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party for 80

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
ok guys this is what i got so far

my parents are having a party for 80 people and they have asked me to cook. they gave me a 500 budget for food only. its going to be a laid back buffet so i wont have to hire any one.

so this is what im thinking so far.

BBQ tri-tip ( with a terioki garlic ginger maranade) not sure to just cut it into slices or do sandwiches

greek salid

spinish salid

fruit salid


any other ideas would be great
post #2 of 24
Damack,
Tri-tip can have a lot of shrinkage after cooking, so keep that in mind for estimating purposes; as you will need more meat to feed everyone.
The food budget of 500.00 gives you a little over $6.00 per person. I don't know where you are located, but in my part of the country the sides you have selected would be very expensive (I'm in the far, far north) so I would be looking at something like a macaroni/pasta salad to stretch my budget dollars. A mac salad can be done ahead, which helps the schedule and is filling.

It sometimes helps to pick a culture/style of food and stick to it, so the dishes complement and enhance each other.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
im in northern califorina but i can buy my meat and food at cost-co so thats about 10$ per tri-tip which isnt to bad.

also i was thinking maybe pork ribs

or i can do a green salid with apples and smoked salmon (i have a smoker so its not that bad on cost,
post #4 of 24

Wow...

I hate family favors...

OK. $6.25 PP is pretty weak. Do your parents actually LIKE these people they've invited...? <LOL>

The tri at $10 each. Need weight per each so that we can get a realistic cost per pound.

The problem with buffets: People invariably grab more than they really eat. <at least the one's I've done and worked for>

So it's pretty tough determining per person cost as far as the mains. Unfortunately you're in a position that you could absolutely budget for a certain amount per person and then run out of food based on what you had to work with. The second bad part of that is it's family so you could potentially go over budget trying to please these people to make your parents look good. Who's going to cover any overage? Family and business stuff like this just doesn't set well with me unless yours are very understanding when you sit down with them and explain all of the pitfalls that could happen and you come to a complete understanding. (or end up on Judge Judy!)

Knowing what the nature of the party is would help enormously. Lunch compared to a tea party or a cocktail party or a birthday party kind of thing.

I agree that the salads you presented are very pricey. Crispy iceberg wedges at 16 serves per head calculated by .89 per would be about .05 per serving. Serve each with a deco array of a few grape tomatos, red onion, maybe a sprinkle of blue cheese or feta, a couple of kalamata olives...crispy bacon bits. After you've calculated your meat/main cost then fit the salads in. Slaws, potato salads, macaroni salads (They're not just mayo based as you probably know) ...there are SO many variations now, but definitely pick a theme and stick with it.

A little more time consuming but if you use just sliced tri, slice as thinly as possible and roll into little roulades with a nice Au jus over to keep moist. That prevents your guests from grabbing a 4" slab of sliced meat that would serve 3.

I don't think I'd serve sandwiches with the type of sauce you mentioned. Although sandwiches are good to maintain order as far as portions. Maybe a type of grilled panini...Phili cheese steaks, a shroom cheese, traditional bbq is nice.

I love tri broiled dark on all sides and roasted for about 20 minutes. Slice paper thin. Lovely. What about pulled BBQ brisket? A nice slow roasted brisket is wonderful with homestyle fixings. (Read: starch and slaws) All very budget conscious. (I know because my mom would make it regularly and she grew up in the depression)

Anything else being served, like desserts? Are you responsible for all of it or just the savory offerings?

Sounds like a fun gig in any event.

April
post #5 of 24

I never thought I would say this...

But, April is exactly right. If you think about your $6/person aprox. that would be $18/person if you were not doing this for family.. which is not such a bad spread IF you do it right. April is dead on in her advice.
post #6 of 24
Please provide more information about what you know the family likes to eat, e.g. ethnic or family favorites. As asked earlier, what's the time of day and is this a special occasion?
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
im going to be meating with my mom tomarow. and we will come up with something. im thinking chicken might be cheeper then tri-tip, but hey if it was up to me evey one would be having a 16oz rib eye or porter house

also the salids maybe a little expensive and i have no starch so i was thinking of a rosted garlic mashed potatos. and thats not to expensive. ill see if i can get my mom to raise to food budget.

also this is not a formal thing its a pool party and my mom wants me to make all the food for it. ( yes i know lucky me:lol: )

as long as i have a good beer in my hand once the BBQ gets started ill be ok. and i can take a day off work to prep. but im still trying to figure out how to get my grill out to there house( i have a 4 foot cast iron off set smoker/BBQ) its my new baby:talk:
post #8 of 24
Agreed on the pricing.Family can be so cheap sometimes...kinda like church events! :lol: Or the weddings where they want filet mignon on a chicken wing budget.

Damack,can I offer a tiny bit of unsolicited,older-annoying-person advice? Not to be critical,but you need to be careful with the spelling.

