Yikes! How Much Should I Order? (CateringQuestion)
  Re: (...)
My best friend Chef Tab recommended that I touch base with all you good people to get your expert advice. Our daughter Megan will be married at an outdoor ceremony in July in Valle Crucis NC. The outdoor reception immediately following (6:30PM) will provide hors de ouvres meant to serve as a full meal with wedding cake and homemade desserts to follow. Approximately 80 will attend.

A restaurant will be catering the following items and we will be charged at a per person rate: (The restaurant will obviously handle this part and determine the quantities based on their experience-no worries for me)

vegetable tray with dip
assorted cheeses and crackers
fruit skewers with dip
flavored goat cheese with crackers
hummus dip and pita chips
spinach artichoke dip with crackers
tomato feta crostini
vegetarian mini quiches
sweet tea, coffee, water

However, in addition to this, my husband and I are providing the following items:

sliced spiral baked ham and rolls for sandwiches
shrimp with cocktail sauce
fried chicken tenders
mixed olives
mixed nuts

How much of each should I buy? Thank you in advance for your replies.
  Re: Yikes! How Much Should I Order? (CateringQuestion) by okey_gnocchi (My best friend Chef ...)
I'll start out by saying if you are going to serve Shrimp, plan to serve as many as you can afford to. This is a catering rule to live by - guests will make pigs of themselves on the seafood. That's a given.

Normally, you want 3-5 bites per appetizer - except seafood (as said above, rules are out the window for this)The rule of thumb for hors d' oeuvre being the only food offered at a three-hour reception is at least six tastes (12-15 per person).

You'll be having 12 tastes - that will be lots of food.

Ham and rolls for sandwiches - allow 1 1/2 rolls per person; a 20-25 lb. ham should do it. and three condiments.

Fried Chicken tenders - the rule, 3-5 pcs. per person (cut them on the small side.)

the Mixed olives & nuts - I'd buy two large containers of each at Costco. they usually run about 3 lbs. per container.

Hope that helps. Others will be by with suggestions also.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Yikes! How Much Should I Order? (CateringQuestion) by cjs (I'll start out by sa...)
I bow to Jean's professional experience... my input would be since this is dinner time and dinner is heavy hors d'oeuvres , I think people will be going for more meat choices than otherwise, even though there will be lots of variety. Since there are so many choices, it might be nice to have three different food stations so all the people don't gather in one spot around the buffet table, and put a different meat item at each station. It gets people moving and circulating nicely. Also, think about the 80 guests.... are they big eaters or nibblers? That will help you know how much to have.

And, please post pictures! We'll all want to see how it turns out.
  Re: Re: Yikes! How Much Should I Order? (CateringQuest by HomeCulinarian (I bow to Jean's prof...)
The advice you have sounds good to me, but what do I know? I only jump in to tell you what a lovely spot your daughter picked for her wedding! I went to school in Boone, and we spent a great deal of time in that area....beautiful!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Yikes! How Much Should I Order? (CateringQuestion) by okey_gnocchi (My best friend Chef ...)
My best advice on beer and wine, some based on Nicole Aloni's "Secrets From a Caterer's Kitchen"--with my adjustments (I'm thinking North Carolina men drink beer and the women might be comfortable with white Zin)--For 80, I would suggest 3 cases (72 bottles or cans) of Bud Lite. Three Litres Beringer White Zinfandel, four litres sauvignon blanc, or other dry white wine, and two litres red zin, or other dry red wine--note to Jean --would you comment on this? It really depends on the guests and if you have a champagne toast you need to change the ingredients.I think you will have leftover wine.

Edited to say adding a case of bottled water, chilled, would be wise and I only have one friend who drinks leaded Bud--I have a 6 pack --you also might consider a six pack of O'douls (non alcoholic). They last a long time.

Thanks Chef Tab.
P.S. I don't drink much beer (serious wine), but I like Becks Dark with my Ruebens.
"He who sups with the devil should have a. long spoon".
  Re: Re: Yikes! How Much Should I Order? (CateringQuestion) by Old Bay (My best advice on be...)
As a serious beer drinker.....I would rather drink water than any lite beer. But I am not a North Carolina man!

Everything tastes better Alfresco!
  Re: Re: Yikes! How Much Should I Order? (CateringQuestion) by chef_Tab (As a serious beer dr...)
I stayed away from qtys/types for alcohol because there are so many variables and the local caterer will be able to give a better estimate than I could from a different part of the country. But...a couple of ideas from the left coast.

People tend to drink more at evening parties/weddings. On average, one bottle of wine = 5 glasses. IF POSSIBLE, stay away from plastic glasses for any of your drinks. glasses are relatively inexpensive to rent.

Champagne for toasts - I'm in complete agreement with Nicole Aloni in always serving as good a quality of champagne as you can afford.

For a white wine I would lean more towards a Moscato or a Riesling for white and a Merlot or Cab/Merlot blend for the red.

Beer - that really is a local decision, but out here as evidently in Texas, I'd go with Bill's suggestion of Bud Lite and some of the high octane also.

For non-drinkers, here's is the punch we always offer and it is universally enjoyed.

* Exported from MasterCook *


Recipe By :a Chef's Journey

34 ozs bottle carbonated water, chilled
34 ozs ginger ale, chilled
24 ounces unsweetened white grape juice, chilled
Ice cubes or party ice cubes (see below)

In a lg. pitcher combine carbonated water, ginger ale, & grape juice.
Pour over ice cubes in chilled champagne glasses or wine glasses (or punch bowl).

Serve immediately. Makes about 20 4-oz. servings.

FOR PARTY ICE: Place small pcs. of fruit (berries or tiny citrus wedges), small sprigs of fresh mint, or 1/2" strips of orange peel into the compartments of ice cube trays. Add enuf water to fill, then freeze.

"20 4-oz servings"
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anyway, that's my 2 cents - and I agree with who(m?)ever mentioned to be sure and post pictures!! AND don't forget to have fun!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Yikes! How Much Should I Order? (CateringQuestion) by chef_Tab (As a serious beer dr...)
Wow! Your responses were wonderfully informative and very helpful. I took notes and will definitely heed your advice. Heartfelt thanks to Jean, Bill, Pooh-bah, Daphne, and Theresa for taking the time to respond. And yes, I will post some photos even if I have to get Chef Tab's help to do it!

If anybody else wants to wade in with other advice, my pen is ready!
  Re: Re: Yikes! How Much Should I Order? (CateringQuestion) by okey_gnocchi (Wow! Your responses...)
Jean is our catering empress I can't tell you how many times I've asked for advice and she's always spot on!
  Re: Re: Yikes! How Much Should I Order? (CateringQuestion) by DFen911 (Jean is our catering...)
on the glassware... I agree I'd much rather drink from a glass. At my cousin's wedding, she found glasses to purchase cheaper than the rental... so what to do with all the glasses? So, they decorated them with a ribbon or something and gave them to the guests. She also thought about selling them after the wedding on Craig's list.

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