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Cook Talk

reception for 400
KM
03/16/14
800 invites going out for wedding.planning on dinner for 400. having smoked brisket and bbq for meat. im making mac and cheese, baked potatoes and salad. all will be on one massive table. about 60 toppings will be on a table nearby to top your baked potato and salad and/or mac and cheese. I want to make sure my quantities are near correct....
45 lbs of mixed salad greens
4 gallons dressing
220 lbs of med sz potatoes
32 lbs butter
70 lbs fresh broc
15 lbs tomatoes
13 lbs cheese
10 lbs bacon
9 qts olives
13 lbs sour cream
40 lbs guacamole
6 qts salsa
3 cups chives
18 cups green onions
gallon of oil (for potatoes)
need help w/ amounts for the following-
jalapenos,mushrooms(raw and cooked,celery,carrots,avocados,cauliflower,sweet peppers,toasted almonds.
I have my own measurements for my mac and cheese and have already figured them out.none of the above is being used in the making of the mac and cheese.that list is only for toppings for pot.and salad.thanks, KM
ellen
03/16/14
Hi,KM,

Usually, when 800 invitations go out, you expect 85% or about 680 yesses, so I guess my first question is, why are you planning for just 400?

In addition, while the idea of one gigantic table may be appealing, experience demonstrates that a single buffet table line can only serve about 75 in a half hour, and that is with no special choices or additions. Your topping selection is going to add about 5 minutes per guest to the time in line. With a single table, no matter how large, some guests will be waiting 3 hours before they can be served.

In addition, a party of even 400 would require at least 6 people in the kitchen and at least 24 out front to set up, serve and clean up the party, and none of these folks can attend the wedding- they will be working.

This is a massive undertaking which requires commercial kitchen space and very large walk in coolers. Many food safety issues. At least a half ton of food.

So write back about your guest count and serving plan and then we can do more.

KM
03/17/14
getting the numbers back on the invites sending/# they want me to cook for. I do have 5 of us in the kitchen which is on site. 15 picking up plates and refilling toppings. we wont have to serve persay the food and drinks.we will have all the toppings done ahead of time.i have access to an ice machine to keep toppings cold.warmers to keep things warm. most toppings can be washed, chopped, cooked the week leading up to.im not handling the meat.that's someone else. I have 2 sets of double ovens to cook in. wedding is 5 minutes away.once cooked the mac and cheese can stay in the warmers....I will write back with #'s as soon as I get them from bride
ellen
03/17/14
OK, perhaps not a disaster. I look forward to your next note.

DO try to help them understand the impossibility of one big table. No-one I work with would have fewer than 6-8 lines for 600 people.

KM
03/18/14
spoke to them-#'s wrong. they are planning on 400 for reception.do my #'s look right on the amounts of food to order? what about the veggies i listed i didnt have amounts for? and, any tips/advice/ideas would be awesome! thanks again!!
KM
03/19/14
one more thing i forgot to ask. this is a southern-rustic wedding...she was thinking mason jars for the toppings.i'm thinking the mouth is too small to have toppings in them and be able to serve properly even if you have say 5 jars of bacon or 5 jars of cheese-dont want to step on toes-just trying to figure out something that will allow easy access and not take forever to top your potato...any ideas?
ellen
03/19/14
Hi,KM,
Just be aware that if the food runs out, or people have to wait hours for their food, it is your rep that will be ruined, even if you have done exactly what they asked. You still need 6-8 serving lines

45 lbs of mixed salad greens-
4 gallons dressing, OK - 1 ranch, 1 light ranch, 1 Italian/ vinaigrette, 1 other

220 lbs of med sz potatoes
32 lbs butter
good

70 lbs fresh broc- assuming chopped cooked, OK, will act as veg, only about 10 if just topping

15 lbs tomatoes- 25-35?
13 lbs cheese- 20?
10 lbs bacon- this has to be cooked weight
9 qts olives- OK
13 lbs sour cream
40 lbs guacamole- 60?
6 qts salsa- 28 pounds
3 cups chives- OK
18 cups green onions- OK
gallon of oil (for potatoes)

jalapenos,about 6 quarts
mushrooms(raw and cooked) skip raw, you have plenty of other stuff. about 25 cups cooked celery, 8 pounds
carrots, 8 pounds
avocados, skip with guac
cauliflower, 12 pounds
sweet peppers, banana/cherry? 25 pounds
toasted almonds, 6 pounds
croutons, 5 pounds

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