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Fun question: What was your first gig and what did you serve?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
and how did it go?

So was it getting roped into making a Holiday dinner for a family reunion or your first paid party...

Mine was a Halloween party that I had planned at my parents big old spooky house for a singing group that I was in consisting of about 50 kids + chaperones and others (My house <well, my parents house>) was used in the Munsters and a variety of other TV films) when I was 17.

I vividly remember planning the menu for weeks and I was so thrilled. It was typical teen party fare, but I got raves about everything. For lack of experience I did pretty good at guessing portions as well. Made all the dips, nut and chip mixes, and baked items from scratch (brownies, cookies, cakes), my little meat roulades, cheese, fruit and veggie platters. My mom finally put her foot down with my seemingly limitless desire to make everything on the planet because we ran out of serving trays and bowls. <not to mention room on the buffet table...luckily it was well before she ran out of money.>

post #2 of 17
My first as the owner of the business was a wedding for 125. It was held in this open air pavillion on top of a mountain in Maine. It was really pretty there, but it was one of the hottest days of the summer and there was no air conditioning and not a breath of air to be had! The kitchen was long and narrow with very little counter space and only one small residential sized refrigerator. The groom's family was Menonite and the bride's were old hippie. To top it all off, the wedding party was 2 hours late to the reception and I was told NOT to serve anything but lemon water and fruit until they arrived.

I served shrimp cocktail, nori rolls, fruit and veggie platters for apps. The meal was Menonite ham balls, some kind of cabbage dish that I can't remember, sandwich platters, salads and so much more. I chuckle when I think of the sheer number of choices I served and the ridiculously low price I charged. They were happy, though, so I guess it went well. In fact, the groom's grandmother, who was obviously the matriach of the family, came into the kitchen and told me how good the food was and how much she appreciated that I had used her recipes.

I have never been so tired and hot as I was that day. Live and learn.:crazy:
post #3 of 17
Fourth of July lunch for 150. Baked sesame chicken, oven browned potatoes, macaroni salad, tossed green salad, green jello/cottage cheese salad, various condiments and pie filling squares for dessert, all served from a self serve buffet.
Somebody had been downtown watching the parade and invited just about everyone he met there. Ended up with over 200 revelers. Raided the refrigerator for a case of hot dogs (they steam very quickly) to combine with those packaged buns and we got through it. The bartender said beer sales were high, credited to the hot dogs. It ain't all bad :)
post #4 of 17
Mine was a fundraiser for a womans lib group. I was the only woman under 25 and they all hated me. It was for about 300 woman, all small composed plates and I had two people helping me plus about 4 waiters. We had to work out of the elevator because the kitchen was in the basement and the **** elevator wouldnt stop moving. It was hilarious. Had a great time and thank god I had executive experience because if I was someone who just loved to cook and tried to pull this gig off, you would have seen me in the corner crying.
post #5 of 17
I was the only woman under 25 and they all hated me.

That's an odd comment. Why would you say that?
post #6 of 17
You must not know a lot about women, huh? :look:
post #7 of 17
I guess not.
post #8 of 17
It was the type of gig that all the ladies were older and angry about being older. Every single one of them was rude and ignorant. I did nothing to deserve that and I had assumed that it had something to do with the fact I was young because I am a very pleasant person to talk with. I find if funny though that you all focused on that more then maybe asking me how I worked out of an elevator. Interesting.
post #9 of 17
OK. I'll bite.

How DID you work out of an elevator? :)
post #10 of 17
Every single one of them was rude and ignorant

300 rude and ignorant older ladies who are mad because they're older!?:lol: You deserve a gold star for dealing with that. Never mind the whole elevator thing.
post #11 of 17

Wow, the real Munster house???

That's cool!!

My first catering job was 43 wealthy businessmen who come to the lake once a year for a 3 day golfing and poker get away. I did this for 5 years in a row until the last year, quit after that. Had to have breakfast by 5 a.m. for tee-off time, then had to have lunch at noon, then afternoon snacks, then dinnertime rolled around, then more snacks for all night poker game. I worked like a dog for the money, although, I must say, my budget was unlimited so I really got to play with the menu's. The first 4 years were great, I could clog their arteries all I wanted, but the last year, got a few health nuts in the group and they were extremely difficult to please. (alot of no fat, etc.). I also found that the health nuts complained about the budget more. The next year, I refused the job and they ended up with a gal who served donuts for breakfast, hotdogs for lunch, and something on the order of hamburger helper for evening meal. They are coming back to the lake this year and have begged me to come back and cook for them....I'm still thinking it over, lol. :lol:
post #12 of 17
Definitely a case of not knowing what they've got til it's gone! Seems to me that you could up your price and they'd pay it. Good luck!
post #13 of 17
With them, I was shamefully expensive to begin with, lol. Yeah, I probably will cater them again this year but will include vegetarian no fat dishes for the complainers. They let me set the menu's, give me unlimited food budget,'s like a dream come true. They get alot of varied foods which they love and it lets me really experiment. The only thing I refuse to do is tufu....Italians don't understand tufu, lol.:lol:
post #14 of 17
I had to do a vegan entree for a wedding last summer so I made Eggplant Napoleons. The filling between the layers of eggplant was tofu mixed with Italian herbs and garlic. It was really pretty to look at and tasted great...if you like tofu. ;) Actually, it has the consistency of ricotta, so you may not have noticed the difference.

Lots of people don't really get tofu. You Italians aren't alone.:lips:
post #15 of 17
:lol: Ok Lentil, I'll actually try tufu eggplant, just to prove that an old Italian woman can change....(at least you didn't tell me it tastes just like chicken):lol:
post #16 of 17
Okay nofifi, if you're going to be brave, at least let me give you the recipe. Here goes...

Breaded eggplant as if for parmesan sauted until crispy

1 pkg silken tofu mixed with basil, rosemary, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper- you can add some parmesan, romano, or asiago cheese since I don't suppose you're a vegan:D

thin, long julienne strips of carrot and zucchini (the green part)

your favorite light tomato sauce

Stack as follows: eggplant, tofu mixture, veggies to hang out the sides- more for looks than anything else. Repeat. End with eggplant and a spoon of sauce and shredded parm on top. Bake until hot. Enjoy. Next time use your ricotta mixed with an egg.:lol:
post #17 of 17
:lol: Hey Lentil, that really doesn't sound half bad. I like the carrot and zucchini idea too. I am too lazy to go to the store on my day off but will make it this weekend and let you know. I love eggplant with anything anyway. Thanks for taking the time to write down this recipe for me. Who knows, I may just convert to that TUFU stuff, lol.:lol:
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