by Krishna Gana Das (The Conch, November 2011)
Many people attend festivals, sometimes paying up to $100 entry fee to be able to enjoy a plate of Krishna prasadam.
The most popular item on the menu is definitely the kofta balls, especially favoured by the younger generation who are becoming aware of the Hare Krishnas for the first time. One year at the Byron Bay festival we prepared and sold 65,000 of these delicious savouries.
People always talk very favourably about our food and tell us they look forward to the following year. If at any time, we have been unable to cater for a festival, the organisers have practically begged us to find a way to do so. Such is the high reputation of our food up and down the East Coast. We pray Srila Prabhupada will be very happy.
We also take a little gift shop along with us, with Srila Prabhupada’s books being in the centre. Mostly we cater for music festivals. They generally open from 10am to 12.00pm for a period of 2 to 3 days.
For us, a normal day begins at around 5.00am by taking bath and then chanting our rounds. At 7.30am the food preparation begins with everything being ready to serve by 10.00am.
After distributing the mercy all day, the cleanup takes us up to midnight. Hopefully we take rest by 1.00am. Depending on the size of the festival we distribute 200-1,100 plates each day with just a cook, a kitchen hand and a server.
Over the last few months, we have travelled north to Cooktown, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Emerald and the Sunshine Coast and also south to the Blue Mountains, Sydney and Ballina. At the end of the year we are off to Tasmania.
So for anyone who likes to travel, we can help fulfil that desire. It may be hard work and long hours but the service is very rewarding.