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(post, Maggie Restivo)
After a weekend of prep and transporting food from the kitchen in the basement of the Edward Jones Dome to the Hot and Cold Tents, more prep commenced on site. We plated and covered and garnished all manner of dishes. As we worked in the back Classic Party Rentals set up the main event tent. As Monday night's Homerun Dervy party grew nearer, the tension in the tents grew thicker. We were divided into back of house and front of house crews. The back of house crews would stay in the hot and cold tents and continue to plate sides dishes, and desserts. The front of house crews would be working at "action stations" located throughout each of the tents neighborhoods. I was placed on a FOH crews and stationed in The Loop neighborhood (which was the Missouri Grass-fed Beef Carvery). After arriving at my action station I learned I would be one of the carvers, the only female carver....YIKES!!!! For the Derby party I would be carving a beef brisket butt. Hearing that made me considerably less nervous. The majority of my restaurant experience is in BBQ so at least I knew how to carve a brisket butt. Once the doors to the tent were opened the night was a blur. Everywhere you looked there were MLB players, celebrities, local radio and TV personalities. It was a rush. 1:30 am rolled around and so did last call. The tents were cleared by 2:30 am and we all breathed a sigh of relief at how well the party had gone. Then we all took a deep breath and dove into set up for the lunch party to take place in less than 10 hours. The areas of the tent would remain the same but the fare would be lighter. After what felt like the longest drive home and the shortest nap ever I arrived back at the tents. We were given our assignments for the day, I was to remain at the carvery station. For that I was very grateful! However, after I was told what we would be carving I felt like the floor had fallen out from beneath my feat. I was to carve a steamship round of pork....what??? After a quick carving demo, the tents were once again opened. 5 steamship rounds later (I believe all 7 carvers went through 5 steamship rounds, that's a lot of meat!!) the tents emptied. As we began breaking down a couple of men in sunglasses and suits came around and had us make up a few plates of food to-go. We all smiled and high-fived as we speculated where the plates were going cough Mr. Presidnet coughcough* Our Chefs informed us that they were bringing in a clean up crew, there was going to be an after party at Tuckers and that we were all free to go. Handshakes, hugs and thank you's were exchanged and our part of the MLB All-Star Game was complete. I was the only one of the volunteer crew to attend the small after party (mostly because it was only 15 min away from my house). It was great to relax, drink a beer and chat with the chef's on a more casual level. A few days later the event was nothing more than a memory for St. Louisan's. It was a truly amazing experience and one I will never forget. I still get overwhelmed sometimes when I think about the amazing things I have already had the opportunity to do since enrolling in culinary school. I wonder what will come my way next!