Planning to cook for a crowd can be a challenging experience, it’s no wonder that many people prefer to leave the culinary arts to the professionals. While inviting a group of friends or family over to celebrate over a delicious meal sounds like fun to begin with, the more plates you have to fill, the more stress you’ll have to overcome.
For many hosts, the “what if’s”, and “to-dos” of cooking for a party or event can be enough to engage panic mode. Fortunately, the following tips could help you to stay calm.
1. Make Sure You Have the Right Resources
At JP Catering, we never start a day without making sure that we have the tools we need to execute the most delicious meals for our clients. In the same way, you should ensure that you’re equipped with the perfect knives, pans, chopping boards, and peelers to get the job done. The last thing you want is to have to stop mid-prep to search for something that you simply don’t have in your kitchen.
2. Stick with a Proven Recipe
The worries of cooking for many people are enough to deal with by themselves. This isn’t the time to start sifting through the pile of recipes that you’ve told yourself you’re going to try one day. If you can’t afford to hire a catering company to really blow your guests away, then it’s best to stick with something you know you can cook well. You can always try test-running some recipes with your family before your event to see which meals go down as a treat. Everyone has at least one great recipe in their repertoire. Stick to the basics while using amazing seasonal ingredients and you will not go wrong.
3. Include Menu Items That Can Be Made Ahead of Time
It’s common to find yourself with too much to do, and not enough time when you’re cooking for a crowd. With that in mind, it’s worth searching for meals that you can prepare the night before or keep in your freezer for a few days when possible. This will give you less to worry about on the actual day and ensure that you can spend more time socializing, and less time running around the kitchen.
4. Get Organized
The best way to keep panic to a minimum when you’re cooking, is to have a plan. Start with a menu, then you can make a prep and shopping list. Often, the shopping can be done a few days before the event, leaving just a few essential items for the day of your party. To write your prep list, look at the menu and write down everything that needs to be cooked, chopped, sliced, or diced. Then you can organize your list starting with the things that need to be done first.
From the ingredients you’re going to use, to when each plate is going to go out of the door, you should know exactly what you need to be doing at any given minute. Try and set up a system where you wash essential items as you go, as this will help to you to avoid a pile of dirty dishes when you’re finished cooking.
5. Remember the Drinks
Finally, remember that setting up a bar for your party can be a great way to take some of the pressure off. If your guests can relax and socialize over a couple of delicious drinks while they’re waiting for your food, they’re less likely to grumble if you don’t get your entrees out on time. Just make sure that you don’t go over-the-top with the alcohol. You want people to remember your event if it’s a success!
Alternatively, why not leave the hassle for someone else? Book your event today and contact us for a no-obligation quote. Let us handle the food for you while you handle the fun.