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Please advise on quantities for light appetizers for 150....

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello, Chefs!

 

I would love some input on an upcoming job. I am making light appetizers for an open home that is happening for quests of a wedding. There will be about 150 people stopping by between 3 and 7 PM. The clients wants really simple food and we came up with: 3 dips with bread and crackers, herbed Marcona almonds, and grapes. The client wants it to be clear that they are not feeding people dinner, and would like food to run out by the end to encourage people to leave for dinner. I do not usually do events this big, but the host is a friend. Please share your thought on quantities. Thank you!

 

Indira

post #2 of 13


In my opinion   these people are CHEAP, 3 dips and grapes ? why bother .Just  show them pictures of food. As far as running out of food, they will blame you and its your reputation , think about it.

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Ed. They are friends which is the only reason I am doing this job! I definitely hear you on the running out of food thing and my reputation. I will rethink that.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
And still, advice on quantities would be helpful! Even if you think it's a stupid job. smile.gif
post #5 of 13
Is the hostess set on the marcona almonds? I would sub the almonds with strawberries, so that you would serve both grapes and strawberries. Its one thing to have family members pawing through the same nut bowl....quite a different thing when a large group does it.....people licking their fingers, then back in the nut bowl they go again...and if there are young children in the group, who knows where their little grubby paws have been....shorter list would be where haven't they been! no thanks! its part of why you don't see bar snacks sitting on bars anymore....pretzel /nut mixes are bowled up when a customer orders a drink. It is no longer a free for all thank god. Strawberries can be picked up individually, look considerably nicer, are considerably less expensive than marcona almonds and considerably more satisfying than the nuts. One flat of strawberries and 10-15 #'s of grapes should do it...get seedless green and red or if black grapes are available in your neck of the woods get those.

joey
Edited by durangojo - 6/6/14 at 12:54pm

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 #6 of 13

Agree with Joey, the nut bowl == bad idea, as is anything "fingery" thats coated in anything.

I watched a program once where they ran germ cultures on chips and dips as people

were eating them at a party. What they found was pretty scary.

This doesn't even sound like a visually pleasing display, and if I was a guest I'd feel

it was a "token" gesture, just a bone tossed at me to make me feel accommodated.

Maybe at least try to add a platter of cheap cheeses or say dippable veggies--not dinner

either, but more well rounded and  definitely more pleasing a display to the eyes.

And very easy to replace as you go along.

Hard to judge quantities because we don't know how you're "getting" them, what size cracker

packages etc. But I would guess a quart or so of each dip, maybe 6 or 7  lbs of nuts (if you insist!)

 maybe 8 or 10 crackers per person, and I dunno, 7 or 8 pounds of grapes.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses! I was thinking a serving spoon with the almonds, definitely. 

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by indiratisdel View Post
 

Thanks for the responses! I was thinking a serving spoon with the almonds, definitely.

 

Spoons infer that the contents are meant to be tipped in the mouth with one bite.

How about some small prep containers?

 

mimi

post #9 of 13
Hmm, in my opinion such containers might "deformalize" the presentation a little, but I agree
they should be pre portioned in some way, ("hobo-sacks" maybe?) and that bulk served or even spoons isn't practical especially for this many people.
post #10 of 13
Ah yes, a spoon. Bear with this slightly twisted but plausible scenario...first guest steps up...Spoon goes from bowl to palm.....nuts get eaten out of palm with fingers from other hand, repeatedly going from fingers to mouth. Spoon gets put back in bowl...next guest puts spoonful of nuts in palm and eats with fingers of other hand. Spoon goes back into the bowl for next guest and so on....so far so good until first guest comes back for more nuts....puts spoon in palm that once held nuts that fingers of other hand used to go from hand to mouth...repeatedly.....times that by 100.....its like kissing a roomful of strangers ,or abc gum ,or at the very least, shaking all of their hands...kinda sorta. Its not like a dip where guests are spooning the dip onto their plates and scooping it up with veggies or crackers. Even that has some bad crossover, but not quite as bad as a bowl of nuts or pretzels or popcorn imo. And when the spoon drops on the floor as it most probably will, it's a different horse race and all bets are off! tongue.gif
Lastly and once again, what does a flat of strawberries cost against a 5lb bag of marcona almonds? A third, maybe?

joey
Edited by durangojo - 6/11/14 at 3:48am

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 #11 of 13

This question is a week old so I might be too late to help.

 

I've been catering for 15 years. So this is just my personal experience.

 

I understand what the client means by running out of food. That is not a problem or going to make you look bad. They do not want leftovers, do not want to feel cheated if you take a bunch of food back with you and want to control costs. If you make at least 150 good sized servings and it goes, then it's gone. You snooze, you loose. Just make sure there is enough for everyone to go through the buffet line once. And make it so you can refill items instead of having everything laid out at once. This will deter people from taking a lot, because this will be before dinner when people are hungry. As you mentioned it's not a dinner, it's a gesture of the host.

 

The nuts will be fine. These comments saying about people eating with their hands in the bowl? Yeah that's gross, but it shouldn't even be an option for them. You will need a plate of some kind for all of your foods. I recommend a 6"-7" hor D'oeuvre plate (disposable plastic) for all the dips, nuts and fruit to go on. Check out a local supplier or online. That way it will fill up with less product.  Make sure to have at least 200 small plates for the people who come through again.

 

Quantities. Depends on what the client wants to spend. Especially with the almonds, as they will be the most expensive. So put them at the end of the line. The almonds would be best served with a 1 ounce serving spoon to control cost. Serving spoon sizes greatly impact portion control. Most people take 2-3 scoops of an item automatically. I'd go with 7 lbs. of almonds. Cut the grapes stems into sections of 5-8 grapes so they are easy to pick up (with tongs). Depending on size you can get 8-10 servings per bunch of grapes. The dips since there are 3, I would go with 3 quarts each (2 1/4 gallons total of all 3) and about 10 loaves of different kinds of cubed bread and 10 boxes of different crackers.

 

Make sure every item has tongs, forks or spoons (including bread and crackers).

Have plenty of small plates and cocktail napkins.

Wet naps are a nice touch with finger foods, so people can wash their hands.

 

As I said, just my experience. Hope I could give you a good idea.

 

Most of all have fun.

post #12 of 13
Perhaps i misread, but i didn't get the impression that there would be a buffet set up...more that there would be platters and trays set up in various places around the room(s). my mistake.....

joey

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

Reply

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

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post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by indiratisdel View Post
 

Thanks for the responses! I was thinking a serving spoon with the almonds, definitely.

 

Spoons infer that the contents are meant to be tipped in the mouth with one bite.

How about some small prep containers?

 

mimi

 

I also misread...

Got the pix in my head of pre-portioned almond servings in spoons.

Elite got it right.

 

Bowing out gracefully....

 

mimi

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