7 Tips on Cooking for a Crowd

Local catering experts share their advice on how to prepare a show-stopping, stress-free meal.


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Photos by Oli Sansom

 

Whether you’re hosting 20 guests for Father’s Day or 200 guests for a graduation party, chances are you could use some help. The pros at Main Course Catering and Events offer this advice:

 

1. Keep it simple

Simple appetizers, dips, spreads, or a stunning cheese display keep your guests happy and entertained as they arrive and allow you to finish up last-minute touches before the big reveal of the main meal. 

 

2. Know your guests

Keep in mind allergies, dietary restrictions, and preferences from the beginning so you aren’t caught off guard when someone tells you they are gluten-free or vegetarian.

 

3. Prep ahead of time

Chop your vegetables and measure ingredients before starting to cook. This allows you to ensure you have everything ready to go before you fire up the stove.

 

4. Know how much food you're making — down to the ounce

When planning your menu, use recipes and guides to calculate how much of each item you should produce to assure you don't have too much or too little of anything. 

 

 

5. Batch your cocktails

Offer your favorite cocktail or sangria in pitchers or glass cookie jars with a ladle for self-service so you're not stuck behind the bar. Our personal favorite for a warm summer day is a Rosé Reposado Sangria.

 

6. Use disposable pans to cut down on after-party cleanup

These are useful for storing ingredients and baking items.

 

7. If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask for help and hire a professional!

Hiring a professional can seem overwhelming on the wallet, but you may be surprised after adding up all of your expenses if you do it yourself. Use a reliable company that will leave your home cleaner than it was when they got there.


Related: Recipe Ideas for Your Next Barbecue

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