RE: Oh no, it's that Kitchen topic again!
From: [name and address withheld] ([name and address withheld])
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 12:09:41 -0500
        I spent several years in a group of 80-100 who ate 3 meals a day 7
days a week together.  Everyone worked 4 hours a week, and that accomplished
all the food buying, cooking, and cleaning up.  It was a full job (i.e. 4
hours/week) to buy the food for the 21 meals.  Buying in bulk I think
reduced the price from what you would pay at the supermarket by 30-50%.  We
had three people who spent two hours per week planning menus.  It took three
people 2 1/2 hours to cook dinner, two people I think two hours to cook
lunch, and one person 1-2 hours to cook breakfast.  We had seven to eight
people on a dinner clean up crew and the dining room and kitchen was usually
clean in 30-45 minutes.  We also had three "waiters" for dinners to set the
tables, bring the food out, and then bus the dishes in afterwards.  In
addition to the dinner cooks we had people come in for an hour or two in the
early afternoon to chop veggies, we had a bread baker who baked dozens of
loaves of fresh bread twice a week, we had dessert makers who made sweets
twice a week, and we had three teams of granola makers who made granola for
breakfasts and late night snacking.  This set up also managed to cook food
for the vegetarians and a few people with food allergies.  I think your
friend is completely off base in his time estimates.  

(Solterra, Durham, North Carolina)

> >    But we're not so sure about our needs for storage, food delivery,
> > logistics and labor. We don't know how many nights per week we'll do
> > dinner, but probably just two or three to start. Our friend recommends a
> > walk-in refrigerator and tells us we'll need to have food delivered a
> > couple of times a week. Our Common House is not even near the parking
> area,
> > since we all wanted it to have a nice view of the pond and gardens, but
> > there will be a firelane which could handle deliveries. Veggies will be
> > grown on site, but as he rightly point out, we probably won't want to be
> > carrying five-dozen potatoes up from the farm in a knapsack.
> >    What's even more alarming is that he estimates it would take three or
> > four amateur cooks a full eight-hour workday to produce one dinner. It's
> > gotten us to thinking about finding a student at one of the local
> colleges
> > (where there are hospitality management programs!) to trade free room
> and
> > board for being chief cook, with the residents signing up as volunteer
> > teams to assist. Anybody done anything like that?
> >
> >    General words of wisdom are always welcome of course, but what we'd
> > really like is a few contacts at larger, established communities who'd
> be
> > willing to talk to one of our members about these issues. Anyone have a
> > contact at Nyland? I also seem to remember from the conference that
> > Elizabeth Bailey (Greyrock Commons, I think) had collected a lot of
> kitchen
> > data, but I've lost track of her email, phone, etc.
> >
> >    Thanks in advance.
> >
> > Ginny Moreland
> > East Lake Commons and Gaia Gardens
> > Atlanta (actually Decatur), Georgia
> >
> > ginny [at]
> > (404) 622-8187
> >
> > In Atlanta, where it's already in the nineties.  Five weeks into the CSA
> > season we got our first flowers and carrots today.  The dam is almost
> > finished to create our pond, and the squeamish have to avert their eyes
> as
> > some of the trees go down (as few as possible naturally.)

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