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The right equipment for the right event.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello members,

 

My name is Gregory. I am not a chef, but a great admirer and a business owner in Canada.

 

I am in the process of starting another business, based around culinary experiences in outdoor environments.

 

I am in the research stage, and am formulating what equipment and supplies will be needed for the hired chef. I'm hoping this community can help me out.

 

I understand that there are grills, wash stations, etcetera. But since I am not a chef myself, and my outdoor cooking experience is limited to camping, I'm insure as to how many grills (etc) would be needed, what else is required and what equipment can be multi-used for different menu items, so that I don't have to buy an entire cookware store (jk, but really). 

 

Dinners will feature one or two guest and student chefs, displaying their talents. My question is: based upon a suggested menu below, for a head count 50 guests, what equipment would you require to fulfill the order?

 

Keep in mind, this is all outdoors. And if possible with your suggestions-what are the "wants" versus the "needs"? Like any business, our wants can be more lavish than what is actually needed. Ofcourse, I want the chefs to have everything they need without frustration, but as this is an outdoor experience, and considering the logistics to set and tear down everything after each dinner I cannot fully accommodate requests that may be unnecessary. 

 

Thank you in advance. Any help would be appreciated.

 

 

I've supplied two sample menus. One is by the plate, and the other is family style/shared. I haven't quite decided which style I'd like to pursue-any suggestions on which would be easier for a culinary point of view? Please note that these are not menus in which I plan to serve-they are copies of beautiful menus I have found on the internet, with the mission of articulating the needs to create menus as splendid (It will be the guest chefs responsibility to create a menu as they desire).

meals such as these. Thank you, I hope I supplied enough, and clear information.

 

 

Hors d'oeuvres

Crab Cocktail with Horseradish Cream and Tomato Aspic

Beef Tongue Fritters with Sauce 

Rabbit Rillettes with Apple Chutney

Beef Heart and Potato Churrasco with Sweet Onion and Roasted Jalapeno

Beet Pickled Stuffed Eggs with Radish

Romano Bean and Pancetta Bruschetta with Heirloom Tomato

 

Dinner

Steak Tartare with Poached Quail Egg 

Braised Short Ribs with Garlic and Ginger

Vegetable Salad

 

 Marinated Strip Steak, Arugula, Marinated tomatoes, Sheep’s Cheese

 

To Start:

Fogline Farm chicken liver mousse with charred strawberries
Chicken skin and heart “yakitori”
Marinated Dirty Girl beets with almond ash
Dungeness crab with Companion Bakers sourdough crackers

Family Style:

Grilled Freewheelin Farm green garlic with Iaocopi artichokes & wilted fava leaves
Charred Tomatero Farm leeks with smoked pepper romesco
Smoky fava beans with olive oil and sea salt

Spiced Monterey squid
with black butter garlic peas, marinated green strawberries
& and mint-cilantro pistou

Smoked Fogline Farm chicken
with hearth roasted yukon potatoes & roasted Dirty Girl cabbage

 

 

post #2 of 6

A few of those items require preparation ahead of the party---

 

Will those need to be done out doors also?

 

50 guests is not large--but you have 3 cooks?

 

So far I see a refrigerator----two cooking burners and a Big John charcoal grill---or a large gas grill.

 

A few more  details are needed----is water available? Electricity? Will the out side cooking area be permanent or does all of have to be transported and broken down for each event?

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi Mikeswoods,

 

Thank you for your response. Water will be available, either by connecting to the site if possible or if needed, supplied (within reason). In regards to electricity, I am hoping to run the needed equipment via a low generator or fuel attachment (such as propane). I make these notes, as it wont always be reasonable to assume electricity and water will be supplied from the site-but we will have it if needed.

 

If something will need previous preparation that is a possibility. Can you enlighten me on whether you think it's possible to do it fully onsite?

 

Unfortunately all equipment will need to be transported, set up and taken down aper event.

 

The original idea was one or two chefs, with additional kitchen staff at the chefs request. I am planning on inviting a different, local chef per event. And will have the discussion with them as to what produce and materials will be available, and what they will require in terms of assistant chefs, or personnel. I'm hoping to keep it as minimal as possible, since there are ALOT of overhead associated with creating such specialty dining experiences.

 

Not to take this in another direction, but if you have any knowledge on the topic-what would assume is a reasonable cost-per-head to assume? 

 

Sorry if I've overloaded you, but I greatly appreciate the insight.

 

 

Gregory

post #4 of 6

The great outdoors........  can  also be a cruel mistress.

 

One thing you will need is a 10' x 10' tent canopy.  Trees are lovely, provide shade--and leaves, bark, twigs, and a zillion insects in your food, but you need to protect your workers and your food.  Squirrels are cute nuisances, birds are not, they swoop down and steal, or crap on your food from great heights.

 

I'd really suggest looking at the "Cambro" catalouge, there is some excellent catering equipment in there.  First thing is a self contained handwash station. Expensive sucker, at least 3 grand, but no one says you can't rent it for the first year or so.  Get one and the health inspector will relax like two day old pizza dough, don't have one and the health inspector will be all over you like stink.  Also find out what Ye Olde Health Inspector likes for refrigeration on site.  Some insist on mechanical refrigeration, some will allow Cambros with the optional slide in  icepack.  This is an excellent piece of equipment and one that will maintain temps for up to 4 hours provided you don't open the door too many times.

 

From your menu it looks like you will need a "home base" to prepare most of the stuff.  Onsite cooking is just flash and show, no prep work should be done on site.

 

A good bbq is a versatile piece of equipment.  Check out "Crown Verity" for what I feel a good propane bbq should be.  You should be able to grill, griddle, roast on a spit and bake with it.  I've done wellingtons in a bbq, works out well.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 6

We did a lot of cooking on site---and had accumulated a lot of gear over the years-----

 

See if 'Big John' grill company is still around---they had cast iron table top gas burners that looked great and had full sized gas rings.

 

Ideal for Wok stir frying and corn boils (Lobster)

 

Their charcoal grills were a good value---

 

A Honda generator is quiet and worth the expense. A box truck with a refrigerator and freezer is handy, but hot/cold boxes can be used.

 

I strongly agree about the tent----the bigger the better-----

 

As to cost----wow---all that gear and personnel for only 50 guests?  It's going to be spendy---

 

Add up all of your rentals (include your own equipment)---payroll for pulling the gear,transporting set up and breakdown--cleaning and such--

 

On site payroll----food cost--sales--overhead and profit---and you have it----

post #6 of 6
Portable butane burners.
Propane super burners, turkey pots.
Tongs, ladels, knives cutting boards, prep tables. Lots of coolers with ice. Let the chefs decide what they can make with the equipment on hand. Even for 50 you need a large bbq, a 6' one would be a good start. Back up the propane tanks. You dont really need that much equipment IMO. Your menu is a bit extravagant though so find chefs that specialize in up scale dining. I see a smoked item there so you will need some sort of gear than can smoke. Another BbQ maybe. Dont forget the wood for the smoker.

A few pots and pans. If there are multiple bbqs one can be used for hot holding. Make a complete lost of everything you bring and check it twice!!! Before you leave and again before you leave! List all food items needed also.

If you tent a big bbq, make sure you get one with a lid! I did a wedding for 120 outside and the bbq had no lid, it was a bit tricky to finish planked salmon on it, but I had a lot of 8" hotel pans with me so i made my own covers....
Also provide appropriate cuts of meat. Same event i was supplied with 25 lb turkey to go in a 18 lb fryer..... A bit sketchy to say the least. Good thing I had a large field to work with.
Sounds like fun sign me up.
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