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HELP! Advise on menu planning for large event 1200 people

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am putting together a menu for passed apps, buffet dinner and dessert for 1200 people.

Event will be outdoors, in summer, and we will be creating a kitchen with large grills, refridgerated truck, and 1 oven (fits only 10 hotel pans at time). I am having a hard time coming up with a starch for the dinner that can be prepared on site that is quick ( or par cooked??)  Also a veggie side? Any advise on what to serve in these conditions would be greatly appreciated. We have outdoor events like this- but at most 400 people.

 

Added per OP request:

Buffet style dinner:

Salad of organic greens, farmers market tomatoes, basil, roasted pumpkin seeds and a balsamic vinaigrette. 

Roasted baby potato salad with arugula pesto and basil ribbons ?? 

DO i need a veggie side or a starch side? An easy options??

Choice of entree:

grilled salmon with miso glaze

grilled pepper crusted tri-tip beef loin with chimichuri sauce

 

Assorted mini desserts: 

mini key lime tarts 

mini fresh berry tarts

vegan gluten free cupcakes 

french macaroons 

chocolate panna cotta with fresh raspberries

post #2 of 13

I have had much luck with roasted red potatoes. Unpeeled quartered tossed in an olive oil base with rosemary, thyme, basil and garlic. All prep can be done days ahead and and panned and oven ready day of event. Vegetable side can be anything you want; veggies work indoord or out. Good Luck.

post #3 of 13

Another spin on the use of red potatoes would be to cook them as Chef Daveed suggested.  Cook them ahead then add blanched green beans olive oil and serve either reheated or cold.

post #4 of 13

I read your post better instead of concentrating on the previous reply (my bad).  You already have a great sounding potato dish.  You could do two slaws whose dressings contained some of the seasonings use on the entrees or one that went with both.

post #5 of 13
Roasted potatoes are a good idea because they keep well for a couple hours and anything mashed ends up gluey if kept heated too long and they're expensive with the butter and cream. You could also do polenta/grits depending on your clientele because they hold extremely well. You could even cook, cool and cut them for polenta/grit cakes that are easy to reheat and plate
post #6 of 13

A warm or room temp noodle dish can be an option.  Since you have miso glazed salmon, an asian style tossed noodle can be made ahead of time and tossed just before service.  I can see a noodle with al dente spaghetti, grilled peppers and onions, shredded cabbage and carrots, with an asian vinaigrette (vinegar, black bean, peanut, or other flavor profiles) would be great.  Even after mixed, they keep for hours.

post #7 of 13

I'm loving autoredial's idea.....only I'd use rice stick noodles snow peas, carrots, napa cabbage, possibly peppers, red onions,mint go asian

good room temp as well as cold.  

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #8 of 13

seems to me your dinner buffet is a bit light....if you offer a few sides, guests will take less of each instead of a lot of one and have a better looking and more balanced  plate. Not to say that women don't love potatoes...we do...we also like choices and variety.  Oy to the labor on this,but a marinated raw chopped vegetable salad would fill a lot of voids(color, health, crunch). lots of directions for dressing...Asian vinaigrette or red wine vinegar vinaigrette, or even a poppyseed dressing. If the labor is too oy,then perhaps just a single marinated vegetable salad like green beans with a lemon-Dijon vinaigrette or something fruity like blueberry or raspberry vinaigrette. Asparagus would work just as well, but a bit pricey and not as hearty a stand in. since your event is in easy breezy summer, summertime tomatoes should be in season....a simple sliced tomato salad would be great for flavor and color...and no refrigeration required And you can slice and tray them on site....also lots of directions on a vinaigrette from simply evoo and balsamic and salt and pepper or capers or mint or fennel....for another starch side, I know it's overdone, but there is a reason for this....it's good. Long grain and wild rice pilaf with cranberries. You can add or sub other dried fruits. Quinoa or couscous would be relatively easy as would a harvest grain blend(red quinoa, couscous, orzo, dried garbanzos).

 

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomgirl View Post

I'm loving autoredial's idea.....only I'd use rice stick noodles snow peas, carrots, napa cabbage, possibly peppers, red onions,mint go asian

good room temp as well as cold.  

this is where id go.   also a couple choices would surely go over well.

post #10 of 13

easier to have sides room temp/cool.....so much easier.

 

A grain salad would work too.

Ditto fresh veg.

 

Depends on the $$$$ they are spending.

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 13

i would ad a pumpkin , toasted pinenut , goat fetta,and roquette salad tossed with a balsamic mayonaise- all cold

and a pasta salad of sorts as side both can be served cold and preped prior to event!! except dont dress the salad till busines time :) 

looks good but!!

post #12 of 13

dont hurt to have a choice of salads!

post #13 of 13

I go with Mushroom Girl  a cous cous or Taboulli type side , Rice pilaff also holds heat for a long time and reqires 1 army pan to make enogh for a lot of guest as you are light on oven holding space.  Also on a gig like this I would set things up in scattered stations as to disburse guest to different parts of the room  also buffet line accessable to both sides  of tables.  Your greates problem is the initial surge of guest. you want to move them thru quickly.  I trust you have a tent to work in and what plans have you made in the event of RAIN?  and additional bath room facilities.?

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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