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The sum of all fears...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
....well at least the subtotal.

I have lunches and a couple of breakfasts or dinners this week for 90- all drop offs (thank God). Or so I thought. Sunday night was the first dinner and it went well- not much left over at all, but enough for everyone. Yesterday was the first lunch and I got a call saying that there wasn't nearly enough food and lots of people didnt' get anything to eat.:blush::eek: I sent enough food for an army...again, or so I thought. Later I got a call from the woman who booked me, and even though I wanted to throw up, I remained calm and professional. Turns out, she had called me last week to reduce the number of participants from 120 to 90, but when the numbers went back up, she forgot to call me. She was horrified, and I was vindicated!!! I told her that it was my fault for not calling her to reconfirm, but she kept apologizing.

When all was said and done, only a dozen people didn't get much of a lunch, but no one went hungry. None were upset except for the person running the buffet. I don't blame her at all- I would have hated to be in the position of telling the last 12 people that there wasn't enough for them.

Got the same group for tomorrow's lunch. Here's what I've got. Tell me if I'm on the mark, please.

1/2 gal of caper tuna salad
1/2 gal of tofu salad
1/2 gal of chicken salad
5# of ham and 5# of deli turkey and 2# of salami
5# of sliced cheeses
half sheet pan of sliced fresh mozz, basil and tomatoes
1/2 gal each of 2 kinds of hummus
2-3 gal of tabouli
2+gal of French potato salad
bread, rolls, pitas, ciabatta, and all the appropriate accompaniments
dessert platter

If I run out of food this time, it WILL be my fault.:o
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
and 3# of mesclun greens with salad fixings
and 1.5gt of egg salad -probably curried
post #3 of 13
yep, that oughta hold them.....interesting seeing tofu salad, was it requested or is that a regular offering?

Alot of it depends on the lineup of the buffet......tabbouli, green salad at the beginning.....
Bet the tomatoes and mozz will fly out of there, it's the only thing that looked anywhere near low.

Lots of different food....reads good.
Are you slicing your meats/cheeses or buying them presliced?

If final count was confirmed why would you need to call and reconfirm????.....at some point they need to decide how many guests are showing up.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yes, I offer tofu salad, butI don't make it here. I buy it from the vegan rest where I used to work. She uses bulk tofu which I don't buy as I don't use it enough, and nutritional yeast which I also don't use. I love it, but it just isn't the same made with store bought tofu .

Funny you should mention the lineup at the buffet. I had help from the staff at the Institute setting it up yesterday and the woman was insistent that the bread and meats be first. I vetoed that, and a darned good thing too. Imagine how many people wouldn't have had lunch had she had her way!

I buy meats for something this big and slice them myself at a friend's restaurant...not the vegan friend, though. :lol: There is a good price differential in slicing yourself. I wish I had a slicer, but I just don't have the room.

I wouldn't have called to recofirm the numbers, but she was feeling so bad, I took some of the heat for her. They're a big account for me yearlong. I supply their cafe with most of their food during the school year and they're now calling me to cater their summer events. Making her feel a little better was the least I could do considering they keep me in business during the loooong cold winters.

Thanks for checking my numbers. I'm gunshy today about tomorrow's luncheon.

On another note, I have them for a brunch on Friday. Any ideas? I'm doing a strata with meat and veggies, baked french toast, sausage patties, home fries, croissants, bagels, coffee cake... I need more. Maybe melon with a single strawberry? I don't want to do 120 of them, though. Melon and strawberry fruit cup?

I'm on vacation after that breakfast and I'm tempted to give them cheerios and banana. Heck, skip the banana!
post #5 of 13
kinda heavy in starch.....strata, french toast, potatoes, baked goods.....

120....

How about roulades, egg souffles that can be filled rolled and made in advance, warmed sliced and sauced.

Brunch plated? served? buffet?

Not sure how many vegheads are in the group. but if there are vegans they won't have much to eat.
fruit, yogurt, granola are popular and I don't blow through much granola must be the size spoon I put in the bowl.

Brunch....stratas are easy, I make pissonolet.....baby greens, sometimes arugula, sometimes dandilions, poached eggs....can be poached way ahead as in a couple of days, lardons or thick bacon chunks, shallot tarragon dressing....light on a summer's day yet it has some umph to it.

