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Cook Talk

wedding reception
i am planning on helping my boyfriends daughter with her wedding reception. i am planning on serving shrimp, pork tenderloin, meatballs as well as a pasta salad, maybe deviled eggs, and a pimento cheese spread with crackeers, possibly peach salsa with bruschetta. any suggestions or changes? how much pork tenderloin for 300 people? any suggestions for serving and or transporting? the reception venue will be outside and no kitchen facilities. i do have the church kitchen reserved for prep. how much cocktail sauce?
Betty, this is a huge undertaking, especially if you have not cooked regularly for over 100 people, and you have not chosen a simple menu, especially with that challenging venue. A 300 person reception requires at least 5 experienced people in the kitchen and at least 18-20 servers to set up- none of whom should be members of the wedding party, serve and clean up the meal, as well as 5 to 6 serving lines; 3 appetizer areas, and at least 2 beverage serving areas.

Do please read the wedding dinner article and your boyfriend and his daughter need to talk about the size of the wedding and about doing a mid-afternoon or after dinner dessert reception if cost is the issue. Even with careful experienced help, this will run at least $6000.

Please read

thanks for your comments, however i am used to preparing for big crowds, i do the wed night meal at our church for at least 135 people every week. i do have people from my staff at church lined up to help. it is a little intimdating taking all that food out away from the site, however i have done it before, but it has been a few years! do you have any tips for something that would be simpler, i plan to use pre cooked meatballs, i have access to out wholesale grocer which is where i will be purchasing the shrimp that has already been cooked and peeled. i plan on buying pre cooked hardboiled eggs and deviling them ourselves. any suggestions for a simpler menu would be very much appreciated.
My number 1 suggestion is to aim for a menu that can mostly be safely served at room temp. For example, deviled eggs out, roasted marinated veggies in.

shrimp, this would be served over many many pounds of an ice bed- you want at least 1 pound per 5 people or per 4-3 if you can afford it. People love shrimp. 1 cup dipping sauce per pound- you might have a remoulade as well as traditional cocktail sauce.

pork tenderloin,
Keeping the pork hot and tender is a real challenge. Would you consider roasted ham or turkey instead, baked ahead, served thin sliced, and cold?

meatballs- 1 pound per 5, 3 cups sauce per 2 pounds

Add 36 pounds small very good rolls, 8 pounds butter, a gallon of mayo

pasta salad- take a look at the improved Asian noodle salad here:
Do for 300.
If this were my party, I would also add either the Greek salad (do double the large size)or the 7 layer salad on the same page, do for 250

Classic relish trays from the veggie tray page- do 4
OR dolmas- good are available canned- 60 per can- Aetna is a fine brand, 8 cans. Serve with a yogurt dip- 1 cup per 6-8
Roasted veggies served at room temp, about 60 pounds

I would also expand the appetizers to include fruit trays- see the fruit tray page-
pimento cheese spread, about 4 gallons
crackers, 6 pounds per 100
possibly peach salsa, 1 cup per 5
bruschetta 1 pound per 12

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