Tag Archives: cooking for big groups

Big trees, No Wifi, Great food

How many of you could handle a week without cell phones, TV or internet? No really…none of them. If you think you cango without technology for a week and you like the outdoors, I highly recommend trying one of San Francisco’s “best

kept secrets” for families – Camp Mather up in Yosemite National Park (technically just outside the park in Groveland, CA). Oaks, Cedars and Ponderosa Pines canopy over tiny cabins that keep you

warm at night. For many, the family camp has been a San Francisco tradition for generations. This Jersey-girl fell in love with Yosemite at first sight, so it was a no-brainer for me.

Aside from being in pure nature and doing things out of your normal city element – like taking an archery lesson, one of the best things about Camp Mather is that you don’t have to worry about your meals. You get 3 delicious fresh meals a day served to you by perky college kids working hard during summer break – old-fashioned style – in a mess hall, with dinner bell and all! OK, this is starting to sound corny, but it’s just great and the food was really good. Of course, I had to tour the kitchen and get the scoop on how it is they manage to serve 90,000 meals a summer (500 people a week x 3 meals a day).

So how do you feed an army of 500 people 3 times a day all summer long?

  1. Prep a day ahead with enough hands on deck. Delegate.
  2. Plan a good variety between vegetarians, kids and everyone else.
  3. Serving cafeteria style vs. family style keeps the food hot and fresh.
  4. Keep the bears out of the kitchen! They get in sometimes :0)

Thanks to Chef Mike Cunnane and Cook Allison Murnin for the tour and inside scoop behind Mather’s beloved Dining Hall secrets. My favorites were Thursday night’s hearty Eggplant Parmesan and delicious Tilapia a la Murnin and the freshly baked breads and dessert and every breakfast, oh and the sweet cantaloupe…thank goodness for the gazillion hiking trails that kept us going in between meals :0)

Can’t wait till next summer already.

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