See a letter from Ellen about the donation campaign. Your help matters!

Cook Talk

Cooking for 50 people for rehearsal dinner
Hi Ellen! I need to prepare the following:
Baked salmon,Korean ribs; lettuce wrap; penne chicken pasta and chicken Wellington. Pls advise how much do I need. Thanks for your help.
Izel, odd as it may sound, it is very difficult to do an accurate estimate with more than 2 entrees for only 50 people, and you have 5. And even with 5, nothing for any vegetarians. Is your heart set on all these, or would you be willing to cut back? Also, what else is being offered (salad, veg, starch, etc). Please write back.
Hi Ellen! Thank you so much for your prompt response. Am just helping out my friend and specifically mentioned to have all these items prepped. She's willing to spend coz it's her daughter's rehearsal dinner. Grocery C shopping wise, how much do you think I would need? Pls advise. Izel
Also, what salad do you think I can suggest with this food line up. I can probably suggest to cut back. Oops I forgot that on the penne pasta it's only with sun dried tomatoes and asparagus , so basically this the veggies and starch item plus the puff pastry dough on Wellington dish. Also on the Korean kalbi she prefers boneless. Again thanks so much.
If it were me, I would go back and ask her to consider switching to a rice pilaf, maybe with almonds and wild rice, it would go MUCH better with the rest of the menu. Think about the Korean ribs , the salmon, and the chicken wellington- they just don't sing with pasta casserole as they would with rice. Then add the asparagus (possibly garnished with the tomatoes) as a vegetable dish.

Then I would put a salad plate with a single portion of lettuce roll ready at every place, as the salad.

And since this is a multicultural dinner, what about a small portion of each on every plate? If you try to do whole servings without an RSVP, you are going to have a lot of waste, since there is no predicting whether the beef, salmon, or chicken will be the most popular. And, a tiny wellington with a single strip of rib and a few bites of salmon would look very nice next to rice and asparagus.

So, check with your mom and see if this would please her, then write back.

Hi Ellen! Thanks so much for getting back with me. So I discussed the menu to my friend once again and this is what we came up with.

Wild rice pilaf, Lettuce wrap, Baked salmon, and Chicken Wellington. How much do you think we would need to prepare for 50people. Thanks.

Good work!

Wild rice pilaf, 5 pounds raw
Lettuce wrap, 1 per person- consider setting at each plate as the salad
Baked salmon, 10 pounds ready to serve
Chicken Wellington, 35
Assuming gravy or sauce, 3 1/2 - 4 quarts

I would add the asparagus as a veg, it takes 25 pounds fresh raw to serve 50. Otherwise, something like broccoli , whole; or green beans or Prince Edward blend. 12 pounds ready to serve.

You will have some left, but everyone will get their first choice.

You can write back. I am doing a fundraising campaign to remodel the kitchen and provide the changes you readers have asked for- please click the masthead at the top of this page to go to and make a donation. Every little bit helps. Thank you.

E-Mail: (optional)