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Old 07-21-2009, 05:52 PM   #1
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Need professional help

I was just informed by my son that he wants me to cook for his wedding reception 180 people

So I'm asking for help from anyone who has cooked for this size crowd to help me. I've cooked one other wedding for 120 people but it was BBQ. That I can handle but this is like a Sunday dinner on crack

He wants an Italian wedding and I need to figure out portions for antipasto, soup, macaroni, and chicken. Also if anyone has a recipe for Italian wedding soup please pass it on........................

I must be insane

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Old 07-21-2009, 06:14 PM   #2
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OMG. Give us a little more info: will you have help? Is this is a sit-down dinner? Where will it be held? What will your cooking facilities be like? LPBeier can probably give you some great tips, and Goodweed of the North did something similar for his family last year....
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:56 PM   #3
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OMG. Give us a little more info: will you have help? Is this is a sit-down dinner? Where will it be held? What will your cooking facilities be like? LPBeier can probably give you some great tips, and Goodweed of the North did something similar for his family last year....

It will be a sit down meal, help I'm not sure of at this point, cooking facilities are in a home (not mine) but in close proximity to the location.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:05 PM   #4
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You have just bought yourself a ton of work My son had me do his rehearsal dinner it was for 75 and they all wanted Italian, so I made 4 very large platters of antipasto which had rolled salami,mortadella,copa,ham, prosciutto, provolone,monterey jack I lined each tray with greens first, they had to look pretty I had rows of olives,black,green,stuffed.peppers,pepperoncini,pl us roasted red bells, anchovies rolled around a caper,mozz balls,next to the antipasto were trays of home made foccacia both plain with salt and some with rosemary and garlic, for dinner I fried my chicken then finished it off in the oven with wine,garlic powder, butter, I made enough so that there were 3 pieces per person, next were Pasta with our homemade red mushroom meat sauce, plus pasta with pesto, each were 5 boxes of pasta, plus the sauce I can't emember how much I used, rolls,4 large green salads, platters (4) each holding 20 deviled eggs...wine,beer,champagne for a toast and a whole sheet cake with a picture of the bride and groom.. They ate, I collapsed May I wish you the very best of LUCK
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:59 PM   #5
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OMG!! I can imagine how hard this work is...I used to cook for 75 people for my birthday party. That made me tired!! I'd like to help you for this, but I have no idea what kind of dishes are you cooking? Actually, I'm not familiar with Mexican food, but I'll try.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:33 PM   #6
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You could always go to the nearest hospital to ask if you could use one of their huge steam pots for cooking spaghetti, and then, when you're through you're already in the right place... LOL... sorry, I couldn't resist! I do feel for you and wish you luck!
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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Is this a church wedding? If I were cooking for 175, I would first see if I could enlist the help of one of the church groups. Cooking sitdown for 180 would be formidable. Me, I would try to serve buffet, italian works well for this, and get all this help I could. 180 would be a good cover in a medium restaurant, and they would have a large staff.
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:22 PM   #8
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Just a tip. Turkey boilers are excellent for large quantities of soup and pasta. I have not used them for sauce yet. Most come with a deep fry collander so you can reuse pasta water to keep the cook going.

Problem, has to be used outside (in a garage works).
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:36 PM   #9
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Sorry, Bourbon I just saw this.

How are you doing the chicken and is it the only meat you are having? If you want to PM me your entire menu, I can definitely portion it out for you and give you an idea of what you can do ahead and how much help you would need. I just did a wedding for 150 with chicken cacciatore, ham, parmesan chicken strips and 4 salads.

I totally agree with Kades on the antipasto and a good estimate of meat is 1/2 pound per person (total before cooking not including bone weight). Three pieces of fried chicken sounds right. I always add 10% of each item for extras. Oh, for pasta, 100 grams uncooked per person is a good measure. I have several large batch recipes in my repertoire for many things you might be making.

This is doable my friend!
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
Is this a church wedding? If I were cooking for 175, I would first see if I could enlist the help of one of the church groups. Cooking sitdown for 180 would be formidable. Me, I would try to serve buffet, italian works well for this, and get all this help I could. 180 would be a good cover in a medium restaurant, and they would have a large staff.
What we have done is serve buffet and then give "menus" ahead of time to the head tables (and sometimes family tables) so we could serve them first before letting the guests through the line.
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:09 PM   #11
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Italian wedding soup is easy. I'll go post my recipe and link you up.

Italian wedding soup.
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:34 PM   #12
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Thanks Alix
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:10 PM   #13
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Yeah, Bourbon, I won't bother sending you my IW soup recipe. Alix's is great! Allow a cup per person (8 oz).
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:10 PM   #14
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First off select a menu that you are familiar with,
Look at th kitchen you are going to have to cook in and for this you will have to determine which foods can be prepped the furthest out and make a chart, figure on a sit down about 5 oz of protein per guest, up to oz for a buffet since they will be allowed to take all they want, 4 oz for each veg, for your own knowledge a can size known as a Number #10 can holds about 25 portions of vegetables (its is the large can used in commercial kitchens/restaurants. Take each step individually and once you seem to have each step planned out combine them. You should be able to figure out cost, your shopping list, schedule for prepping your food etc. If you have any further questions please contact me through my web site. I have prepared meals from 1 guest to 4,000. Rest easy it will be ok.
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:01 AM   #15
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Just one word of caution, some turkey fryers are aluminum

which is not a good idea for tomato sauce. The aluminum can react with the acid in the tomato. If you can find a very large stainless steel pot use that.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:27 AM   #16
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bourbon,

How is it going? I have a question. Do you have to make only chicken? Can you make lasagna or ravioli or a carbonara too? Those are pretty easy in quantity. Italian to me is the easiest (along with Mexican) to make in quantity.

Antipasto
Salad
Toasted bread (garlic or not)
Lasagna
Chicken
Mixed veggies tossed with some butter, lemon, and Italian herbs
Several desserts

Buffet seems the way to go here - maybe with someone doing the actual serving so portions stay "tidy."
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:36 PM   #17
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which is not a good idea for tomato sauce. The aluminum can react with the acid in the tomato. If you can find a very large stainless steel pot use that.
YES!! Totally forgot! Non-reactive ONLY. Stainless is available in those sizes. Large enamel is more common but I do not know if they still make them in the larger sizes.
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