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Cook Talk

Grad party 150 people
Hi Ellen,

I am planning a graduation party for 150 people. Mostly adults. It is buffet style and appetizers and dinner will be served. Can you help me with my menu? This is what I have so far:

2 large (20 x 11 x 3.5 I believe) trays of yellow rice
1 large tray of rice and beans
1 large tray of baked mac and cheese
1 half Tray of scalloped potatoes

1 large tray of deep fried pork
1 large tray of curry chicken
1 half tray of curry chicken
10 cut up rotisserie chickens
60 fried chicken wings
2 pork butts
1 large tray of salmon

Is this enough? Something tells me it isn't. I think I'm good on beverages and desert but I'm concerned about food amounts. Thanks so much for your help.

Hi Ellen,

The party is very soon. Let me know what you think.

A 3 1/2 inch tray holds about 10 quarts, a 2 1/2 only 7. Make SURE of the sizes.

For starches, most people take a cup of rice or rice and beans, so you are talking 40 people per 3 1/2 inch tray. Most people will take more than one starch in this selection- and both mac and cheese and scalloped potatoes are wildly popular. So allow at least 1 1/2 servings per person=225 servings. You have about 180; you would add 1 or 1 1/2 trays more.

The meats, most caterers estimate 24 servings per tray.

1 large tray of deep fried pork 24
1 large tray of curry chicken 24
1 half tray of curry chicken 12
10 cut up rotisserie chickens 40
60 fried chicken wings 10
2 pork butts, size matters, but about 16
1 large tray of salmon 24 (maybe- get the weight on this tray)

138 servings, no allowance for seconds or for multiple choices, which will happen with this selection. Definitely need an increase here, aim for at least 170.

Does this help? 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. (Especially if it is a paid gig!) Thank you.

Hi Ellen,

Thanks so much! I forgot to mention that on the first go around we were planning to restrict starch choices to either rice or pasta. Not both. And meat to pork or chicken. Not both. And afterwards people can have at it for seconds. But regardless, I think I am going to cook 3 more large trays of baked mac and cheese (and they are actually 3 inches in height), 1 large tray of red beans and rice, and I think I want to increase the rotisserie chickens to 16 and the fried chicken to 80 pieces.

Let me know if this sounds good
Sorry fpr the selay, mon went in for a second surgery.

The increase is good.

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