I love cooking historical feasts. For eight years I have studied and re-created recipes from the middle ages for my local Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) group. I have cooked feasts before for groups of over 100 people using only medieval recipes.
My dream though has always been to cook a specialty feast right in the working Tudor kitchens at Hampton Court, King Henry VIII’s beloved palace. For me, there would be no greater feeling in the world than being able to immerse myself in that environment and learn hands-on from the experts who work in the kitchens and glean their unique knowledge of the Tudor culinary world.
And along came the opportunity of a lifetime…
CBC Radio’s Food Fantasy Challenge
In November 2014, I was selected to join a city-wide fundraising quest benefiting the Ottawa Food Bank. The Food Fantasy Challenge was hosted by CBC Ottawa’s “All in a Day” radio program.
Listeners wrote in their food fantasies, from which nine finalists were chosen to compete. The listener raising the most money had their food fantasy fulfilled. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, and I was so fortunate to become a finalist.
I worked incredibly hard to raise as much money as possible. We were not allowed to know how much we had risen for the Ottawa Food Bank until the December 5th Project Give show. I raised $3310 to the Ottawa Food Bank, which ranked me third for the most money raised.
|CBC Radio Studios - December 5, 2014|
Though I didn’t ultimately win the contest, CBC Ottawa still wanted to show their appreciation for my hard work and help with my fantasy. They connected me with a representative from Hampton Court Palace, who invited me to come and cook in their kitchens. What an amazing reward! The catch however is that I need to get myself there.
A unique invitation from Hampton Court Palace
This is a very special opportunity as guest cooks are not normally permitted by the Palace. Yet, the official was so impressed with all my hard work that he invited me to cook in their kitchen this summer. I will learn how to use their 16th century equipment alongside the experimental archeologists on site. They will teach me how the food would have been made at that time, how it was served, and who was in charge of which duties, to name a few. It will be an experience of a lifetime and I am so excited to have my dream come true! But it won’t come true unless I can raise the money.
Imagine the difference you would make in my life if you even shared this page with your friends... any contribution will mean the world to me.
|Hampton Court - Tudor Kitchens - 2010|
I will give good karma back into the universe in return for this unique experience.
I believe it’s important to give back. To show my gratitude for your support I will:
- Write a blog about my journey that contributors can follow and stay in the loop
- Share my favourite recipes and pictures of my trip online for all
- Teach a class in my community (and beyond perhaps!) about the experience and what I learned, possibly with a hands on cooking demonstration
- Apply what I have learned at Hampton Court Palace by cooking a Tudor feast for my community sometime in the year following my travel
- Encourage my community and my contributors to continue their support of the Ottawa Food Bank and the many people who rely on their generosity. I will do this by promoting the Food Bank on my blog, at my classes and at my feast