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catering a wedding for 120

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So just did my first catering of a wedding where I was running the entire show. Was not a complete disaster but I have a new found respect for the chefs i used to work with. This was an offsite catering and i did not check it out enough before i went out. The main problem was they only had one oven and it was not a commerical oven. I had fullsize sheet trays for rolls asperagus and these vegan towers i was cooking and wouldn't you know it the oven was too small for full size pans. Fortunately my kitchen was about 3 miles from the site we were catering to. I had to drive back and grab some half sheet trays and do everything in batches then we stalled the salads going out so it wouldn't look like we stopped serving half way through. Service went out about half an hour late but i again got lucky. I talked to the couple told them service was going to be late. Told them it was my fault because of my inexperience and they were ok with it. The food could have gone out a bit faster as well i only hired one server and two cooks because i thought with three cooks we could spare one to help with running food. However because of the problem with the oven we needed him. The food did go out and it was cooked correctly so i saved face a little bit. All and all i learned a lot. I didn't screw up someones wedding although they were getting a little antsy and very drunk just before the food went out. I just posted this thread to hear others stories and to get feedback. I have been reading through your threads and i have found them to be entertaining and useful. Thanks guys
post #2 of 6

You already learned a huge lesson re unfamiliar surroundings.

 

I find it helpful to actually draw a sort of map of the venue.

Mark the entrances as well as parking situation and ask re timetable for other vendors.....most everyone will be in and out before you but then again they might not (you will most likely be the last to leave other than the DJ/band and if you get blocked in may have to cool your heels and wait for someone to move the van)

Ask the party planner where all the tables/DJ/dance floor/foliage/your buffet line will be.

If you are contracted for table service the location of tables is nice to have in order to plan out and dedicate the order of delivery.

Doesn't hurt to ask again the week before the event as nothing can throw things FUBAR quite like a vanishing path.

 

Never offer liability.

Tell the host the truth (ie small oven) and state the resolution (will be right back with smaller pans) and leave it at that.

They may seem cool with it but (depending on host's personality) buyer's remorse can damage your rep no matter how small the hiccup.

 

Welcome to Chef Talk!

 

mimi

post #3 of 6
Ahhh catering, she is a fickle bitch to be sure but it can be a nice living. You sound like you did what you needed to do and got the job done, plus learned a bit. My best advice to you is to never leave anything to assumptions or guesses, and certainly never go on anyones word. When going into a new site look, test, meassure, question and for god sakes write everthing down. Always have a plan B up your sleve and whatever you do make it look like its going exactlly how you ment it too.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
It was a pretty interesting thing putting everything together for this catering job. I have done a bit of catering before but this was the first time I did everything. From ordering the food to hiring people for staff to figuring out what equipment to take. It was worth it though. Thanks for the idea about drawing a map flipflopgirl I will definately use that in the future. Thankyou Logam as well. I always try to stay cool even if the kitchen IS on fire lol.
post #5 of 6

@kman409 ,

For me, I think it's one of the hardest things to do. Going in cold to a different kitchen to produce and especially a working kitchen.  Chefs that are good at it have this special anal talent for knowing what they will need off premise and even forecast needs if something goes wrong or there is a little hiccup. Myself, forget it, my labor would be out the roof. I would rent trucks and bring every single thing from my kitchen to the site.

  I only bring wedding cakes to a function and we usually stay within a 15 mile radius so we know the venues. If we are asked to deliver to a unknown location, I do as flipflop says and go ahead of time to make maps and demand I get a table diagram. I will usually ask if I can crash another function just to see how the venue runs. 

  When I was younger I used to love going to help my catering frends with big functions. I never realized the enormous amounts of talent, patience, and hootspa it took to pull the function off without hitches.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by kman409 View Post

It was a pretty interesting thing putting everything together for this catering job. I have done a bit of catering before but this was the first time I did everything. From ordering the food to hiring people for staff to figuring out what equipment to take. It was worth it though. Thanks for the idea about drawing a map flipflopgirl I will definately use that in the future. Thankyou Logam as well. I always try to stay cool even if the kitchen IS on fire lol.

 

 

Adrenaline rush on someone else's dime lol.

I have retired so many times but still have trouble saying no.

Love that you love it.

 

mimi

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