Public food service at a theme camp?

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gyre
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Post by gyre » Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:08 am

motskyroonmatick wrote:
If you look on the back of the refrigerator or freezer you will see a UL tag. That tag will contain the power use information of that device. Basically voltage and amps. Using that information you can see what size of power source you will need to power it. Remember that the altitude of the playa generally makes generators loose 10% of their rated output.

The Honda EU series of generators seems to perform very well on playa and is a great thing to have around for when the power goes out.
Actually you need to pay close attention to the recovery ability and the cooling ability.
Many freezers cannot tolerate outside use, commercial use or even steady residential access.
You probably need one with a cooling ability of 100 degrees.
Portable 12 volt vaccine fridges fall in this range.

They vary a lot.

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Post by EspressoDude » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:56 am

re the food permitting:

Food prepared off-playa needs to be prepared at a licensed/inspected facility / kitchen. That is because everyone wants to know that the procedures are being followed for sanitation. If you cook it at home, there is no way for an inspector or a guest to know that you washed your hands before working with the food, or that the utensils have been sanitized and there are no rats in the kitchen. Worst case, at home your baby just urped in the bowl you are mixing dough and you didn't wash your hands after changing diapers.

The issue of camp vs. general public:

A camp may do whatever they want, it is looked at like a private entity. Just like your home, frat house, or private club does not have to be inspected as a public service entity like a restaurant or food stand. As soon as you hand food to general public, then the state steps in to ensure that the public is protected. When you eat at a restaurant, you want to know that the food is safe.

Would you go to a restaurant that you did not feel confident that the food is safe? At home the hospital or doctor is less than a half hour away, usually. At BM there are doctors, but the hospital CAN be a half hour away if you need it Helo - Evac or ambulance (big $$ like 10,000 + ). Do you want to pay for that ride ? Because if you gave away improperly prepared food to the person being evaced, you are likely liable for the bill.

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Post by Spartacus » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:01 am

So is selling food cool or not cool? We have some people in Portland in the food cart business which is very popular here even in some pretty foul weather, some who want to head down to BM.

Parking lots around the city get converted to free concerts with paid food courts pretty regularly. Usually the food is high quality low cost and the carts are old camper trailers converted to kitchens. They pitch in to have porta toilet service and to host for the entertainment. Most of the people running these things are recent grads of the culinary schools in the area who don't want to just be a line cook at someone elses chain restaurant. Others are recent immigrants from around the world, so many of these food courts have a diverse international flavor, Pirogis, Thai wraps, African breadcakes, and of course Mexican and Italian stuff is easy to find. We are starting to get some southern food, not much Cajun yet.

I am thinking something fairly basic, my friend wants to do pastries in her trailer, I am thinking a couple freezers of prepackaged ice cream and then some kettle warmers with soups. I can do a pretty good soup, bread and drink package at $5 per meal, ice cream varies from free otter pops to some $3 prepackaged sundays.

Theme-wise, we are looking at a Mad Max or Zombie Apocalypse survivor theme.

While entire areas don't usually have a theme, I like the idea a lot, and individual food service trailers often have themes.

What some people I met are looking at is a "mad max" theme for another food court here, but then I am thinking since it is somewhat mobile, we would roll down and either do our own theme camp or join up with someone elses.

How far ahead of time does the setup begin out there?

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:22 am

Selling food on BLM land is "not cool." I think there's one place in the country that allows it, and the vendors there have to take their food carts or whatever off the land every five days for a thorough cleaning. (Selling food on National Park Land is some concession thing open for bid every five or ten years in each individual park--my point being that federal land in general isn't a good place to plan to make money in the restaurant business.)
Although there were people selling burgers in the early, pre-permit days, the LLC now bans food sales as a condition of the permitting process. This has been embraced as "no commerce." You have to go outside the burn to buy a burningman tee-shirt. (You can get gifted one, but actual monetary exchange? No.) I'm a little suspicious about the whole "gift economy" kumbaya thing, but I like no commerce just fine.
Aren't there labor day street festivals in Portland, anyway?
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Post by Spartacus » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:48 am

The festivals can be free, but not everything in the festival is free. The Polish festival for example is free, then you trade your dollars for festival money which is used at the food and drink vendors, but they don't refuse cash either, just highly encourage the use of the festival currency which is these neat wooden coins.

We also have several free street feeds which are not low quality charity food, but usually come from the caterers and food carts to some degree. The way this town is set up, nobody starves, with prepared food going on a three tier system. Tier one is paid full rate (and the freshest), tier two is stuff that has been on the shelf for a while, or might use recertified components, the "scratch and dent" area so to speak, maybe free or maybe at reduced rates. Tier three is free and depending on the event or circumstance, someone might sponsor tier one food being given away for free.

