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Cook Talk

mac and cheese bar wedding for 200
Christina
06/10/16
Ellen,
I just came across this site and am so glad I did. I am trying to help plan my sisters wedding reception dinner for 200 guests.

the kitchen at the venue is not that great. it only has two electric home ovens. we thought about doing a macaroni and cheese bar for the main course because we might be able to get away not using the ovens and it is the bride and grooms favorite food.

However I have no idea how to calculate the servings for mac and cheese as a main course as well as how to calculate how much we would need of all the fun mix ins. we were thinking of 12 mix ins ranging from ground hamburger, chicken, and spinach, to pesto, cheeses etc. etc.

we also thought about doing a few pre assembled sandwhiches as the side
-a capris - tomato, basil and mozzerella.
-a turkey bacon club
- and not sure for a third option.
but sandwhiches as a side option how many sandwhiches and of each should we do for 200?

we will have chips and salsa too.
not sure if we are biting off more than we can chew but at least if I had an idea of amounts it would really help.
Thank you!!!!!

Christina
06/10/16
Forgot to put in there we are planning 4 different appetizers, punch and lemonade (no alcohol will be served.) and there will be cake for dessert.
ellen
06/11/16
Strongly encourage you- DO use the ovens, by preparing pans of baked macaroni and cheese ahead to be baked in the ovens. Take my word on it that you do not want to be boiling the 40 pounds of pasta day of!

You do need to keep refrigerated until it goes into the oven.

This is a service intensive meal because people dawdle over their topping choices. If it were my party, I would set up 2 double-sided serving lines for the mac and cheese with a separate table for the sandwiches if you decide to do them, a cake area and a beverage area.

If you have tables, consider having a relish tray, antipasto tray or insalata capresi and also big bowls of salad, ala Olive Garden, already on the tables, this gives people something to do while they wait for their turns at the serving bars. Use the plan for 100 tables for amounts and dressings for the salad, and the veggie tray page for the relish tray , you would do 3 times that tray for 200. Also on the tables- good rolls or breadsticks and butter- 12-15 pounds per 100, 2-3 pounds/pints butter or dipping oils. I would skip the sandwiches and do this instead

As a main course, I would do 20 pounds dry pasta per 100, each pound uses 1 quart of sauce and for wedding richness a full pound of cheese in the sauce, which can be a mix of cheeses including sharp cheddar and Parm.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/classicmac.html

You might do 2-3 basic baked choices with the other toppings available. For example, a popular West Coast restaurant called The Homeroom, sells Mac & Cheese exactly like pizza with 15 "named" dishes like GILROY MAC, Creamy gouda, sharp pecorino and just the right amount of roasted garlic and MACXIMUS Greek-style mac with artichoke hearts, spinach, shallots and feta. In addition, they have 20 "toppings".

You can use the topping list from the baked potato bar as a guide for topping amounts
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/potabar1.html

and this salad bar guide for more unusual toppings:
www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/saladbar100.html

You can write back.

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Christina
06/11/16
We were planning on pre cooking the pasta to al dente and then just reheating it in boiling water the day of and then pouring the sauce in. we were not planning on baking it.
we had also planned on 4 appetizers before hand and instead of bread on the tables chips and guacamole/salsa.
the sandwhiches we thought would be a nice side but a lot of work to put together.
with the appetizers beforehand the mac and cheese for main course, the sandwhiches and chips and salsa do you think we also need to have a salad? and if so should we just have individual bowls of salad already on the tables?
Thanks!!
ellen
06/11/16
Please do some of the mac the way you are thinking, with the overnight hold and reheat, and see if you are satisfied with the quality, also the appearance as it spreads all over the plate.

Sandwiches not necessary, effort batter spent on relishes and salad.

Yes, salads, in addition to the appetizers. Again, visualize the plates. You can do individual servings, still, passed bowls encourage socialization at the table.

Chips- 1 pound per 10. Guacamole at least 20 pounds per 100, which makes it quite a costly dish- considernadding

ellen
06/11/16
Oops. consider adding a second dip, or a specialty salsa such as corn/black bean for both color and variety.

40 pounds dry macaroni is 320 cups= 20 gallons. Think about the size of a 5 gallon water jug. Massive reheating job. You may want to do BOTH baked and top of the stove.

This party for 200, will require 4 people in the kitchen and 12-15 out front to set up, serve, and clean up. 15 if you do the reheating thing. These people will NOT be at the wedding , they will be working.

ellen
06/11/16
Here are some off site topping ideas:

Stir in: Cajun Spice, Roasted Garlic, Salsa or Pesto.
Add in your choice of: Applewood Chicken, Italian Sausage, Canadian Bacon, Peppered Bacon, Andouille Sausage, Seasoned Ground Beef.
Available vegetables: Broccoil, Jalapenos, Roasted Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Spinach, Roasted Red Peppers, Black Olives, or Anaheim Peppers.
Choose your Toppings: Chopped Fresh Basil, Crispy Onions, Crispy Jalapenos, Diced Green Onions, Pepper Jack, Yellow or White Cheddar, Asiago or Fresh Mozzarella Cheese.

Also:

www.hummingbirdhall.com/jamaican-destination-wedding-services/jamaica-destination-wedding-cakes-and-wedding-menus/food-bar-cocktail-hour-dinner-menus/jamaica-destination-wedding-macaroni-cheese-bar/

www.allparenting.com/my-home/articles/967741/macaroni-cheese-bar

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