendees. Two hard things, the whole town was invited, but who would come? And the park has no water this time of the year. The second was easy to solve as we have self contained water with hot water heaters. The first? That was a little problematic as we have to cook to cover it all.......
And so we find ourselves at the normal first stop of any catering! The fueling station, Zane is hauling the supply trailer and I am hauling the newly received Southern Pride Cooker, this is a 1000 model which we added to our line up next to the 750 model we have owned for several years.
We have already both worked a full day, it is 8 PM and Erie is about 300 miles north east. We will be there and we will wow them. Along for the ride our helping hand, Calvin... no pics of Calvin but he is a typical high school student.




We drive through the night and arrive in Longmont Colorado at the hotel. Check in and drop to sleep immediately. 5:30 AM comes early and we are up and around, a quick stop for breakfast and then the work begins. To give you an idea of the event staff:

Food......Zane, Bob and Calvin Tents and site set up.... Don and his crew of six hands...... serving staff will be the CSU band doing it for a fund raiser. About 16 young adults... two of which have worked for Zane and I since they were in High School. A long run of pictures here as the set up is explained best in pictures. The kitchen and prep tents are first as Beef Brisket, Pulled pork and smoke sausage served with Slaw, Fruit salad, and potato salad all take time to prep for 1800 people.




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Old 10-20-2008, 11:16 PM   #2
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The crew starts to set the site for the party.... we need our kitchen and prep tents up first so we can get started when the food arrives. So they start to hammer out the area by laying the framing for the tents in the areas they will be erected. As the time goes by the place gets to looking like an event will happen. We begin positioning equipment in its final spot for the next days event. It will take all of Friday to prep and cook the foods.





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Old 10-20-2008, 11:17 PM   #3
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The weather was fantastic and stayed that way for the entire weekend. That was really great... a problem with the Sysco truck. Suppose to be on location at 9 AM.... 10:30 AM no truck... fire up the phones, heads are gonna roll!




This kind of work has the crews hungry, I have been working on getting lunch ready as we work on locating our Sysco truck. I have worked many time with Florian Wehrli of Chefs Basket....I know he uses Sysco regularly as we do, but he uses this Sysco House out of Denver, we are normally serviced out of Salt Lake City. I place a call to Chef Florian and ask if he can get his rep to help us out. "Any thing you need Bob" as I expected the answer would be.. I love that guy! I continue on with my lunch making for the crew... Zane continues to find butts to chew about the missing grocery truck.
Nothing fancy for the crew, just working food!!! Polish Sausage, rolls, baked beans and Kraut! Plus chips and gatorade.


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Old 10-20-2008, 11:18 PM   #4
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With lunch over I would see the crew again at 7 PM to feed them New York Strip Steak, but I was to tired to take pics of that part of it. Sorry.
At last my grocery truck! I know you are all wondering... what about refrigeration for the food? The beauty of order this much food from one vendor is:

They leave the reefer trailer for you to work out of during the event.

And so I now have a walk-in and a nice place to prep the cold stuffs.

So I get to it and set up my prep station for making the salads. Sanitize the prep table and sharpen my knives... lets start to turn food into money!


I sell a lot of salads, they are labor intensive to build from scratch, but with three people on food we are already over staffed compared to some of the things Zane and I have pulled off. Hand cut and hand plucked.


I put together several tubs of potato salad as well, but I bring in Sysco tater salad and just add pepper and smoked paprika to save time. So no pictures of that assembly.
We are at the time when we must prep the meat and fill the cooker....... this will take us through to about 11 PM we will get the beans and sausage in the morning along with the Slaw build. The Sysco trailer was holding a great 36 degrees F for me..... I was about half frozen and ready to get out and be in the sun. I don't really ***** about the prep in the trailer, it has to be done and *****in' don't get it closer to done!
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:19 PM   #5
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And as the meat will cook through the night we must return at 5 AM to tend to the meat and get the beans started as well as the rest of the set up complete for an 11 AM feed.
Very very early start:

Being in a remote location does not exempt us from food safety so we continue to run the sanitizing procedures as required!



