Questioning your sanity? Don't!
You Need Help...Fast!
Sure, you can do it all, but why should you? Call your most helpful friends and family members into service. It's the best idea you'll have all year! Make sure helpers have a passion or readiness to take on the challenge of cooking for a crowd.
Consider hiring a caterer or personal chef to do some if not all of the cooking, on the day of the event or ahead of time.
Hire a culinary school student to act as assistant or to supervise servers
This may be needed for crowds from 10 to 100, depending on your entertaining and cooking comfort zone.
Your budget will decide the number of guests, location of the event, type of service,length of the party and the type and quality of the food. In turn, each of these will structure the menu. It is best to work backwards with your budget. Don’t start planning and spending money on what you really want without considering your bottom line. Find ways to compromise between what you would like and what you can reasonably afford.
Who's Coming to the Party?
The purpose of the event will shape the list of people invited to the party. The number of invited guests will be shaped by your budget. When cooking for a crowd, it is crucial to have a “very close” head count of the number of attendees before you confirm the event space, the menu, food quantities and purchases.
Men eat more than women, except when only women are eating together (in my experience).
Children younger than 10 hardly eat anything but the amount they eat increases significantly after age 14.
goes without saying…if you are cooking for a crowd of people your menu
should be as simple as possible. Choosing a simple menu with simple
recipes goes a long way in reducing your stress levels and allowing
things to run smoothly.
Tips on Estimating Food Quantities
Calculating food quantities is one part “guestimation” and one part math 101. Here's why: