"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Menu Planning > Special Events Planning & Holiday Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-23-2017, 11:59 AM   #1
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,430
250 guests event planning

This is kind of multi question question.

Event is on Monday, at 4 PM. I have whole day Sunday and Monday. It is a commercial kitchen and I will have two ovens. Otherwise it is not a well stocked kitchen. The dinner will be served buffet style, but we will try to make it nice. Event is for adults and kids.

First of all, does anybody have an experience cooking dinner for so many people? My concern is time management. I will be cooking 3 things. 60 pounds rib eye roast, same amount chuck roast, and also same amount of boneless skinless chicken breasts.

I am not really good at planning, especially that kind of event.

I also need a general menu advise. Salad, for example, what kind and maybe how many different salads? Salad bar where people will chose what they want or actual salad with all the fixings and dressing? Or maybe actual salad but2-3 different dressings on the side? The host would like fancy dinner. Would be nice to accommodate him.

Since it is right after work/school event should the soup be on the menu?

we will have cake ordered, but should we make bunch of cookies?

Gosh, I think there are more questions, but since I have no idea about cooking for so many people neither do I know what to ask.


I am open for all kind of suggestions. Menu, recipe, way to serve, how to keep food warm, drinks, dessert, etc.

__________________

__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 12:28 PM   #2
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
250 people? On such short notice? One word comes to mind: YIKES!

The most I've ever cooked for was just under 100. It was a buffet, but a staggered event where people came and went over a period of 4 hours. So I didn't have to have everything ready all at once. Even then, it was a LOT of work.

I think the biggest problem you will run into with prime rib is that people like varying degrees of doneness. The majority will eat it medium rare, but you always have those people who insist on having theirs well done. With a small crowd you can usually handle the well done requests on a piecemeal basis, but for that many, I would probably have at least one roast cooked more the others in advance.

For salad, I would also do that buffet style.

Hopefully you're not doing this all yourself, and there will be a staff to help!
__________________

Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 01:17 PM   #3
Head Chef
 
CakePoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Wexio
Posts: 1,882
Go for a Swedish smörgåsbord.

It a buffet style, will be filling and easy on you.
You have choice of bread,Sweden we use rye bread, crisp bread, white rolls, any thing that is yummy and made out of bread.

Then you have a large collection of sandwich stuffing, like wet salads, vegetables, meatballs, pickled herring, cold cuts, cheese and dressings and then every one makes the sandwich of their dream . it fun, yummy and filling.

We have done the same idea with leba bread, pita bread and tortillas, let every one make their own, but ion this case it was hot dishes instead of cold as it normally is.
__________________
For the love of Cheese!
CakePoet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 01:28 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,062
Ummm... this sounds very daunting ....

How big is your fridge?

Chuck roast is not good as a dry heat roast, IMO. Its much better as a pot roast.

You could do that on Sunday if you have enough room to store it safely.
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 01:31 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 23,631
Wow, Charlie, that's huge! I hope you have help, too! I have never cooked for that many, but I was a waitress at a military officers' club in college, so I worked many large catered events.

Do you have any other cooking equipment besides the ovens? A flat-top grill, a stove, anything? Can you borrow slow cookers or electric roasters? And does the food need to be kosher?

You can get large aluminum pans with lids for serving the chicken and chuck roast. You can also get stands and Sterno to keep the food warm. I imagine you will need to stage some of the food in the kitchen and have it ready to go out to refill serving dishes in the dining room. If there is space, it would be best if you could have two separate sets of buffet tables with the same menu on both sets. That will help the buffet lines go faster.

Assuming you will have help serving, I would have at least a couple of carving stations for the rib roasts. The chuck roasts can be sliced in the kitchen. If you offer a few sauces - one with mustard and one with horseradish, for example - you can use simple seasonings on the meat.

I would do the chicken piccata style, with olive oil, lemon juice, white wine and capers.

Rice pilaf or couscous are good choices to go on the side, and you can make them ahead and reheat; keep them warm in and serve from slow cookers, if possible. Add some dried cranberries or cherries and chopped parsley or green onions to make it look pretty.

Another side could be herbed green beans with onions and roasted red peppers.

Fill several of the large aluminum pans with the same salad: a simple one with spring mix, shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers with two dressings available - one vinaigrette and one creamy. If you give people too many choices, they will take forever serving themselves. I don't think you need both soup and salad. I also don't think you need both cookies and cake, unless the occasion calls for it.

Some large events I've seen have serving dishes of salad dressings and sauces, as well as baskets of bread and butter, on the tables, which will speed up the movement of people through the line.

And start making lists: write down each menu item and the ingredients needed to make it for, say, 10 people. Then you can multiply it out and figure out how much of each ingredient you will need.

Once you have decided on the menu, decide what you can make in advance (sauces, dressings, starches, etc.) and make those first. Whatever is temperature-sensitive, like the rib roast, should be made last.

Hope this helps.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 01:36 PM   #6
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakePoet View Post
... pickled herring, ....
right, here they will pickle me in the pickled herring juice if I serve that.
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 01:38 PM   #7
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
250 people? On such short notice? One word comes to mind: YIKES!

The most I've ever cooked for was just under 100. It was a buffet, but a staggered event where people came and went over a period of 4 hours. So I didn't have to have everything ready all at once. Even then, it was a LOT of work.

I think the biggest problem you will run into with prime rib is that people like varying degrees of doneness. The majority will eat it medium rare, but you always have those people who insist on having theirs well done. With a small crowd you can usually handle the well done requests on a piecemeal basis, but for that many, I would probably have at least one roast cooked more the others in advance.

