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My first catering deal

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm catering a wedding with 50 guests.  The theme is barbecue.  The buffet will consist of:

Chopped or pulled pork

South Carolina sauce

Memphis sauce

Eastern North Carolina sauce

Texas toast

Macaroni and cheese

Cole slaw

Baked beans

Creamed corn

Mashed carrots

Parsnip puree or potato salad

One of my questions is, how do I keep the toast crispy for as long as possible.  It will be buttered on one side then toasted in an oven, brought out and held in a heated pan without a lid - all at the very last minute so it's as crispy as possible.  Is this the best way to do it?

Another question concerns foods that will be cooked a day in advance (chopped pork, baked beans, creamed corn, mashed carrots, and parsnip puree).  What is the best way to reheat these while preserving the texture and proper moisture levels?

Also, if I assemble the macaroni and cheese ahead of time then refrigerate it and do not bake it yet, how do I bake it on the day of?  Do I bring it to room temperature first?  Do I bake it straight out of the refrigerator, but with a different temperature and time than the recipe calls for?

Finally, I am going to count children 13 and under as one adult to determine how many servings I need, then plan to make 10% more than that.  Is this a wise decision?

Any other advice would certainly be very appreciated.

Thank you very much for your help.

post #2 of 14
7 hot items......
you didn't say wether this was an onsite or offsite event.
if offsite there are loads of issues with reheating, getting hot food to stay hot/quality product....

Our menus always reflect the facilities.  If there is not a commercial kitchen on site we are more apt to do room temp/cold offerings with very limited hot food.....saves us a whole lotta pain.

One of the BBQ wedding menus we've done is:
Appetizers: local cheese selection with our crackers/fruit
Vegetables with a couple of dips
Bruschetta Setup....or crostini wth 3-5 options.



Heirloom Pork
Apricot Chutney
Our BBQ sauce
Handmade rolls

Tomato Salad
Green Salad
Vegetable Platter

*Ranch Potato Salad
*Cole Slaw

*Cake, cupcakes, or local fruit tartlets


This is one we've done on farms &  in venues with no ovens......for 150-300 guests
THE only things hot are the pork and the vegetable platter....the salad options are cold.
Beans would probably be the only other thing I'd consider adding, then I'd eliminate the veg platter.

Rolls, they are made from scratch but served room temp.  
I hate chafers, they are ugly and they really don't improve the quality of food.....nor preserve it.
Cambros are great, but again you are hauling hot food around....what a pain.

50 guests is not a lot, but the quantity of offerings you're providing is pretty large....the fact that most are hot makes it even more difficult. 
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #3 of 14
 shroomgirl- do you know how much per person, roughly, your BBQ menu above cost? Not including prep time, just your food cost for 200 people?
post #4 of 14
yea. ball park.
I buy 300# heirloom pigs and break them down myself......very few people do that.
Our cheeses have local farmstead cheeses which are premium, the tomatoes are local heirloom....one friggin year the menu was set and there were NO LOCAL tomatoes so I had to buy retail from Whole Foods at $6#....ate my friggin' lunch.
I make rolls from scratch.
Vegetable platter is whatever looks good at the farmer's market

But let's compare apples to apples.....our local food events include platters, cloths, servicing utensils, decorations.  Check out the pictures I posted with a couple of events listed.
Local food dinners for 150-200  typically run $35-50pp without rentals or staff....maybe alittle more or less depending on appetizers and desserts....beverages separate.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply and sorry for not mentioning that it's going to be onsite.  The kitchen will be a one minute walk from the table and chairs.

So, with that, how would you handle the reheating of the things cooked in advance, the macaroni and cheese, and the toast?

Also, I appreciate your comment about chafers.  The more I think about what you said, the more I think it might be true.  Once I have the hot food hot, what should I present it in?

Thanks!
post #6 of 14
I don't make Texas Toast.   I would assume you'd toast it in the oven last minute.  
Onsite is a different story.....stove and ovens are right there.....walk in the park.

