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Roped in as a caterer...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello all...

Just to be clear, I'm NOT a caterer, and while I'm a professional at some things I'm nowhere near a professional chef or cook. That said, I'm something of a food junkie that was "volunteered" to help provide some semblance of catering to a friend's daughter's school holiday event. Well, it's a small Christian school so I guess it's a Christmas party.

Budget is $1000USD. Presentation is to be along the lines of "Christmas around the world" (frees us up to serve about any d**n thing if it looks nice); finger foods/heavy hors d'ouevres (sp.?), (no plated dinner... laid THAT rule down at the outset), no liquor, food line should be open around 2 hrs. Facility does not have real kitchen space, just a prep area with a household oven/range, which is only open to us for 2 hrs. prior to the event. Headcount of 75 ppl., approx. 30-50% will be high-school kids.

Menu may look something like:
Big cheese plate
Chicken/steak yakitori (on a stick with some asparagus/onions)
Nori rolls with some sushi rice and veggies
Cheese/veggie quesadillas, sliced in wedges
Cuke segments, cored, filled with guac with tort. chip stuck in it (stolen from here... thanks shroomgirl, I think ;))
Brie with a berry goo of some sort, on a crostini
Beef wellington bites (chunk of med rare tenderloin with a smidge of pate + mushrooms in puff pastry)
Pigs-in-a-blanket (specific request)
stuffed mushrooms

Dessert plate: choc-covered strawberries and a store-bought cheesecake.

So, the questions are:
1) Since there's not much in the way of cooking equipment available, my intent was to do as much as possible off-site and bring most of it on baking sheets to be warmed over on site, as necessary. Any obvious concerns doing that, from a safety standpoint, or other?
2) allowed about 6-8 pcs pp, overall. Is that enough for heavy apps in place of a "dinner"?
3) have heard berry goo mentioned in numerous venues but can't find any recipes. Are we just talking about a coulis, or more than that?

post #2 of 3
I don't see any issues with warming up the baking sheets, just be sure to pick an appetizer that will hold up very well.

I would learn towards 8-9 pieces per person seeing how there are 30-50% high school students and they can eat!

Berry goo.. I have not used yet :).. but I will definitely have to try now.

Sorry if I was of no help, I tried!
post #3 of 3
Too many hot, baked things.....
Actually dinner would have been alot easier for you.

No commercial facilities, no pro caterer....repeat after me....

Room Temp....Room Temp....Room Temp......

Sandwiches are more filling than yakitori. Briscuit is inexpensive, you can buy smoked brisket already prepared at a decent price. Caramelize some onions, top with coarse grain mustard and a side of blue cheese. 2.5 oz rolls.....
Still finger food, you can serve warm or ROOM TEMP. Warm meat in chafer or ontop of stove.

If you have a flat top griddle go for a grilled cheese station....do some fancier combos, the kids will love it.

Goo.....fresh or dried fruit, onions, garlic, concentrated juice, chili flakes usually, spices/zest...... works well on meats or cheeses.

Combine these in the grilled cheese station and you've knocked out 3 of your dishes...quesadilla, brie with goo, cheese platter.

Asian station.....interactive make your own vietnamese springroll or maki.....
or have someone standing there rolling or find someone proficient and get a ton premade that morning. optimal word...ton. You probably have enough budget to buy seaweed salad, chop sticks, Chinese go-containers.....

pigs in blankets, puffed beef,stuffed shroom....all need oven space. bite size all cool quickly....I'd steer more toward foods not needing last minute cooking in the oven.

Get electric roasters or chafers and reheat on the stove. Make pate choux and fill with meat shtuff or shroom shtuff or meat/shroom shtuff....filling at the last minute.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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