The Buddhafield Cafés Kitchen

A diagonal view across the kitchen from the counter towards the cooking area.

The Buddhafield Café’s kitchen | Image © Satyadarshin 2010

We are registered with our local authority, Mid Devon District Council, and have full public and employment liability insurance. Principle Café managament documentation is available in another section of this website.

Design and Layout

The Café layout is designed on an event-by-event basis to respond creatively to the size, shape and geography of each pitch. We aim to ensure that:

  • There is plenty of room to work and move about.
  • The cooking area is separate from other general areas.
  • The urns are positioned between the washing-up and tea-serving areas.
  • The prep tables are in the centre of the kitchen, allowing easy access to the vegetable stores, to the exit for washing and to the cooking area. This also allows the Shift Co-ordinator to oversee good practice around the kitchen.
  • Floor surfaces are as level as possible, anti-slip, easy to clean and disinfect.
  • Fire fighting equipment is well displayed and accessible.
  • Fire exits are kept clear and accessible and signs are well displayed.
  • The carpeted seating area is as clean as possible.

Workplace Hygiene and Safety

All volunteers are expected to arrive by 4pm the day before the event begins to recieve a comprehensive briefing on hygiene and safety practices. We display a copy of the basic rules for food handlers at the handwash station.

Fuel and Electricity

Buddhafield Cafe power sources

Top–bottom: solar power rig, wood-fired water boiler, LPG gas

Our cooking appliances use LPG gas. A number of checks are in place to ensure the safety of the appliances and the gas cylinders.

  • Cylinders are kept outside the Café, firmly secured in an upright position and always closed off at night.
  • Only trained staff have responsibility for changing over bottles.
  • Gas spanners are stored near the bottles for quick use.
  • Hoses (pipes) and regulators are checked each time a bottle is changed.
  • Each appliance is connected to a rigid gas pipe fixed beneath a stainless steel table. Isolator taps are mounted at both the point of connection and at the end of the rigid pipe, allowing a choice of places to shutdown quickly. Should a leak occur, each appliance, it’s piping and cylinder will be closed off and checked.
  • All gas appliances are checked and certified annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer, and checked by the managers between events.
  • As far as possible all LPG is be purchased on site and used up before we leave.
  • A maximum of 45kg of gas will be transported per vehicle, secured in an upright position. All appliances are dismantled for transport, and thus never connected to a supply.

At most events we run our own purpose-built, wood-fired hot water system from a self-contained trailer, situated outside and to one-side of the kitchen. The system is supplied by water from the event’s system, heating and storing it in a cylinder. A wood supply (usually a combination of hardwood off-cuts and softwood pallets) is stored neatly near the tariler, but away from LPG cylinders.

All electrical power (used for the Café’s lighting and stereo) is supplied by a 12v battery system, recharged by our own solar panel rig. Wiring is installed by trained staff members.


We expect to be supplied with mains water from a spur outside the Café kitchen. At most events we plumb this into a set of complete wash stations (including running hot and cold water). Grey-water drainage is either plumbed into a displacement container supplied by the event organisers or run off to a suitable soakaway. There are separate washing areas for:

Buddhafield Cafe handwash station

The handwash station

  • Handwash — Depending upon layout, handwash water is either kept at ideal temperature in an insulated container, or by supplied by running hot and cold taps. In either case, the station is situated by the kitchen entrance and supplied with bacterial handwash, nailbrush and paper towels.
  • Vegetable washing — a table is set up outside for cleaning vegetables before they come inside to the prep tables.
  • Dishwashing — a complete dishwash area is fitted with sinks and supplied by running hot and cold taps.

A substantial volume of cold water is stored as an emergency / backup supply behind the cafe tent.

Waste Disposal

Recycling station

Top–bottom: solar power rig, wood-fired water boiler, LPG gas

We are obliged to accomodate ourselves to the waste management policies of the event we are attending, but we aim to:

  • Recycle as much as possible, i.e. glass, metal (cans), paper and cardboard, plastics and food waste. If facilities for recycling are not provided at the event (we aim to recycle tetrapaks for example, which aren’t usually included in site policies) we take what we can away with us.
  • Collect food waste in buckets and transfer it to lidded containers or plastic sacks outside the Café, raw and cooked kept separate when required.
  • Transfer all grey-water waste to containers supplied or to a soak-away.
  • Provide recycling bins and compost bucket in the seating area for customers’ use.

First Aid and Well-being

We carry a fully stocked standard First Aid kit as well as a non-emergency Secondary Aid box (which includes items like sun lotion and alternative remedies). Both are kept at the handwash station. All members of staff are made aware of their location.

At least one goedesic dome will be erected and available as a private, dedicated Café crew area.

Food storage

Top: veg store, kitchen rear wall. Bottom: dry food store in a locked, purpose converted van

  • There is always a trained First Aider, usually on each shift, but if not then at least quickly contactable.
  • Any serious accident will be recorded in the incident book by the shift Co-ordinator. The incident book is kept in the shift co-ordinators box and used for recording anything the managers need to know about.
  • Guidelines for manual handling are given during the training session at the start of each event.
  • Each shift meets for half an hour before starting work in order to report in on any health or well-being issues or anything the co-ordinator needs to know.

Fire Safety

At every event there is a water extinguisher in the seating area and another beside the trailer. A dry powder unit is at each end of the kitchen (near the exits) and a CO2 unit at the central (prep) area.

Fire blankets are distributed evenly between cooking stations.

All compressed fire-fighting units are checked, maintained and certified annually by a suitably qualified service provider.

All canvases and hangings are fully treated to be fire retardant.

Food Storage

We have two storage areas. A fresh fruit and vegetable store is at the back of the kitchen, raised off of the ground on pallets. A dry food store is kept in a customised truck outside and behind the kitchen space. Any foodstuffs at risk of attack by pests are kept stored in plastic bins with well-closing lids. All stores are regularly checked by the managers and rotated as necesssary to ensure freshness.