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Catering 100 ppl buffet


gfron1
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It looks like it's a bit short on fruits and vegetables though.

To the "Asian" table, he could add various crudite with a trio of dips: Spicy peanut; ginger-miso (thin white miso with ginger juice, sesame oil, and a little warm water; mirin if you like); and tofu-avocado.

ETA: or samjang - the Korean classic of deonjang and gochujang mixed. That would give a nice colour contrast, too.

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Not enough veggies and fruit...I thought I had a nice balance (I am short of fruit). The spring rolls are actually salad rolls so they're filled with veggies plus the slaw, potatoes...but the fact that you're perceiving it that way means my guests might also. Nakji's suggestion of crudite might just fit the bill then...as far as the Korean items, I'm not even familiar with those so I would have to do my homework.

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Rob, put the headcount in the contract. Put in the charge per person over the head count. Pay someone to count people at the door. Hold them to it.

Prep for double what they tell you and take any leftovers to serve on the lunch menu/dinner menus the next day at the Kumquat.

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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Nakji's suggestion of crudite might just fit the bill then...as far as the Korean items, I'm not even familiar with those so I would have to do my homework.

Ssamjang is a mix of doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste) and gochujang (Korean chili paste). Ssamjang You could sub miso for the doenjang, if you like. It's so salty, it's an addictive dip for cucumbers and carrots.

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Here's my menu:......

Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce  (perfect idea for this crowd --thanks!)

You're very welcome, Rob (your name would be.....um....Rob, not errm, Ron....sorry :blush:), glad I could help. I get so much pleasure from reading your posts, and so much inspiration from your creations, it's nice to give back. Rob. *mental note.....get the name right before you use it...*

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just got back from the event and it was a huge success!

I was really nervous about having enough food based on how this whole thing played out, and to top it off I had out biggest dinner night ever (we only do hot carry out for dinners). Absolutely nuts day! And I brought it two people to help me, one that I had never worked with before - she turned out to be a rock star!

So let's see...

-Lemongrass tea sweetened with kumquat syrup - huge hit

-Smoked salmon sushi - a last minute addition since I was making it for the cafè anyway

-BBQ chicken on sweet potato biscuits - very good but most people smothered the biscuit with the chicken - its a very southwest thing to do

-Papas rellenos - the absolute star of the event. I could have made 10 times as many and people would have been shoving them in their coat pockets; I took a flavor risk and it payed off big!

-Mini spring rolls - Thanks to eGer Verjuice for getting me the skins

-Bulgogi bison meatballs - a bit strong

-Smoked whitefish salad (I've never had this before so I made it all up - mayo, pickled mustard seeds, wasabi)

-Asian slaw - ginger rice vinegar, black sesame, meyer lemon

Tangerine cheesecakes

I had easily 50% of the crowd come back to my section to thank me for the food, so it was a rewarding and lucrative event for me. Thanks again for everyone's feedback. It was incredibly useful and appreciated.

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I'm glad to see it worked out for you! I make lemongrass tea all the time, and people are always surprised how much they love it. It's really refreshing, and great mixed with orange or lime juice as well.

I'm interested in your asian slaw - what vegetables did you put in it? In Japan, shops often put hijiki into a salad with cabbage and carrots, and it's a great complement.

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I just got back from the event and it was a huge success!

I was really nervous about having enough food based on how this whole thing played out, and to top it off I had out biggest dinner night ever (we only do hot carry out for dinners).  Absolutely nuts day!  And I brought it two people to help me, one that I had never worked with before - she turned out to be a rock star!

So let's see...

-Lemongrass tea sweetened with kumquat syrup - huge hit

-Smoked salmon sushi - a last minute addition since I was making it for the cafè anyway

-BBQ chicken on sweet potato biscuits - very good but most people smothered the biscuit with the chicken - its a very southwest thing to do

-Papas rellenos - the absolute star of the event.  I could have made 10 times as many and people would have been shoving them in their coat pockets; I took a flavor risk and it payed off big!

-Mini spring rolls - Thanks to eGer Verjuice for getting me the skins

-Bulgogi bison meatballs - a bit strong

-Smoked whitefish salad (I've never had this before so I made it all up - mayo, pickled mustard seeds, wasabi)

-Asian slaw - ginger rice vinegar, black sesame, meyer lemon

Tangerine cheesecakes

I had easily 50% of the crowd come back to my section to thank me for the food, so it was a rewarding and lucrative event for me.  Thanks again for everyone's feedback.  It was incredibly useful and appreciated.

Awesome! My taste buds have been awakened just from reading your menu. Did you take any pictures? Would you share more details, please, such as the number of prep & clean up hours you put in, the amounts of food you served, the number of platters, room set-up, etc.

