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Cook Talk

Pasta Buffet for 200
Hayley
04/22/13
Hello, First of all I love your site. Such a help. I donated $10 this morning.

I am planning a casual wedding buffet dinner for 160-200 so budgeting and planning on 200.

Can you comment on the menu, amounts etc? We have access to a large kitchen, lots of help etc. Many skilled cooks.

Drinks:

Wine, beer, non-alcoholic punch, water

Appetizers:

A antipasti buffet

Cured Meats, assorted
Cheese, assorted
Olives (kalamata and green, assorted)
Giardineira
Pickled Artichokes
Assorted bell peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Lots of country bread (Italian ciabatta, baguettes etc) with olive oil/balsamic dipping bowls and garlic butter (15 loaves?)
Fresh fruit

Dinner buffet:

Penne Pasta (40 pounds+)
With choice of white sauce or marinara
choice of chicken breast strips and meatballs (40 pounds meatballs, 30 pounds chicken)
lots of parmesan cheese on the side (12 pounds shredded)
Garden Salad tossed (lettuce, spinach, pepper, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion) (28 pounds salad)
Choice of Italian or ranch dressing (288 oz dressing)
More country bread with olive oil, garlic butter. (28 loaves?)

Desert:

Wedding cake or cupcakes
Assorted fruit
Coffee, tea etc.

ellen
04/22/13
Thank you for your support.

Drinks:
Wine, beer, non-alcoholic punch, water
Don't forget dinner level coffee, all these are covered in some detail on the beverage planning page; you have to guesstimate number of beer drinkers, do expect pretty much everyone will have at least a toast of wine, and the non-beer drinkers will have several glasses- this depends on your crowd and importantly the length of the party.

Appetizers
Cured Meats, assorted- 2 ounces per person
Cheese, assorted- 2 ounces per person
Olives (kalamata and green, assorted)- 1 gallon per 100

Giardineira
Assorted bell peppers

Pickled Artichokes- about 1 ounce per adult
Cherry tomatoes- about 10 pounds

Lots of country bread (Italian ciabatta, baguettes etc) 1 pound per 8-

with olive oil/balsamic dipping bowls -about 1 cup per 6
garlic butter- skip- save for hot bread with dinner

Fresh fruit- deluxe fruit tray for 100, add 2xtray for 25, from the fruit tray page

Dinner
Dinner buffet:

Penne Pasta (40 pounds+)- actually, 30 is probably plenty unless they are VERY big eaters
With choice of white sauce or marinara 1 quart per pound of dry pasta, 2/3 red, 1/3 white is usual split
choice of chicken breast strips and meatballs (40 pounds meatballs, 30 pounds chicken)- OK, not much left
lots of parmesan cheese on the side (12 pounds shredded)- good
Consider adding broccoli florets- pretty with this plate and nice for folks who don't want meat- about 20 pounds per 100

Garden Salad tossed (lettuce, spinach, pepper, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion) (28 pounds salad)
Choice of Italian or ranch dressing (288 oz dressing) have 1/4 of each light
More country bread with olive oil, garlic butter. 10 pounds per 100 since you already had some- look for other rolls or bread, 2 pounds butter per 100

Wedding cake or cupcakes
Assorted fruit- here, kitchen permitting, consider small individual servings of mousse or sorbet, since you already had fruit earlier
Consider adding Italian wedding cookies- 2 per person
Coffee, tea etc.see beverage page

Nice party. Write back if you need to.

Hayley
04/23/13
Thanks so much for the advice! I want to have plenty of meat, should I up the meatballs to 50 pounds and the chicken to 40?

I will go ahead and do the steamed broccoli, it will also be a good side for the people who want to just eat meat and veggies and no pasta.

ellen
04/23/13
That would not be way too much meat, you might have a little left- I have some extra pasta bar notes, if you email to the contact address/link at the bottom of the page, I will send you the notes.
Hayley
04/23/13
Thanks so much.

I cannot see the contact info at the bottom of the page... ?

ellen
04/23/13
At the box on the bottom, click on "Ellen's Kitchen Updates"
Hayley
07/16/13
Hi Ellen, Just wanted to give you an update and another big thank you for your help! The dinner turned out wonderful. I made a pesto cream sauce for the white sauce, and a homemade marinara. I grilled the chicken then sliced it and froze it in food saver bags, then the day of the wedding reheated in boiling water in the bags. I did the same thing with the marinara sauce. The pasta I par cooked then froze in the food saver bags, the frozen pasta was then dunked in boiling water. We had 40 pounds cooked chicken, 24 pounds cooked penne, 54 pounds cooked frozen meatballs, 9 quarts of cream sauce, 20 quarts of marinara, 35 pounds of salad, 250 slices of garlic bread 300 oz of salad dressing. 3 pounds of crotons, 20 pounds of mixed frozen veggies. We served about 180, had half the meatballs left over, half the marinara, half the chicken, 1/4 of the salad, 3/4s of the dressing, 1/4 of the garlic bread, most of the vegetables, half the croutons. For the appetizers we used all the bread, most of the dipping oil, most of the fruit, had half the artichokes, olives, etc left over, half the lunch meat and a 1/3 of the cheese. We had a keg of beer (130 serving) and 350 servings of assorted wine. We used all the beer, and 2/3rds of the wine. We also served gallons of ice tea, lemonade, water and coffee. We used rented chafing pans and platters for serving. bought the serving utensils at the dollar store. We used turkey roasters, stove top, oven, and an outdoor turkey fryer (for water). Thanks for you help!
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