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Cook Talk

Confused - Multiple choices how do I figure total
I have been researching on your site, but still a little lost. Not a meal, this is being offered after dancing has started approx. 8:00-8:30 PM

Guests 500 they are eating meal (between 3-5 PM) before they arrive at 6:00 PM.
Ham (210 lbs raw/150 lbs cooked boneless)
Whole Turkeys (330 lbs)
Pork Loin for pulled pork sandwiches (150 lbs )
Mashed Potato and Sweet Potato Bar
(Potatoes 200 lbs/ Sweet Potatos 150 lbs)
Spanish Rice (35 lbs)
Table of cut vegatables Have the amts from 100 ppl
Table of cut fruit have the amounts from 100 ppl

Have I overestimated? Anxious for your answer

Confused - Multiple choices how do I figure total-
We are going to save you some money! This need reception level amounts, not meal level amounts.

A party this size takes about 5 kitchen people and up to 25 people out front to set up, serve, and clean up the party. You also require 5-6 serving areas, or 3 double sided, to allow people to eat in a timely way.

I am assuming adults/mixed, if it is teens, write further. Also, I am suggesting you lean toward a sandwich, rather than a dinner model, especially if they are dancing.

Ham (210 lbs raw/150 lbs cooked boneless)
Whole Turkeys (330 lbs)-250 plenty; cook ahead, take off bone, serve cold, sliced as for sandwiches, and make a great "chicken salad" out of the bits and pieces
For 500 people add 12 gallons cole slaw
Have slider/party size buns or rolls, about 700
Have 30 pounds assorted sliced and cubed cheeses, some can be spreads or logs.
Do sandwich condiments, mustard, etc, see the sandwich page, for about 350
Have cranberry jelly/sauce, about 24 pounds. If canned, only open half to start

Pork Loin for pulled pork sandwiches (150 lbs )- skip it entirely- messy to eat and you already have plenty. Besides, shoulder makes much better pulled pork than loin.

Mashed Potato and Sweet Potato Bar
(Potatoes 200 lbs/ Sweet Potatos 150 lbs)
Max total 200 pounds with the rice, and I would split about 150/50. A baked potato bar is a LOT less work for the cooks, plan as if for 400 from the baked potato bar page

Spanish Rice (35 lbs)
With the potatoes, start with 24 pounds dry rice

Table of cut vegetables Have the amts from 100 ppl
Consider doing 3 classic relish trays and cut veg for 200-250
Table of cut fruit have the amounts from 100 ppl
2 times the deluxe tray would be enough

Consider adding a dip/salsa/hummus and appropriate chips or pita chips, about 30 pounds chips and 30 pints dips. Open 2/3 to start. Part could be a sweet fruity creamy dip with gingersnap dippers.

If this helps, now you can help me! 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 (fyi, a pro event like this has will have a consult fee of $.25 to $.50 per guest for non-donors, so I can provide better help and more features). Thank you.

Thank You so much. Once the wedding is done and our pocketbooks recoup, I would like to come back and help you out. you have been such a help to me.

It is a good mix of adults, teens and children. children come in about 125.

After dancing starts, we will just announce that the food area is open, not doing calling tables as if it was a dinner, just allowing them to go up when they are ready and not stopping the dancing and rest of entertainment.

The Pulled Pork is a "Family" favorite and a family member is preparing it as a gift. Should I cut back the turkey and ham amounts? So with the 3 meats what would be their totals?

The Bride and Groom requested sliced turkey in gravy, do the amounts change for that?

Ok, lets shift around a bit. Emphasis on pulled pork.

A pound of pulled pork ready to serve, serves 5-6 people, and with that many kids you can count 6.

So with 500 people, the MOST needed to serve them is about 85 pounds.
5 regular buns or 12 slider buns per pound, sliders are excellent for parties, less spills and great for kids.
It is usual with pulled pork to have slaw , pickles, sliced onions and extra sauce. This is
slaw , 1 1/2 gallons per 100 (you would do 2 1/2 per 100 if you are also counting it as a salad option)
pickles, 1 gallon per 100, don't open the last one till you see you need it
sliced onions, about 35 pounds
extra sauce3-4 gallons (depends on how "juicy" it already is)

Whole turkey, at max 250 pounds, especially if you cook ahead and serve in gravy

At this point you would have plenty of meat. If you are not deeply committed, skip the ham. If you really want it, no more than70 pounds sliced.

Be sure that something on the menu can serve as an entree type option for any non-meat eaters. For example, that there is shredded cheese and a few other protein toppings on the potato bar. Maybe a many bean salad (2 gallons per 100) as one of the side dish choices?

Best wishes. Plan yourself and your major helpers a spa day after.

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