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Hi guys and gals=) Hoping someone can help me out here. I have been searching the web trying to find out what are the 7 courses to a 7 course meal. I am planning on doing this for my family and in-laws=) So far this is what I came up with and I was hoping you could either correct it or fill in what I am missing pretty plz. 1-appetizer(cold) 2-soup 3- hot appetizer or salad 4- pasta, salad, or palate cleanser 5- main course or salad 6- main course or dessert 7- dessert, fruit, or latte. This is what I came up with from searching and I was hoping you professionals could point me in the right direction plz=) Thank you, Bakerlady29

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WEll, there aren't really any "rules" unless you are truly looking to do a French or Italian traditional course meal. Otherwise, just a few things to think about.

Don't do same proteins back to back. I.e., don't serve two seafood courses back to back, or two beef courses.

The meal should build. Start with lighter fare, then go on to the heavy, more protein oriented stuff. Generally, seafood before meat, but not always.

Don't serve the same cooking method more than once.

I wouldn't treat things like intermezzos (or palatte cleansers) as courses, and I wouldn't put more than one salad, or pasta, on the menu (unless you are doing a pasta tasting menu, of course).

Try to stay consistent. Don't have parts of it be ultra fancy then parts be bistro like and simple. Don't do things like have heavy dish after heavy dish.

Hope it helps.

Post your menu when you come up with it, there are a lot of graet cookson this site who might be able to help you improve it.

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In my Italian household they would be:

1. Antipasto, some items that tease and enhance the appetite, like pickled mushrooms, raw vegetables, etc.
2. Soup or cup of broth
3. Pasta, gnocchi, ravioli's
4. Entree with vegetable, no just had it in #3
5. Salad
6. fruit & cheese (like melon slices and dry smoky cheese)
7. Dessert (which may only be cookie assortment and coffee)

Since you don't have staff relax the evening, keep it simple. If there are lots of different dishes you want to make...........just have them to dinner again.
The goal is to keep the conversation going and everyone enjoying themselves, not to feed them massive quantities with each course of food. When I have Italian guests I will serve this way, with others the guest can get uncomfortable, they think they must fill up on every course; you must "school" them. None of the courses are heavy, they aren't filling in themselves, they enhance the course before and the course after.

And you form the evening with the courses, let everyone relax, aperitif, cocktails with the antipasto; course 2,3 &4 are pushed together a bit, they flow one after the other. The salad is staged by the table, ready as soon as the entree is cleared, but the eating of the salad is not rushed, it is eaten at every one's individual pace. I may set my fruit and cheese platters along with small plates at the center of the table before all of the salads are eaten, letting everyone help themselves as they are ready and pour more wine. The salad/fruit course can be 45 min. to 2 hour, at my house but I clear the plates in the mean time, and will usually stage my coffees, liqueurs and dessert at the table so I can set and simply offer as my guests are ready.

You must develop your own technique to getting your self back to the table and set down with the guests; otherwise you just become a restaurant. I always set in the middle of the table, I can join in immediately when I set down; it doesn't work as well if I set at the end of the table.

I don't not clean anything during the dinner, I clear. If you do more everyone thinks they should help you in the kitchen and once everyone starts getting up and down it's hard to keep the table involved and the conversation flowing.
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