Not sure what your budget is nor timing of event nor profile of guests.....all what I use to come up with menus.

Basic generic menu: potato frittata, biscuits or baked goods depending on how many people can be elaborate or basic, fruit/yogurt, maple coated bacon or a breakfast meat.....
needs a cambro and oven space.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sold! Too much starch, so I'll skip the potatoes. They requested the strata, so I'll do that and a chili egg puff- no crust, no bread- eggs have a small amount of flour in the batter- served with salsa and sour cream. I was thinking of roasted vegetables. We go to an inn in VT that does this wonderful roasted red pepper halved and filled with a little diced tomato, an anchovy, herbs, and olive oil, then baked until it's soft and yummy. If I did roasted veg, I could slice up some potatoes with peppers, onions, and maybe some zuc/sum squash.

I'm not sure about the granola as they've been having yogurt/granola/bagels all week. They're art teachers. Mostly women, ages from just out of college to ready to retire.

They eat like longshoremen.

I have lots of cambros but no access to an oven on site. Whatever has to be done will have to be done in my brand spanking new convection oven that I don't know how i lived without.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Please explain this egg roulade thing to me. Sounds interesting.
post #8 of 13
Joy of Cooking souffle recipe, I could swear it says roulade....not the new version but the older one from the 60-70's. 11x17 takes under 10 minutes to cook...sorta like a jelly roll. I make a ton of mushroom duxelle, really tight. fill it with that roll and then wrap in foil. Reheat then have a tomato type sauce to serve. You can fill with ratatouille, spinach, whatever..... I try to make it vegetarian not vegan but at least vegetarian.

You know the church that houses my catering kitchen was made up of 40 pretty much geriatric (50% over 80 years old) that could put most teenage boys to shame. Amazing. No drinkers but man they would eat. one 92 year old bird woman always went back for thirds.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #9 of 13
we do this breakfast or snack thing by combining plain yogurt with key lime and honey - and mixing in a few cut up strawberries. Light, healthy and delicious - they usually swoon over it.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Tigerwoman, that sounds wonderful!

My breakfast has gone from 100 to 140 on Friday. Sheesh! I think I'll cut back on the number of items since I'll have to do more of each one.

The last 2 years, I did nothing during the week of the Fourth and the week before. This year I'm too busy for comfort...and am shorthanded. One employee has a horse show, I just lost one to a fulltime job, and my friend who comes in in a pinch is too busy. Thank God for my unemployed 15 yr old son!
post #11 of 13

method

it works really well as a grab and go dessert or breakfast item

use a 8-10 oz squat clear plastic cup
cut up your berries and spoon some into each glass,

mix the yogurt, honey and key lime juice (whole foods sells organic key lime juice which is nice - if you don't use key lime juice then squeeze fresh lime juice, don't use roses or the junky lime juice in bottles)

then pour yogurt mix over berries in cup filling about 1/2 way. Piping bag or pitcher usually works well. you can do this on a sheet pan and cover the whole tray. it also transports well in a real metal full hotel pan.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
Reply
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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post #12 of 13

Granola and yogurt...yummy...

In Central America they have granola with mixed raw nuts and raisins. Top with fresh papaya, mango, pineapple and musk mellon. Plain whole yogurt and honey.

It's great.

I'm learning enormous things about human behavior as far as what is and isn't popular. I think you won't do as well with slices as with an already cut salad. I've done both and whenever I make the mixed salad it's gone.
Slices stay in the "leftover fridge" for days.

Just an observation.

I'm a potato lover so I'd be a little disappointed about no potatoes. :(

April
post #13 of 13
good observation but be careful not to generalize - your observations are specific to your market and important for each of us to note what works within our own markets. In my experience doing corporate catering here in NYC for 15 years I found fruit platters to be more popular and go over better - don't know why? but consider these

par example in southern america ham is popular - here in NYC it's not for most groups.

On the west coast salmon and sushi are "more" popular than they would be in Iowa - maybe there are exceptions to these examples but you get my drift.

Demographics are important when determining menus and portioning.
and demographics of clients should contain questions such as - will there be more men or more women, age group of guests - range of ages, time of day, type of event and even ethnic backgrounds - a question that has to be treaded lightly in order to get why you are asking across in a correct manner - so as not to be misinterpreted or taken as biased in any way.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
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