Most of the smaller biker events are pot luck with plenty of free food and free music. The only ones I see where everything is free will involve either a church, the bikers or both.

Of the street and park events, it is considered bad form to sell water, but some people sell it while some local organizations sponsor giving it away.

Example, the ice cream trucks and vendors. The pedal cart vendors have space limitations for it, but the trucks pretty regularly give away either free samples or the 5 cent otter pops in the poorer neighborhoods, with the only rule being that paying customers get let up on line first. When I ran an ice cream truck, it was not unusual for someone to do either a full or limited sponsorship for free ice cream for a certain period of time, generally telling me to tally up what i am giving away and when it hits a certain amount, it is no longer free, or at baseball games, free for the kids. Between someone covering it like that or the free otter pops, there was not too much of a thing as pulling up to a park and the kids crying badly about not getting anything, but that depends a bit on the neighborhood. Black and white neighborhoods might see the ice cream truck once a day, but the Mexican/Hispanic areas in eastern Portland see a vendor almost every hour, especially at the parks. That's where the free stuff gets reduced since they go for specific Mexican brands which don't have smaller free sample sizes. Even there, where it is an old guy selling ice cream out of a cooler, nobody is going to tell someone they got to starve because they are broke, but some kids would be camping out there chain-eating the ice cream so the parents put a watch on that.

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Post by Elderberry » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:27 am

BM is like no other festival you have ever been too--obviously.

If you wanted to do this at BM you would apply for the permit for food service and then GIFT whatever it is you are preparing to all who want it.

We do this with root beer floats, some do it with French crepes, others bring an entire freezer truck down from up north filled with tuna they will gift away at the event...not to mention all of the bars supplying thousands of dollars of liquor...all gifted.

BM is more a festival of giving...certainly not one for vending.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:45 am

You're barking up the wrong tree, Sparticus. I can't change it, JKisha can't change it, AntiM can't change it, mdmf can't change it, Larry Bloody Harvey can't change it.
Did you get the part about it being consistent with wide-spread Department of the Interior policies?
I wouldn't go to burningman if you could buy tee-shirts and gyros (no matter how gourmet) or keychains or polish sausage (no matter how organic) or necklaces or chocolate chip cookies (no matter how delicious) and a good many of the people on this board and other festival "participants" wouldn't go either. I don't know how many years ago I last bought coffee. Some people here object to even the selling of ice. There are many festivals that will sell stall space for street cart vending. If you want to sell food, you have a great many choices. There aren't many places where we can go play and not be advertised to.
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"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:46 am

Short answer: YOU can not sell ANYTHING at Burning Man!
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Post by Spartacus » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:53 am

Ok, well it was an idea.

Looking around the rest of the forum I get the impression that having thunderdome pit fights would be out too. :twisted:

You know, small venue amateur pit fighting where the spectators can climb the sides of the cage and view it from above...

Yeah yeah, I know, had an issue with the city parks not wanting to permit that either. Party poopers.

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Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:57 am

[youtube][/youtube]
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Post by Spartacus » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:04 pm

AWESOME!

Is that every year or just for that particular BM?

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Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:46 pm

Google it!
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Post by Eric » Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:32 pm

Spartacus- it seems that you've heard of Burning Man, but that you don't really know anything about it. I agree with Figjam's suggestion: you should be spending time with The Google and the key words "Burning Man".
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deep fried Grey Water

Post by xaramonkey » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:12 pm

Deep Fried Grey Water

Use cheap vodka and green orange squeezin's for color.

Garnish with a deep fried Chocodile.

Add Playa dust to taste.

mmmmmmmyum... reminds me of the Post Apocalyptic Bar '00
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Post by Elderberry » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:20 pm

bud buddah wrote:@JK, where you the folks at 7:30 just off the Esplanade making root beer floats every afternoon? I was at Mal Mart just next door, and loved those afternoon treats. Good job you guys!

If the original poster wants some help with biscotti, I'd be happy to help out. I have a friend who recently offered to lend me an industrial mixer for making big batches, and I think biscotti would hold up really well on the playa.

JR
No, we were at 7:30 and D serving every afternoon.

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Post by xaramonkey » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:36 pm

MY personal favorite food camp: no name/no camp. Just a cute girl named Sunrise making chocolate chip pancakes at sunrise on a camp stove and sittin in the dust while her boyfriend made cups of coffee one at a time on the other burner and took back the used paper plates. So simple and perfect. Made me bust a tear. I don't think they killed anybody. Its sad that probably the original act of sharing, giving a hungry person a little food, could ever be disallowed by anyone, anywhere.

On the ticket: "You assume the risk of serious injury or death by attending."

Doesn't that include Poisoning By Pancake ??
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Health permits?????