Sure,there is spell check,but in a tasting situation where a chef is requesting a written menu before you start cooking,that may hurt you before you even get a knife in your hand.Even something as innocent as a misspelled culinary term could make that chef say "If this guy can't even spell 'roast' or 'salad',I doubt he's going to be able to execute it properly."

It may be just a small voice in the back of their mind,but you don't want it there in the first place.


I've seen chefs rip into people for even mispronouncing a word,like it was a sign of disrespect because you couldn't even take the time to correctly pronounce it.


It's just that grammar and spelling abilities have as much impact on a first impression as your appearance does.Anything you can do to get an edge over someone else,no matter how seemingly insignificant,do it.
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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post #9 of 24
First of all I am in San Francisco so we may be using the same shopping resources. Get $800 to work with.

#1 Strawberries. I am only paying $14 a flat at the moment and they are great. Compared to other fruit they are inexpensive and people love em. Just wash em and serve them on trays. I dip a few in semi sweet for the ooh factor.

Spinach salad: Good plan

Spring mix: $6-$12 for a case

Chicken will indeed be be a good addition/alternative to steak

AprilB I MUST tease you about this.

Crispy iceberg wedges at 16 serves per head calculated by .89 per would be about .05 per serving. Serve each with a deco array of a few grape tomatos, red onion, maybe a sprinkle of blue cheese or feta, a couple of kalamata olives...crispy bacon bits.

The above could only be served in Northern California as a joke, or as a part of a theme. Although times and tastes change at the moment iceberg is still a crime where I live. Sad I know, but simply switching the iceberg for hearts of romaine would make all the difference here.

ooops got to get ready for mom's day
"You are only as good as who you hire."
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"You are only as good as who you hire."
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post #10 of 24
For a starch, why not a nice large vat of bubbling polenta? Fun to do, filling and polenta in bulk is cheap. (Check out Cash & Carry or Smart & Final in the S.F. Bay Area.) Add some strongly flavored quality cheese and you'll get a lot of good flavor for your meager bucks.

You could grill your tri-tips, slice thin and put into a Italian style ragu. Serve over polenta with a veggies and salads as sides.

In keeping with an Italian-fusion "theme," you could make a hot slaw, including some red cabbage for color, with a balasamic & Italian herb dressing.

If you could enlist just two family members to help serve at your buffet, you could keep portion size under control and prevent the horror of running out of food.
post #11 of 24
What I'm reading is one man band, no staff......so keep it easy, keep all but the entree cold.

Damack, not sure whether you have the ability to buy wholesale if so you're prices would decrease.
good paper/plastic goods cus it's by the pool. I assume $500 is just for food not rentals, equipment, linens, decorations, flowers, beverages....etc.....

Case of romain $16, you could make a caesar salad, buy or make croutons, dressing, top with grilled chicken breast thinnly sliced.....8# is enough if it is a secondary meat.

Baby Greens with a sprinkling of toasted pecans (2#), scallions, sugar snaps or haricot verte, mandrian oranges or craisins...works for numerous parties. The addins are just that, you don't need alot.

New Potato Salad is easy, cut in half or quarters add celery, onions etc and dress.

If strawberries are cheap, load up.....mound them and make them a focal point. 2 cases at $28 is a whole lot cheaper and easier than making a mixed fruit salad.

Good rolls or bread......butter......

A standard on my menus is a veg platter....usually blanched, roasted, grilled some raw depending.....this week will include a ton of local asparagus, some fancy shrooms, red onions grilled, red peppers charred and sliced, maybe some zucchini, some carrots, haricot verte or sugar snaps......fresh herb buttermilk dip and pesto dip......depending on where you shop it can get pricey, since I've got 4 parties with the same platter I'm buying cases of product at greatly reduced prices. Prep can take a while but it's easy to make ahead of time, crosses alot of lines....vegetarians, diet conscience, Californians in general (I'm from Rancho Cordova so no slight intended)

Slaw, cheap eats.....50# $9. last week.

Condiments....if you can make pickles, chutney, sauces....ie peanut sauce, hoisin based spicy sauce, teriyaki glaze.....have siracha around.......

Cookies & bars can be made ahead.....we have spicy ginersnaps, choc chip cokies, brownies, raspberry crumbles......

Or Trifles.....pound cake, strawberries macerated, custard, whipped cream, toasted almonds.....yum, seasonal, fairly inexspensive to make.

Cold food you don't have to worry about chafers, just making sure that the salads are dressed at the last moment.....so much easier to manage solo.

Don't forget garnishing.......and lay out your platters so you know what you'll need. Size of home platters are usually an issue.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #12 of 24
I assume you are doing this party for experience not remuneration.....at the end of the day you will not have much of anything leftover from the $500.

Take good notes.

