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hors d'eouvres as dinner
Hi Ellen, I am catering for an event for 100 guests and the menu will consist of heavy hors d'eouvres. im a culinary student so I am still learning all of this.

Here is what they want:

Chicken skewers
Creole meatballs
Turkey stuffed mushrooms
Coconut Shrimps
Garlic parmesan chicken wings
Mini crab cakes
Assorted vegetable display

So my questions are:

1) how many pieces of each appetizer per person will I have to make?
2)also, how many lbs of the ground turkey, ground beef, shrimp, and crab will I need to get for this?

I know I am asking for a lot but I am still learning a lot of this.

Susana, this is not a menu that a pro would offer, it is totally meat and will be quite expensive to offer. You need some other carb-ish items- pastry cases, bruschetta, mini pizzas or mini quiches, spinach Parmesan squares, cheese straws, etc. Maybe a cheese and fruit tray.

When heavy hors d's replace a meal, I plan for 6-8 ounces of meats, 4-5 ounces breads, 3 fruits/veggies, 2-3 cheeses.

The shrimps and crab are expensive to serve as people tend to take 3 ounces of each, plus some of all the rest.

Write back.

Thanks for the advice wish I could change it but I recently started helping my cousin at the ballroom she works at and this is the menu the family asked for even before I worked there. I thought the same thing but not much I can do at this point to change the menu other than to give them what they want and just make sure it tastes great. I will talk to the one in charge and let her know it will be very expensive so that they don't offer this menu again.

I am just confused as to how many pieces of each appetizer I need to prepare. I can tell this will be labor intensive especially with just one helper.

any advice you can give. (I don't want to go into panic mode too early hahahaha)

OK. How long is the party, and is it come and go, or will all 100 be there the whole time? This affects quantities. You need about 12-16 items per person for the first hour of heavy Hors d., and about 6 for each additional hour they attend.

Are you negotiating directly with the family, or is someone from the ballroom doing that? If you are negotiating directly, you could give them 2 estimates, one for the menu as is, and one for the menu with some additions, which would be less expensive, because less meat.

If you are just cooking, 2 people may be OK (I would do 3 at least...) But if you are also setting up and serving, you need at least 6 people, or disaster...

I have no idea. I'm just the one that cooks. All I know is that it is a 60th birthday or something of that sort so I'm going to assume that people are going to be sticking around.

Someone from the ballroom already did everything so there is nothing I can do at this point but cook what they asked for. I did talk to the coordinator and she told me they were just going to buy the coconut shrimp and crab cakes already prepared just make the process less hectic for me.

She also told me that she can buy the coconut shrimp for $126.99 per 100 pc. box, and the crab cakes for $127.99 per 120 pc. box. Do you think that sounds like a fair price? Because if so, she suggests we just buy them instead of me making them.

Susanna, you can't make them for less than that, by the time you by peanut oil for frying, etc.

You do need to know how long the party is to calculate the food.

I would allow 4 shrimp and 2-3 crabcakes per person. Yes, they are looking at a big expense.

That is 7 bites. You need 5 more for the first hour and 5-6 for each additional hour per person.

Vegetabler display; I would do 1 relish tray for 50-60 from my veggie tray page PLUS straight veggies for 50, using those tables, ranch dip.

You might start here:
Chicken skewers- count as 2 bites each, at least 2 per person
Creole meatballs- 3-4 ounces per person
Turkey stuffed mushrooms- 3 per person
Garlic parmesan chicken wings- 6 pieces per person

This would be enough for a 3 hour party.

Thank you so much! So approximately how many lbs of chicken breasts and ground turkey will I need them to order for me?

I hate that I was not able to have any say when it came to the menu but nothing i can do but learn from it and learn what not to do. This is going to be really expensive for them and I hope they don't try to offer this again.

Susana, calculate this yourself on the basis of your recipes- about 4 ounces chicken per person for the skewers
Thank you so much for your help.