Post by geakin1 » Tue May 17, 2011 2:32 pm

Well I myself catered for a camp of 100. The mostly vegan menu was easy to maintain and cook. My meats I precooked-vacuum sealed and then froze before bringing to the Playa. Furthermore, If you maintain what coolers you have and change the water daily you can use this cooler water to do your dishes in "after proper sterilization of course".

And lastly, I never paid for a health fee or saw an inspector at my camp....Nor did any of my campers get sick..

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Post by Dr. Pyro » Tue May 17, 2011 8:24 pm

"...none of the campers got sick.." That surprises the hell out of me with a vegan menu. Yuck. Now had it been kosher, then OK.

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Re: What part of Radical Self-reliance....

Post by Mojori » Sun May 22, 2011 12:29 am

theCryptofishist wrote:. . .
I don't know, the whole idea of a group of people "theoretically" cooking their food on playa, does sound like a recipe for food poisoning. Especially if they were "theoretically" keeping their meat cold, too.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard of people getting the runs while at Burning Man. It's a big curiosity to me. I'm not sure why diarrhea seems to be so common there but it may be what theCryptofishist is referring to above.
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Post by marcgorcey » Sun May 22, 2011 9:11 am

Hi,

I have co-run the kitchen for The Lost Penguin for a few years.

In 2010, the state of Nevada required a permit for camps of 30 or more serving food, including communal kitchens that served food to their own members. We went through the process and the state employees answered our questions and were very helpful. Even though we were told that inspections were mandatory and would happen, I don't believe we were inspected.

In 2011, it seems that they have upped the limit to 125 and have made inspections random.

See the last 4 links on this page:
http://health.nv.gov/BFHS_EHS.htm

Our camp had 80 people last year and planned to serve around 1200 meals.

Food was either cooked fresh (meat and veggies) or came packaged/canned. We had vegetarian/vegan and meat options for every meal.

We kept our food frozen/cold using ice coolers, monitored with thermometers. The camp required volunteers to do daily ice runs.

We cooked using propane. And didn't use electricity, except for a large coffee maker.

We also assigned all camp members to 1 kitchen shift. About 5 people were required per meal, when taking into account prep, cooking and clean up. One of the five was the daily kitchen lead, who selected the meal and worked with the overall leads to pick the menu pre-plan quantities, etc.

The system works pretty well, but it requires a huge amount of planning. The kitchen leads did the preplanning, and volunteers did huge shopping trips in Reno and California to buy the food beforehand.

Other camps pre-cook their meals beforehand, which doesn't work if you have to get an NV permit: they demand that all food be cooked on site.

I documented everything we did in order to make our kitchen successful - message me if you have questions, I'd be glad to help.

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Post by Trishntek » Sun May 22, 2011 10:23 am

I don't know, the whole idea of a group of people "theoretically" cooking their food on playa, does sound like a recipe for food poisoning. Especially if they were "theoretically" keeping their meat cold, too.
I would hope the context is a camp's private kitchen,,,, much like family camping. If there is a kitchen set up like a Mongolian Grill where everyone is dipping their fingers into who-knows-what BEFORE they even touch community food,,,,, well,,,,, thanks but no thanks,,,,,that is pretty much why I eat at my own camp and am very choosy where I eat elsewhere.
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Post by Trunks91770 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:27 am

Hello,

Please excuse the tangent. 2011 will be my first burn. I'll be going alone and won't be part of a theme camp. I want to walk around passing out edibles: Korean pears, Popsicles (store bought), boba/tapioca drinks (I'm Asian) that would be precooked at home and then reheated at the playa.

Would I need to check with the health dpt? Just looking for advice/info

Thanksss

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Post by Elderberry » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:28 am

Trunks91770 wrote:Hello,

Please excuse the tangent. 2011 will be my first burn. I'll be going alone and won't be part of a theme camp. I want to walk around passing out edibles: Korean pears, Popsicles (store bought), boba/tapioca drinks (I'm Asian) that would be precooked at home and then reheated at the playa.

Would I need to check with the health dpt? Just looking for advice/info

Thanksss
My guess is you probably would need a permit, and that you would probably have problems with what you were precooking at home, unless it was done in a commercial kitchen. You can always check with the health department. They ave always been very helpful and nice in my dealings with them.
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Re:

Post by sftex » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:54 pm

Spartacus wrote:Ok, well it was an idea.

Looking around the rest of the forum I get the impression that having thunderdome pit fights would be out too. :twisted:

You know, small venue amateur pit fighting where the spectators can climb the sides of the cage and view it from above...

Yeah yeah, I know, had an issue with the city parks not wanting to permit that either. Party poopers.
WOW! I give the best Troll-of-the-Week to you sir, you really had them going! :)

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