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Mexican Food for formal dinner need tips on set up

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We have been working with Mexican food for the past 6 years and we have done some casual catered events. Recently we have been asked to do plated dinners. We did one for a quinceañera and were familiar with what was expected within the Mexican culture. They still used disposable dishes, had 2 liter bottles of soft drinks on each table and all formality rules did not apply.I still don't know if it was a formal dinner or not being that we had servers bring the food to their tables but in 3 compartment disposable plates.

We have now been asked to do a full service dinner with simple tapas for social hour.it is for a non-profit community event. Social hour is from 6pm -7pm and dinner is from 7pm - 8pm. They said linens are not necessary. My question is Mexican food with a formal setting, I am not sure how to handle the flatware since most mexican dishes come accompanied with tortillas and a fork. Can anyone help me figure out what flatware to use and type of glass since they requested a fruit punch. Any and all advice would be appreciated.

post #2 of 7

Someone will help if you list the menu---and ,for those of us not familiar with the foods,let us know what is needed to cut of otherwise eat the dishes---

post #3 of 7

Well, the normal way I always figured out the answer to such questions was to first, figure out

which options I would be willing/able to supply and at what added cost if any, then secondly

to present these options to the client and ask them what/how they would like done.


 As to formality, in my experience with Hispanic cultural events its not the type of plates/napkins/

flatware etc that makes it formal so much as more colorful, ample and elaborate decorations accompanying

the cuisine.  Staying within any pertinent themes of course.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

I apologize for not responding earlier. I am new to Cheftalk and I didn't think my question was posted at all, since I was supposed to be notified if my question would be approved for posting.

Our event already passed and all went well. The menu included Chicken Mole and  Guizado de Puerco (pork cooked in a savory red chile sauce) with rice and beans. We served Chile Rellenos for the vegetarians. They requested that dessert be placed on table before dinner and they did request tortillas also. We provided the wine glasses, water goblets, plates, carafes, and flatware. I ended up placing dinner fork and desert fork on left to plate setting and spoon and knife on right. Although there were tortillas available on all tables I was nervous about the setting for those who didn't use tortillas as utensils and how precise the setting had to be, for example I know the dessert fork goes above the plate with tines to the right. This was a charity event where half the guests were accustomed to eating tortillas w/ food but the other half were very wealthy donors who know precisely how their utensils should be set.

All in all, things went well but I'm sure there is much to learn as to the proper way to set a Mexican formal dinner that includes tortillas. There was no salad included with this dinner.


Thanks for responding, sorry I didn't figure out how to navigate this forum quicker

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

I posted an update to this question and apologize for not responding sooner. I had some difficulties figuring out how to use this forum.

post #6 of 7

Thanks for the update----I'm glad the event went well---That chicken in mole sure sounds good---


You did well to 'civilize'; the place settings-----It would have embarrassed some of the guests to eat with the hands---many are uncomfortable with truly authentic service---

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response, I am glad to hear I did alright with the setting of tableware.

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