Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine: My One and Only Craft Services Job

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My One and Only Craft Services Job

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that my husband does video production for a living. Most of his shoots are done out of town but this past weekend he shot a short film in our house; our guest bedroom to be exact.

Over the past several weeks our spare room was slowly transformed into an extremely messy teenage boy’s room. Complete with dirty clothes in the corner; an unmade bed and posters along the walls; it's no longer my guest room. But I’m digressing; this is a post about my role in this production; as Head of Craft Services.

“What exactly is craft services?” I asked. “You’re in charge of food,” was my husband’s reply. Ok, I thought, I can do that…no problem. And so it began; my first and last catering/craft services gig.

Of course, like everything else, I dived into this head first. I made a plan; started browsing recipes; created menus and formulated shopping lists. I was so excited. On Monday I was squeezing lemons for lemonade. Tuesday I made ricotta muffins. Thursday I did the food shopping and Friday I was putting on the finishing touches. By the time the crew arrived 7am on Saturday I was ready; or so I thought.

I had a pot of coffee brewing by 6:30 on Saturday morning; this I soon found out was my first mistake. "Why is the coffee on already?" my husband barked. “In case someone shows up early,” was my reply. Little did I know several of them would be late. This left the crew that did show up on time with nothing to do but wait and eat. No big deal really except for what they decided to eat.

I had made homemade lemon ricotta muffins and had bought some doughnut holes just in case we ran out of muffins. By the time the late comers arrived the complete opposite had happened; we were almost out of doughnuts and only a few muffins had been touched. This should’ve been my first clue. Seriously, when given the choice of eating a home baked muffin vs a store bought doughnut...would you really choose the prepackaged food? I just don't understand; but I took a deep breath and put on another pot of coffee.

Did I mention how much coffee they drank? I assume it’s a habit that comes with the job…working long crazy hours… the coffee is needed to keep you going. I have to admit that even I found myself drinking more coffee than usual just to keep up my stamina.

For lunch I made Italian hoagies. Ham, provolone cheese, salami, lettuce, tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil on loaves of Italian bread. Within minutes of serving the sandwiches I was asked: "Do you have yellow mustard?" I thought to myself: "yellow mustard??? Are you serious? Who puts yellow mustard on an Italian hoagie." Of course, I didn't actually voice this; I just went and got some yellow mustard. Cringing as I watched him destroy my lunch I worked so hard on. Ugh!

It wasn’t long before I realized that craft services/catering was not my thing. Between running up and down the stairs all day stocking water and refilling coffee; prepping food that pretty much got eaten thoughtlessly (again I think this comes with the territory) and having to do everything in complete silence I was frustrated.

By Sunday I had definitely had enough and was happy to find out that they would be shooting outside for several hours. This gave me some time to cook that evenings meal without worrying about the noise I was making. Trust me you don’t realize how loud chopping garlic is until you’re trying to do it on a movie set. The minute they left I turned up the radio and started cooking. My final meal, as head of craft services, was baked pasta with sausage, spinach and fontina cheese.

All in all this weekend was good experience for me and I have a whole new appreciation for people in the craft services/catering business. And although I like to cook I know that I will not be leaving my day job anytime soon.


  1. I did a few catering jobs and quickly found out it wasn't for me, cooking wasn't fun anymore!
    I would have gobbled up those ricotta muffins too!

  2. You know, I've recently begun to think I wanted to go into the food industry. But after reading this...maybe not. They just sound so ungrateful!

    And I would like a ricotta muffin. No storebought donuts for me!

  3. Homemade lemon ricotta muffins? Oh, my, those sould wonderful!

  4. Yellow mustard on an Italian hoagie? Sacrilege! Your muffins sound fantastic!

  5. I would of went right for the muffins! And your Italian hoagie sounds absolutely delicious!

  6. doughnut holes?? I'll have a homemade ricotta muffin please!:)

  7. I enjoyed reading this. I hope you are laughing about that weekend now. It makes a great post. I want your muffins.

  8. Me and my wife have been into catering services business for more than two years now and we find it very fun. All you need is dedication and passion and sure you will also succeed.

  9. Yes indeed. Catering business involves a lot of hard work and dedication. You need to have enough knowledge and skills to make it big in the food industry.