Maybe someone else has experience with  mac/cheese holdovers.

 
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 14
I make the mac and cheese ahead up until the baking, cover it well, refrigerate, and bake when I need it.  There's no need to heat it twice.
post #8 of 14
Your menu is making me hungry for BBQ, but it's only 8am! 

This is only a comment and not a critique, but I think I'd like fewer hot things and more color (mac and cheese, creamed corn, and parsnip puree all have the same color/texture).  Have you considered lightening things up a little and at the same time, cutting out some of the hassle of serving an all hot buffet? 

We do a new potato salad with green beans and grape tomatoes and a light vinaigrette.  It's colorful and goes well with a bbq.  Like Shroom, I also add a green salad. It's easy, bright, and many people will appreciate the lower calorie count of a salad. 

I always put the salads first on the buffet, too.  They cost less than the meat and fill the plate so you don't have folks filling their plate with the costly items.  That alone saves me a lot of stress!

Using rolls, as shroom suggested, will be a lot easier. Throw them in at no cost along with  the Texas toast and if you run low on toast, send someone back to throw more in the oven.  I'd guess the rolls will be popular and you can save the unopened bread for another use.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lentil View Post

I make the mac and cheese ahead up until the baking, cover it well, refrigerate, and bake when I need it.  There's no need to heat it twice.

If the recipe calls for 30 minutes at 35o degrees F, what should I bake it at and for how long if it's coming out of the refrigerator?
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lentil View Post

Your menu is making me hungry for BBQ, but it's only 8am! 

This is only a comment and not a critique, but I think I'd like fewer hot things and more color (mac and cheese, creamed corn, and parsnip puree all have the same color/texture).  Have you considered lightening things up a little and at the same time, cutting out some of the hassle of serving an all hot buffet? 

We do a new potato salad with green beans and grape tomatoes and a light vinaigrette.  It's colorful and goes well with a bbq.  Like Shroom, I also add a green salad. It's easy, bright, and many people will appreciate the lower calorie count of a salad. 

I always put the salads first on the buffet, too.  They cost less than the meat and fill the plate so you don't have folks filling their plate with the costly items.  That alone saves me a lot of stress!

Using rolls, as shroom suggested, will be a lot easier. Throw them in at no cost along with  the Texas toast and if you run low on toast, send someone back to throw more in the oven.  I'd guess the rolls will be popular and you can save the unopened bread for another use.

Thanks a lot for your thoughts. 
post #11 of 14
Depending on the size of your pan, 45 to 60 minutes.  I'm terrible with time.  I'd start out with it covered then uncover to toast up the topping for the last 15 minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpaccio View Post




If the recipe calls for 30 minutes at 35o degrees F, what should I bake it at and for how long if it's coming out of the refrigerator?


 
post #12 of 14
Take bread crumbs, paprika, grated parm cheese, gran garlic, mix together. When your ready for the Texas toast melt butter and dip one half of a slice of bread in the butter and then into the bread crumb mixture, place on sheet pans, brown in oven, and serve up hot, it will look good......................Chef Bill
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lentil View Post


Depending on the size of your pan, 45 to 60 minutes.  I'm terrible with time.  I'd start out with it covered then uncover to toast up the topping for the last 15 minutes.
 

What is the best method and temperature to reheat the chopped pork, baked beans, parsnip puree, and mashed carrots?  Is the best way to cover them in the full pan and reheat them in the oven stirring halfway through?  If so, what temperature should I use and about how long will it take?  Would it be better to pour some of them into a pot and reheat on the stove?
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post

Take bread crumbs, paprika, grated parm cheese, gran garlic, mix together. When your ready for the Texas toast melt butter and dip one half of a slice of bread in the butter and then into the bread crumb mixture, place on sheet pans, brown in oven, and serve up hot, it will look good......................Chef Bill

Thanks for your advice!  I'm going to save that for sometime in the future.  For this wedding I want to use buttered texas toast as the bread for the sandwich, but the next time I'm looking for toast on the side I'll make your version.  Thanks!
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