For salad, I would also do that buffet style.

Hopefully you're not doing this all yourself, and there will be a staff to help!

I'm more concern about how to cook that much rib eye roast. I'm going to shoot for medium rare. Those that like well done can eat the chuck, I will cook that overnight. I am going to have help. I'm not worry about that. I think I'll be more concern about equipment. it is not well stocked kitchen.
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 01:48 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 23,631
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
I'm more concern about how to cook that much rib eye roast.
How big are the ovens? You will have essentially six 10-pound roasts. If the ovens are big enough, you can cook them mostly all at once. Stagger them a little bit, so they're not all done at the same time, so some will finish while you're serving the rest.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 01:52 PM   #9
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post

.... Whatever is temperature-sensitive, like the rib roast, should be made last.

Hope this helps.

I was wondering about rib-eye roast. The only problem is the amount and unfamiliar stove.

I will have stove top, I think 8 or 10 burners.
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 01:54 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,062
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Whatever is temperature-sensitive, like the rib roast, should be made last.

.


Id definitely suggest making the chicken last. It will cook very quickly and boneless skinless chicken breasts don't hold that well.
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 01:57 PM   #11
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 23,631
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Id definitely suggest making the chicken last. It will cook very quickly and boneless skinless chicken breasts don't hold that well.
Right, I was thinking about too many things at once and unsure of the amount of cooking equipment. Having a stove with a lot of burners changes things a little.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 02:12 PM   #12
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,062
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Right, I was thinking about too many things at once and unsure of the amount of cooking equipment. Having a stove with a lot of burners changes things a little.
I agree I think it changes things a lot!

Still hoping he has a big empty fridge, though
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 02:13 PM   #13
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 23,631
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
I agree I think it changes things a lot!

Still hoping he has a big empty fridge, though
Definitely.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 03:46 PM   #14
Head Chef
 
CakePoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Wexio
Posts: 1,882
CharlieD, that is great with Smörgåsbord, you can have what ever you want.
Pickled herring is a must here, but you can grav lox or smoked salmon or roast beef.
__________________
For the love of Cheese!
CakePoet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 06:16 PM   #15
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
When Poo was in Cub Scouts and on for a few more years, they always had a banquet at the end of the year. I offered to do the salad. For shopping, I walked through the produce department looking for foods that would go into a well rounded salad. A few different types of lettuce, a few bags of whole radishes, cukes, carrots, etc. I tried to find food that didn't have to be peeled. Saves on prep time. Lettuce got torn into small pieces, carrots (after peeling) went to the grater box on the large hole side. I did try to make the food appealing. After washing, I would peel the cukes, one slice of peel, next to that one piece peeled. Run a fork down the length of the cuke. When sliced it really makes the slices look appealing.

I also went to the Dollar Store and bought several hand pumping empty containers. Like hand lotion comes in. Creamy dressing in half of them, vinegar based in the rest. It controls the amount of dressing and cuts down on waste. Having more than just a couple of each dressing, made the line more faster.

We also had a runner. When a container became empty, the runner would take the empty back to the kitchen, and bring out a new full one.

Make a practice run (if you have the time) and see how big the oven is and how it operates. Try to find someone who has used it in the past and ask questions. I am assuming this meal is being served in a Synagogue. Our meals were always done in a school cafeteria. The kitchen cooks and help were our neighbors. They were a tremendous help with plenty of useful information.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 06:27 PM   #16
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Addie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 22,365
One more thought. No soup. A lot of folks will want to save steps and attempt to carry everything at the same time back to their seat. Ooops! there goes the soup. Now comes the accident.
__________________
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 08:40 PM   #17
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 21,539
I used to cater my department's holiday party every December, feeding about 150 people.

The keys to pulling it off were getting as much done beforehand, and like jenny said, lots of refrigeration. I was lucky every year where I could use our entire downstair's kitchen fridge, a neighbors fridge, and even put things outside if it was cold enough (but not freezing(.

As far as the salads go, a salad bar is a lot of time consuming prep work, and it'll need to be restocked as it goes.

I would go with maybe 3 types of salads: a mixed baby green, a ceasar, and an iceberg or spinach salad with some julienned veggies. Then have just a few extra toppings like croutons and cheese and several dressings on the side.

One thing that might help is if you could borrow a few crock pots. You could use them to make things like pot roasts while you work on other things.
Tbey can also be used for previously cooked food. Make grilled chicken parts the day before, then put them in bbq sauce in the crock pots shortly before serving. Same goes for beef ribs.
__________________
The past is gone it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things
buckytom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2017, 06:51 AM   #18
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
One more thought. No soup. A lot of folks will want to save steps and attempt to carry everything at the same time back to their seat. Ooops! there goes the soup. Now comes the accident.
Yeap, exactly the thought we came up with. Thank you. Especially with a lot of kids around.
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2017, 07:01 AM   #19
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,430
Thankyou everybody. I think I got it.

We are actually getting sushi and wine table, right when people will come in. We decided on a salad bar with 2-3 different dressings.
some dips, olives and pickles will be served on the tables
Baked salmon
chicken
and roast
for sides roasted potato and green beans, and rice for those who do not like potatoes, like my daughter ( I have to check if she is mine, what kind of russian child doesn't like potato? )
chocolate chip cookies, store bought cake for dessert and cut up fruits.
Big job.
Hope to report if I survive
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2017, 07:26 AM   #20
Chef Extraordinaire
 
buckytom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: My mountain
Posts: 21,539
Best of luck, Chuck. Looking forward to a post party report.
__________________

__________________
The past is gone it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things
buckytom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×