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Cook Talk

Cooking for 180- wedding reception
We have a budget of $2000 to 2500. Want to have a buffet with beef in light gravy, chicken, potatoes, vegetarian pasta dish,carrots, salad, rolls. Beverages of coffee, tea, small cans of soda and water. No cake, we are having cookies made for us. We don't have a commercial kitchen but have 6 of the 18 quart roasters and a warming rack (10 shelves) and regular oven and 2 refrigerators.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed as mother of bride, would love to oversee kitchen but not possible unless I can do some preparation work the day before the wedding. Any suggestions? How many servings of beef can I put into a roaster? What kind of beef would you suggest? Do you recommend purchasing the meat from a wholesale grocer?
Denise, I could not do this menu on this budget...

You are right, you can't oversee the kitchen day of. See the article on wedding dinners on this site.

Also, you can only plug in 1 or at most 2 electric roasters per electric circuit, and you need to plug them into a surge protector, as they blow fuses when two cycle "on" at the same time.

If this were my budget, what I would do is the Orange Dijon wedding chicken from my Big Pots page, no beef (the cost is currently more than $2 per person, just for the beef), no pasta; rice pilaf with almonds and veggies, so that vegetarians could also use this as their entree. Skip the soda and have lemonade or punch, 10 gallons.

Also, this is about a 10 person operation to set up, serve, and clean up. Usual cost per helper if paid, $100 and up...

Do write back if you want to push this around and I will try to help, that is a very tough budget- just take out the costs of what you must purchase- beverages, plates (2 large and 2 small per person) cups (2-3 per person, 1 knife, 2 forks, 2 spoons, 4-5 napkins; ice; help; rental equipment; and look at what is left for food.
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