The Guild of Servitors and Scullions
The aim of all servitors should be to help everyone enjoy revels, including the cooks. The more scullions there are at a revel, the less work the cooks should have to do in the way of washing up pots and pans needed for following removes. Servers perform a valuable service at revels, but unfortunately people often volunteer to serve without realising how much work they will be expected to do. Apart from serving at table they are expected to do some washing up also (hence “& Scullions”).If you have say, eight servitors, then two can be washing up while the others are serving (the washing up should be rotated unless there are two people who volunteer to wash up only), so that at the end of the feasting the kitchen is clear and the cooks can enjoy themselves, and no-one has to spend the rest of the revel in the kitchen. The Guild is called Guild of Servitors and Scullions - guild members are expected to do both of these things (although not necessarily at the same time!). The rules of advancement of the guild are based on these principles.
IMPORTANT Members of this guild are not expected, in the medieval, to be literate. There is, therefore, no written requirement. However, all members of the Guild will be expected to read "THE FOOD HYGIENE HANDBOOK", and standards will be judged on whether the wisdom therein is being put into practice.
Persons not having due regard to Health and Safety will not gain advancement in the Guild.
The Guildmistress knows that this isn't very medieval, but it is unavoidable. It is in response to the new Food Hygiene Laws which have come into effect as a result of joining the European Community, and, although this cannot be enforced as a medieval requirement, it is nevertheless of great importance that all "food handlers", as they are called, are aware of the correct procedures. Anyway, the Guildmistress is sure that nobody really wants to be served their food by someone who was last seen picking their nose over the soup pot, no matter how authentic that may be!
The Guildmistress holds a copy of said document on behalf of the Guild, which is available to interested Guild members.
Anyone who shows an interest in the Guild and who has worked at a revel in any of the following ways:
- Preparation of food or boards (not as cook)
- Clearing up of kitchen or boards
It is the prospective guildmember's responsibility to inform the Guildmistress of his/her desire to join the guild.
Must complete all of the following to a satisfactory standard:
- preparation of food and /or boards (not as cook) at two revels.
- Serving at two revels.
- Washing up and/or clearing the boards at two revels.
All the above can be performed at the same two revels but this is not recommended.
In addition to the above, must complete all of the following to a satisfactory standard.
- Organise servers and scullions at a revel. This to include:
- Pre-revel liaison with cooks/autocrats to ensure that there are sufficient ‘staff’. A list of guild members will be supplied on request if you need to draft in extras.
- Deployment of servitors /scullions on the day, making sure that there are people detailed to help in the kitchen before the feast if required, to serve food, to wash up during and after the feast, and to WASH UP UTENSILS FROM HIGH TABLE; it is nice if someone can take a wash bowl to high table before they eat but this is not essential.
- Ensuring that "new" servitors know what to do.
- Informing the Guildmistress after the event of who did what so that people's records can be updated.
- Wash up at a Great Revel.
- Lay out and serve High Table at a Great Revel; ensure throughout that they have all they require; wash, dry and return their bowls and other eating utensils at the end of the feast;
- At this level , you should be able to cope with the following:
- Correct manner of address.
- Correct ways to serve food.
- Sensible judgement of portions so that no dish runs out before all are served (and don't forget the servers' portions!).
- Identifying vegetarians and those with special diets/ allergies and ensuring they are not offered inappropriate dishes.
- Handling abusive revellers.
Please note that references to washing up mean doing it properly, that is until it is all done. You won't get far by dunking a few goblets in a bowl!
Persons wishing to be graded for Journeyman or Master must inform the Guildmistress in advance so that arrangements can be made with the autocrats.
Any member of the Guild who is present at a revel where there is a shortage of servers or kitchen helpers is expected to volunteer their services unless prevented from doing so by, for example ,having a broken leg or being totally unsuitably dressed. Guild members found trying to avoid this will face a fine when we eventually get around to inventing money; meanwhile the nature of the penalty is at the discretion of the Guildmistress.
Anyone who would like to belong to the Guild but who, for reasons of age, infirmity or some other cause, feels unable to perform all of the duties required for advancement in the Guild , please contact the Guildmistress in order that alternative requirements can be agreed upon.
- Help in food preparation (suitably supervised by a responsible adult), lay tablecloths etc.
- Help in clearing up kitchen or boards.
- Preparation of food and /or boards at revels.
- Serving at revels
- Washing up and/or clearing the boards at revels.
All the above to be done to the satisfaction of the Guildmistress. The length of time taken to achieve this grade will depend on the age and ability of the child.
In addition to the above the junior member must be able to satisfy the Guildmistress that they can do the following
- Help layout and serve at High Table at a Great Revel
- Wash up at a Great Revel
- Be able to tell new junior servitors what they have to do
- Know the correct manner of address
- Know the correct way to serve food
The length of time it takes a junior member to attain the grade of Master will depend on the age of the child when they start and how often they attend revels in a serving capacity.