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Help Please - 1st Official Catering Job (Wedding for 200)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi, could someone please give me some pointers; I've worked as a farm cook for 10 years and have recently been asked to start catering. My first official job is a wedding buffet for 200 people.
The menue is: duck breast confit, moose roast, deer sausage, yorkshire pudding, garlic mashed potatoes, peas, cauliflower and broccoli with a white cheese sauce, a raw veggie platter, and ceasar salad. Bread and squares are to be brought in by family members. So, all in all, a pretty simple menue.
But I am haveing a bit of trouble coming up with amounts as the biggest party I have every fully done is about 25, and the buffet thing throws me off a bit.
I am assuming that I'll need about 100lbs of raw potatoes, 28ish lbs each broccoli and cauliflower, 25lbs raw peas, 25-30lbs veg for the raw veggie platter, about 30 heads of romaine for the salad, 90+lbs of roast (I do not know as of yet if it will be boneless or not, though I am assuming that I should up it to around 115-125lbs if it is bone-in?), 250-275 duck breasts (wild so they are quite small), and 240-250 sausages (which are to be made up by a local butcher friend of the family but I will not know size on until a few days before the wedding). The yorkshire puddings I am completely stuck on - I can just see them as being a complete headache but that is what the bride wants. So, how many should I make - I am using the standard muffin cups to bake them in. How many should I assume for?
If anyone can help me or has any tips that they might offer I would be truely grateful!
Thank you so much!

post #2 of 11

Popovers or yorkshire I would go 1 per person ave.

Total you have 81 lbs of veges for cooking thats an awful lot.

30 romaine heads  by the time you clean and trim not enough  I would use romaine hearts  (no waste) Many people in particular woman eat salad

Duck with bone as you will use less

sausage what size?

Yorkshire will fall and wont be good unless done only  a littel before time, will yorkshire be served with an  u-jus of any kind.?

you are better off making 3 or 4 bmaller crudites and scattering around room. Good luck you took on quite a bit.

as moose only meat I would go 1/4 lb pp.cooked weight

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #3 of 11

Those are some great sounding mains.

Clients are noted for quickly expressing what they WANT, but remember it's you the caterer

that must decide what will and wont WORK for their particular event, and just.....tell them.

Things can also depend on whether youre cooking on site or transporting

and holding for a few hours.

Also when youre startiing out and unsure, better to err on the side of too much,

and charge accordingly if possible. This acts as a "profit bumper" for future events--

as you fine-tune things and get better at estimating food amounts based on

type and guests in the parties, your profit margin just gets healthier and healthier.

 

One more thing-- catering is strenuous long hours for that day and very tiring...

but it's also highly addictive work. Just be prepared for that. lookaround.gif

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm worried about people taking seconds of the puddings and not having enough - how many extra do you think I should make to solve this? How many veg would you suggest? The reception is supposed to start at about 5pm and go to about 10:30 - I'm assuming that they will want to just leave the veg tray out. All of the meat is to be supplied by hunter friends of the bride and groom... No idea of what I am actually going to end up with. From the duck that they have already parted the legs are too small to even use so they have just been taking off the breasts. No idea of sizing on the sausage - they have a butcher they want to use but since they haven't even shot the deer yet... I'm guessing around 85grams.
Yorkshires served with gravey from the roast. I think that they have the hall set up to have a single line but right next to the kitchen door. I was thinking on alternating the yorkshires so that I have them coming out every 8minutes or so? Any ideas?
Thank you so much for your response!


All cooking will be done on site - which is really helpful, though I've yet to see the kitchen.... And I have to bring in literally everything: from salt to cooking utensils. Thank you for your insight!

post #5 of 11

I pity you not having any info for this gig. Don't worry about yorkshire just bring a bag of fancy rolls with you for backup  1 each should do it as far as pudding(woman all watch weight) . Cooked vege 3ounce pp average, so figure 4 ounces pp mixed . Bring a bag  of frozen mixed vege with you for backup if you want. If they are supplying meat, it is their responsibility to provide you with enough, not yours. If by now they don't have any of the products or sources or butcher, then they start out in the weeds. It is not your fault. Years ago we called this a Football Wedding.

 

Either have a 2 station buffet or  set long straight table and let them line on both sides . other wise you will have a single line out the door.. Give then some sought of starch like smashed  mashed potato, scallopped  potatoor something like that you have no filler items.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #6 of 11

3 oz. of veg,one yorky per person,and 6 oz uncooked meat per person will be plenty for this event.    if youre gonna run out of anything in this event its gonna be the meat.   if you bump up to 8 oz each that you have on hand and rotate the cooking,if posible,you should be just fine with a bit left over.   do have a quick backup plan just in case.   but be smart and dont waste anything if you can.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your replies, they have been very helpful. I am more confident now in trying to pull this together:)

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Arrggh - indecisive brides....

post #9 of 11

Pffth, welcome to the wonderful world of wedding catering! tongue.gif

post #10 of 11

Tell her  "'Today is cutoff day or last day for changes"""and thats it. also get additional deposit 2 weeks prior.

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #11 of 11

Hi there

 

I am a professional caterer in Brisbane, Australia and we cater for jobs like this once, twice, sometimes SIX times per week.  I am happy to give you the advice that we use for our catering orders.

 

I work on about 100g (3.5oz) of each item per person

  • We offer three choices of meat at 100g each - for example 100g of pork, beef and lamb (300g) when cooked reduces down to about 200g per person.
  • We offer three choices of salad at 100g of salads and vegetables per person - so a function for 80 pax we would make 8kg potato salad, 8kg pasta salad ... and so on, you get the picture.  As for the veggies, we offer 100g of roast potatoes and 100g of baked pumpkin too.

 

So, for a complete function we give

  • 3 x 100g meat (uncooked) = 200g cooked
  • 3 x 100g salad = 300g
  • 2 x 100g veggies = 200g
  • PLUS all the other bits, bread, butter, Yorkies and sauces, condiments and so on which bulk it all out and make it look awesome!

 

In 6 years, we have NEVER run out of food!!  Remember, some of the guests will be kids, people on a diet, skinny women, special dietary requirements and so on...  Not everyone will eat one of everything and you must resist the urge to over-cater or you will be left with A LOT of food left over!

 

So for you I would recommend for you to use / per person

  • 100g x duck breast confit x 200 = 20kg (45 pounds)
  • 100g x moose roast x 200 = 20kg (45 pounds)
  • 100g x deer sausage x 200 = 20kg (45 pounds)
  • 1 x yorkshire pudding x 200 = 200
  • 100g x garlic mashed potatoes x 200 = 20kg (45 pounds)
  • 50g x peas x 200 = 10kg (23 pounds)
  • 50g x cauliflower x 200 = 10kg (23 pounds)
  • 50g x broccoli x 200 = 10kg (23 pounds)
  • 100 x raw veggie platter x 200 = 20kg (45 pounds)
  • 100g x ceasar salad x 200 = 20kg (45 pounds)

 

I hope that this helps, good luck!

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