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Feb 28, 2010 09:55 AM

Glamorous Food - Difficult Circumstances

I am not sure if this is the right Board to be on since it is not Home Cooking, but rather a Wedding Dinner I am catering for 150 people in September.

My "kitchen" will be a tent. I will have power and refrigeration, but only barbecues and Chafers for hot food.

Any ideas for food that can be interesting , delicious and stylishly presented will be very welcome. Dessert is not an issue, but passed hors d'oeuvre and a Buffet of several Stations are.

Right now I am thinking of one Station combining barbequed beef tenderloin and mashed potatoes with toppings, a Salad Station with the salads served in some kind of interesting glass
(not Martini though - too overdone), a Small Bites Station with things like Shrimp Shooters, Sloppy Joes on Black Pepper Biscuits, Grilled Lamb on a Baguette or Potato Raft with Roasted Chili Relish and an International Station - maybe Deviled Chicken, Macaroni Salad with Asiago Cheese and Cucumber Mustard Relish, a Paella or Korean Shortribs with a Green Onion Salad.

For hors d'oeuvre I am considering Duck Burgers, Chicken Nori Rolls, some variation on Sushi (fish being too problematic) but still want another two or three.

This is such a wonderful site to collect ideas. I am looking very forward to any replies.

Miss C.

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  1. Difficult, yes! I'd do as much ahead as possible with the passed, excepting a lot of your animal proteins that can be grilled. You can do arancini or even cubed, cooled risotto bites to accompany some of the meats. Much easier to eat than paella, unless there are seats for everyone. (It sounds like a standing, mingling affair?) Consider frenched lamb chops, yes, everyone is familiar with them, but they are so good when well seasoned, and easy to eat like a lollipop. Seriously, sloppy joes on biscuits for a wedding? I think not, sorry. Too messy, to start with... I've been enjoying a cookbook called Savory Baking by Mary Cech, and think you'd find good ideas for finger foods there. The Gourmet Today cookbook that came out last year also has a good appetizer section, with "ethnic" options that are approachable for a wide audience like a wedding. I'd think many would go over well.

    This should be a helpful thread, lots of ideas:

    1 Reply
    1. re: amyzan

      Thank you - the book by Mary Cech has been recommended before so your suggestion has spurred me on to order it.

      And I am about to check out Chowhound thread.

    2. Sounds like an episode of Dinner Impossible....I'm more concerned how you're going to keep the food hot before serving, and you really need to figure that out before making a final menu. Will you have access to hot boxes or cambros for storage prior to setting the food into chafers or are you going to cook and add to the chafers one item at the time? If not, I would think about most items that can be served cold or room temperature. What's going to happen once your chafers are full and you still have food to keep warm? Good luck

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cherylptw


        You are quite right - this is a challenge. The items I am thinking of will either be grilled or kept in a Crock Pot (such as thew Sloppy Joes). I have access to cambros so the mashed potatoes can be kept warm until they are put in a Chafer.
        I can't do any actual cooking there so most everything will be room temperature.

        Might I add that this job is 2 1/2 hours away but the bride worked for me all the way through University and I always promised - - -

        On the plus side, other than a Carrot Cake she particularly likes, I can make the final decisions about the menu.

        1. re: missclawdy

          This salad is so good and easy to make the components ahead and just toss in a bowl at the event:

          A few other ideas came to mind: Ceviche, easy to make and you can use any fish/seafood; make ahead and put in a bowl over ice with some fresh tortilla chips (can be made the night before and bagged up) and some fresh lime/lemon wedges.

          Baby new potatoes, boiled, halved and scooped out...fill with assorted toppings. Here's a variation of the same idea, which can be made in advance, filled, and put into a chafer to melt the cheese. This is my recipe: http://www.winwithwisconsinpotatoes.c...

          If you had a food dehydrator, you could make apple chips; I used granny smith and red rome....sweet/hot combination like topping with a roasted poblano salsa and queso fresco cheese. These are addictive and can be made weeks aheat and kept in a large air tight container.

          It's good to know you can manipulate the menu

      2. -Cold Soup shooters like gazpacho or vichyssoise would be easy to do ahead and don't have to stay warm

        -Melon wrapped in Prosciutto

        -Stuffed Endive Leaves

        -Grilled Polenta Triangles as a side... make the polenta ahead, spread in pans and slice and grill the day of

        3 Replies
        1. re: Emme


          Perhaps the polenta on the International Station with some toppings - - -

          1. re: missclawdy

            ok i just had to reply because when i first read your response, i read it as "on the International Space Station" and i was thinking you were mocking my suggestion, so i read it three more times and finally realized there was no "space" just international station... oh how i amuse myself.

            good luck!

            1. re: Emme

              I sort of like that idea though.

        2. How about renting a "hot box" from a rental outfit. Will hold lots of hotel pans and keep things nice and hot.

          1 Reply