for ISKCON News on July 30, 2010
Devotees with Paul McCartney`s catering manager
It is well known that Paul McCartney’s” Up and Coming Tour” was declared 100% vegetarian, and meat-free meals are being served to his musicians and crew. What only a few people know is that the Miami stop of the tour went from vegetarian to Krishnatarian, since a devotee and his assistant were hired to cook for the crew: a local Executive Chef Jasodananda Das, disciple of Hanumatpresaka Swami and Sous Chef Prema Das. A company from Chicago named ”All Access Hospitality” contacted the devotees and after a few interviews they were selected to cook for the Miami show for eight days, from 5 am to 6 pm, serving 3 meals a day.
In Jasodananda’s own words “It was a lot of hard work that we enjoyed doing, cooking for 200 to 280 people. We had a huge tent attached to the stadium with a huge 55 ft long cooler. At the beginning the crew didn’t know what was going on during the offering time. We had Srila Prabhupada singing all the time; I told them that the food had to be offered to Krishna before we can eat it. They were little uneasy, but after a while they got used to it and I was asked frequently: “Is the food offered yet?” It became a regular thing and the band used to eat with us, Paul had our food on regular basis because he likes to supervise how the crew is being served, many special guest including Eric Clapton and Tina Turner took Krishna Prasadam. One day Paul was eating halavah and he liked it so much that his personal chef asked Jasodananda for this recipe and others. Paul was happy to eat that halavah and offered it to other members of the band .Most of the crew became familiar with the bhajans played on the altar; everybody knew that we were Hare Krishnas”.
Jayadhvaja Prabhu says: “I went around the stadium and met PETA’s people, Paul McCartney had them all over the stadium with flyers and passing on the message “Become a vegetarian”. They were very happy to see devotees in the show, we exchanged books, I gave them “The Higher Taste” and they gave me their flyers and a DVD of Paul McCartney preaching vegetarianism.
When the show was over Paul McCartney’s team including the personal chef invited Jasodananda to come to England, they would like to see them again on the next tour. “All Access Hospitality”, the company from Chicago has made an offer to the devotees to cook for future shows where a vegetarian diet is requested. The company’s manager Jeff Schmel was impressed with the varieties of the food put together by the devotees, they were expecting a few preparations and they found 184 different preparations altogether, a feast of International Gourmet Prasadam: American, Italian, Chinese, South American, Jewish, Spaniard, Asian including Indian, Thai, Korean. During the Miami stop of the tour the crew became addicted to prasadam. As Jasodananda says: “ Krishna is the Supreme Controller, the recipes came from Krishna, He is the expert cook and he directed the whole show.”
Note: There were no pictures taken due to working agreements.