A formal dinner setting done at many HFS events. For feast, people often done their best Court Garb, and food is served. Some events charge extra for feast, some include it in the price. It is sometimes combined with court.
Some feasts have entertainment provided, others are Role-Playing settings in which people attempt to assassinate others without disrupting the feast (and keeping clear of the Royal Guardsmen who are tasked with keeping order. In other feasts people are asked to refrain so as to not disrupt the setting or the meal.
General Rules of ThumbEdit
Feasts, whether held in a hall or at an outdoor event, are difficult, nerve wracking, and an incredible amount of hard work. If well done however, they can provide the movers and doers with an incredible sense of accomplishment. What follows is not so much a set of iron clad rules but rather guidelines which can be adapted and adopted to the particular parameters of your feast.
FOR ANY FEAST
Customarily, the autocrat will select someone to serve as Feast-o-crat who is responsible for the feast. The feast-o-crat should have, if not prior experience, a whole lot of enthusiasm and good sense as well as a strong support group. Don’t be shy in recruiting a crew to help with the feast. Choose dependable people and ask them (brow beating is an acceptable approache as are cajoling, cunning and kidnapping) volunteers are welcome but unfortunately seldom.
Food, Cooking & EatingEdit
Always remember that what you eat and how you prepare it is entirely up to you. Having said that...
Food Some people are simply not much interested in period food, while others find it a fun way to enhance the aspects of their event experience. The "basic rule" is that foods that were not in general use in Western Europe before 1600 are discouraged. These include tomatoes, potatoes, capsicum peppers (chili pepper family), pecans and chocolate. Coffee and tea, as modernly understood, were basically unknown or extremely rare (though coffee and chocolate are frequent "broken rules".)
Cooking Cooking at events depends on interest level and type of event... First comes simply feeding yourself at camping or one-day events at the no cooking, bread / sausage / cheese / fruit, hide-the-coke-can level (transfer your carbonated beverages or neon Kool-Aid to a period container for walking around, eh?).
Slightly advanced from this is cooking semi-modern food with modern utensils (Coleman ranges, coolers for refrigeration). These modern kitchens are perfectly acceptable hidden away and out of sight. However, it is possible to cook completely period dishes over the campfire, with practice, and having done your research at home first (!). It takes time, but not necessarily specialized equipment or ingredients.
Non-camping events often include some kind of food. A "day-board" is provided in some areas by the event, usually for the mid-day repast. (If there is nothing like this mentioned in the event copy, you're assumed to be feeding yourself during the day.)
Feasts "Feast" is usually the evening meal. Feasts can be planned at various "authenticity" levels, like camp food. The epitome of modern HFS feast cooking is a collection of heavily researched medieval dishes, prepared by a large volunteer cooking staff, served in numerous courses, to hundreds of diners.