PS:Sorry I was unable to respond right away as my hard drive died and I had to buy and set up bo a new computer.

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Awesome! My taste buds have been awakened just from reading your menu.  Did you take any pictures?  Would you share more details, please, such as the number of prep & clean up hours you put in, the amounts of food you served, the number of platters, room set-up, etc. 

PS:Sorry I was unable to respond right away as my hard drive died and I had to buy and set up  bo a new computer.

I didn't take any pics because we were very overwhelmed by a rush of dinner orders that night. With the exception of the papas rellenos, the other items were quick and easy. I brought in two helpers - one for 7 hours and one for 3 - I had lunch to do and dinner prep (we're a small operation - normally I am a one person show). I did the salad the night before - 10 minutes. The papas were the time consumer. I spent 90 minutes on them in the morning during my lunch prep. The other time consuming prep was spring rolls. Fortunately, in a burrito intensive community, I just explained to my staff that they were making mini burritos. All in all, my guess would be maybe 7 prep hours between the three of us with lots of dish washing in between. I keep my staff up on dishes so we spent no more than 1 hour of dishes at the end of the night, but that includes our dinners to go.

As far as how much - I look at things two ways. First, number of pieces. This was intended to be stand up food so I figured 1.5 pieces per person per item - 150 of each item. I also look at things by weight. For my dinners I shoot for 3/4 pound per person, but for events like this, I shoot for less than half a pound. There are others with far more experience on this board who can explain estimates better and I would love to learn from them.

Platters were just one per item. I used a bunch of risers under smaller platters and I filled as needed, but for 100 people I only had to re-fill my cheesecakes since they can't stack. And set up was no more than 10 minutes.

The fun thing was that I had a last minute dinner to go from a doc who was recruiting a new doc, and they wanted to show that even our little hamlet has big city foods, and his house was just a stone's throw from my cater, so I packed up and headed down for quality control/butt kissing. My staff did an Indian dinner having never made, let alone, eaten Indian food before. I was counting on my recipes being clear and it seems as if they were based on the results. I showed up in my whites and the doc and his recruit were very impress that they received such care.

BTW, I ate the rest of my papas rellenos filling in a sandwich today for lunch with melted cheddar - very tasty.

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I've never cooked for more than four people, so take this with a grain of salt. But it seems to me that some sous vide techniques would be very applicable here.

Once you bring the water up to temperature, an 85-watt, 24-liter rice warmer controlled by a SousVideMagic PID controller ought to be able to cook as much as 50 pounds of brisket to melt-in-your-mouth tenderness -- 48 hours at 135F. See the recipe I posted recently in the sous vide thread.

You could run a carving station, or pre-carve it and serve it from warming pans, with anything from barbeque sauce to demi-glace with sautéed mushrooms, left over from making mushroom stock.

Then I would use a 12 liter rice cooker to prepare and keep warm 50 bowls of rice, perhaps flavored with beef and mushroom stock -- almost like mushroom risotto, but without all the stirring. Assuming you are having other courses, 50 bowls would probably be enough for 100 people, and it would look and taste quite elegant, with minimal prep time for the staff.

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Thanks for the idea Robert. In this situation, a carving station was not going to be appropriate since they were really looking for finger foods. I do use SV in my dinner applications, especially in my MG meals, and a good water bath with circulator is very high on my to-buy list.

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I'm curious why you think you need a circulator?

For $139 to $159 for a Sous Vide Magic controller (depending on the accuracy -- 1500B for 0.1 Celsius vs. 1500 C for 1.0 Fahrenheit ), plus $185 to $200 for a commercial rice cooker, and $50 for a good thermometer, or around $400 total, what more do you expect to gain in terms of accuracy, convenience, etc., with a circulator plus a tank for probably $1700 or more?

I'm certainly not in the high volume restaurant business, nor even the catering business, but it seems to me that four Sous Vide Magic setups capable of running at different temperatures for cook-hold of various foods would be vastly more useful than a single circulator, at about the same price.

If you are really worried about circulation, and my tests with a calibration-grade thermometer indicate that there is no reason why you should be, then $15 for a garden fountain pump ought to solve that problem.

Temperature is temperature, and once you get the food to a steady-state temperature, that's all you need. No one is going to convince me that keeping the temperature of food to within 0.1F vs. keeping it to within 0.2F is going to be at all noticeable, so why spend the additional money for a laboratory grade instrument? (Unless you are getting your Ph.D. in sous vide?)

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  • 1 year later...

Spam for breakfast... :raz:

I keep up with Rob's work via his blog, he has the catering thing completely under control at this point. His restaurant is doing great as well.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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