As bizarre as it may sound, deviled eggs fly off buffets......I started making them for alot of events 6 months ago, and have to make sure I make enough.
@ 1.50ish dozen or $2.50 for farm eggs you'd need 5 dozen....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #13 of 24
5 dozen? I don't know shroomgirl.. if anyone at the party is like me I would suggest doubling that. Frankly, I'll eat a dozen myself.

That $500 is nor including booze, right? I know this seems like a silly question, but people do tend to not understand the nature of catering and particularly when it is family. I could see my mom saying, "sweetie, could you cater this event for me... at my house... for 80 people?" handing me $500 and thinking I would show up with a full bar to boot. Now, I could do the spread for $500, for 80 people and make plenty of good food... but if they want booze then the event is a no go.

The reason people think that a small amount of money is enough is the same reason wealthy people open restaurants... they see dollar signs when they think of the 30% food cost - I run 26% personaly, but you all know what I mean - but they just don't see the other expenses.
post #14 of 24
24 deviled eggs.....potato salad, green salad, berries, tritip sammies,.....okey dokey. thought 120 would be sufficient for 80 guests, double is alot but upping it to 160ish certainly in the rhelm of reality....though 24 x 80.....1920 halves is excessive.

you know chips and dip didn't make it on the menu.....pita chips/hummos, potato chips and dip, tortillas and salsa or guac, rice chips and peanut sauce.....etc.....if you are doing an Asian theme I'd go with:

Rice Chips, asian veg platter.....jicama, carrots, sugar snaps, baby bok choy, celery, zucchini and peanut sauce

Rice stick salad with sugar snap or snow peas, red peppers, scallions, shiitakes, hoisin or rice viniager dressing....cold grilled thinnly slice chicken would go good with this.

Napa cabbage Slaw

Tri tip marinated in teriyaki
Grilled pineapple

if you can make spring rolls and have time they will fly off the table.....

All can be cold....light summery.....strawberries still work for dessert.
Sauces and dips can be made days ahead.
Cook the Tri tips on your grill at your place and serve it cold.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
we are not doing a full bar ill pick up a few cases of beer and if i go over budget then i think i can suck more cash out of them


also i dont have to rent anything my parents have everything already so all i have to do is get the food and prep it so that i can have a easy day at my parents party.

this is a laid back BBQ they are doing the grab a chair and eat off your lap kind of thing, its not formal at all, its more relaxed.
post #16 of 24
Good Luck! Sounds like fun.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #17 of 24
Italian vegetable salad: 20 cups broccoli (bite sized), 20 cups cauliflower, 4 cups sliced carrots, diced tomatoes, red onions, sliced olives, toss in dressing that is 1 part italian vinaigrette to 1 part caesar. Easy to make ahead (save the dressing).

Chips with a salsa/guac bar

Bread salad is very summery with crusty bread, tomatoes, fresh mozz, basil, garlic, asiago and olive oil

There are great dessert salads with apples. One has pineapples and walnuts. Another has apples and snickers. yumm. I think the dressing keeps the apples from turning brown so you can do a day ahead.

I'd keep it light. people in bathing suits will eat want to eat food they perceive to be healthy.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
ok so this is what i got so far :

tri-tip
garlic mashed potatoes
macaroni salad
fruit salad
veggie tray with ranch
greek salad
bread or rolls

still not sure about the spinach salad
post #19 of 24
If its an Italian theme...don't forget the foccacia. Easy to do in large trays beforehand, slice it up and serve. Lots of olives, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano, EVOO..yummm. Fills 'em up too :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #20 of 24
Oh, I was just talking about my extreme love of the Deviled Egg... I swear I could live on them. It is one of the things that my staff takes advantage of... they know all they have to do is give me puppy dog eyes and ask for deviled eggs and I will make them. Of course, I'll also eat half of them as well.

I can't seem to figure out why I can't lose weight... hmmm....
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
ill talk to my mom about deviled eggs. that is a good idea and they tast so good :bounce:
post #22 of 24

HEY HEY HEY...I was using it as an illustration...

I also happen to like it. Screw fashion when you're on a strict budget. At $6 per head I hardly think Romaine fits in...Make it look purdy like. :p

:beer:

April

(PS..I love San Francisco)

AprilB I MUST tease you about this.

Crispy iceberg wedges at 16 serves per head calculated by .89 per would be about .05 per serving. Serve each with a deco array of a few grape tomatos, red onion, maybe a sprinkle of blue cheese or feta, a couple of kalamata olives...crispy bacon bits.

The above could only be served in Northern California as a joke, or as a part of a theme. Although times and tastes change at the moment iceberg is still a crime where I live. Sad I know, but simply switching the iceberg for hearts of romaine would make all the difference here.

ooops got to get ready for mom's day[/quote]
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
well it turned out well...

i did 15 tri-tips about 45-50lbs of meat
Greek salad
spinach salad
and a garlic mashed potatoes
and rolls
post #24 of 24
Congratulations, Damak! I'm glad it went well.
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