The Finish will be tomorrows blog!
Chef Bob Ballantyne
The Cowboy and The Rose Catering
Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:44 AM   #6
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Nice seeing all this work in action. It hadn't occurred to me that the caterer would have to put two days on location into it. Does anyone stand guard overnight?
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:40 AM   #7
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Nice seeing all this work in action. It hadn't occurred to me that the caterer would have to put two days on location into it. Does anyone stand guard overnight?
Yes professional security overnight. And we train them to watch temperature gauges and call if anything goes wrong.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:21 AM   #8
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Yes professional security overnight. And we train them to watch temperature gauges and call if anything goes wrong.
Shoot! Ehhh, probably too far for me to drive anyway.....
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:07 AM   #9
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Absolutely great pictures. I went to the website and read up on the company. Loved it all. Thank You for th epix - Can't wait to see the next entry.

AC
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:26 AM   #10
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Looks awesome. I love the line about the "whining" doesn't get it done any faster. That's classic. lol
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:27 PM   #11
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looks good .. great pics ..
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:01 PM   #12
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i really found it all very interesting. big job, but looks and sounds like you have it under control.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:08 PM   #13
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Very interesting stuff, but like Pacanis I am just too far away to 'test' that security ya'll got there, LOL.
Great job!
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:22 PM   #14
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Town of Erie, Colorado... the Conclusion

Left off yesterday with the building of the fruit salads. I also had to put slaw out for 1600 people. Since no ready made product exists that can take the place of hand made slaw... it is on me to make it up.



While I am prepping the salads and Zane is working on the final touches of all the Q.... the service crew arrives... it will be led by CSU Senior Jessica Peel and her fellow CSU band members. Jessica has worked for me since she was in High School.... it is so nice to come 300 miles from home and have someone that has worked for me within 25 miles to put together the service crew. Plus all those years she has learned to decorate and set linens.


Don and Zane get in a little seat time while the crew finishes the set.


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Old 10-21-2008, 08:23 PM   #15
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This is our Sunday bar... the CSU band set up and served over 80 gallons of hand dipped ice cream to all the attendees! That is serious ice cream consumed.

While that is going on I need to run the smoked sausage out of the cooker and across the grill, then slice it up for service! I leave it in foil pans and take it out a few at a time and grill mark it, then cambro the stuff to keep it piping hot!



Finally we come to service time... 11 AM the gates opened and all were welcome for free! What a party.



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Old 10-21-2008, 08:24 PM   #16
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Now the brisket, pulled pork and sausage was consumed hot and heavy for 5 hours straight out... not one break! It was great but what we were able to do at the end of the day was much much more rewarding. We came armed for bear since the whole town was invited... so we could have fed 2200 without much trouble, what to do with the left overs? First we stuffed the college students cars with all they felt they could use at the campus. But I still have about 200 pounds of food left..... so I call my daughter at Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado and ask her to find me a homeless shelter to donate the rest of this to, we routinely donate to our local soup kitchen.... but I am not carrying cooked food 300 miles.. to many temperature problems. So my daughter calls back and say she found a place!
This is the OUR facility in Longmont Colorado a truly worthy cause and definitely people whom welcomed the 200 pounds of barbeque and assorted sides.


And the center director called the executive chef to explain the donation.... that news brought Chef Debbie down to the kitchen to help break it down and get it stored for use!


And that my friends is how I never have leftovers.... and all our food goes to good use either paid for or to help those whom need a little extra help to stay alive!
I hope you have enjoyed our two days in Erie Colorado... we did! And I hope each of you will commit to helping a soup kitchen... many remember them at the holidays, but the destitute an down on their luck need to eat all year, not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas!

'til we speak again.... chose to make a difference locally, no matter what locale you find yourself in!


Chef Bob Ballantyne
The Cowboy and The Rose Catering
Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:33 PM   #17
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The conclusion has been posted.

Here on this thread
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:00 AM   #18
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You and your crew put on quite an event. Great job.
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:20 AM   #19
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Ho Bob - I am in awe. What a great event you and your crew put on. Especially your leftover plans.

Unless I am mistaken (which often happens) neither you nor your company are responsible for disposition of leftovers. That makes your going the extra mile even nicer. College kids and a homeless shelter. It dosen't get any better than that.

Kudos - AC
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:16 PM   #20
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Unless I am mistaken (which often happens) neither you nor your company are responsible for disposition of leftovers. That makes your going the extra mile even nicer. College kids and a homeless shelter. It dosen't get any better than that.

Kudos - AC
You are correct, but since we instituted the Soup Kitchen Support plan... it has only helped us. I have found that going the extra mile always comes back around to help you.
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