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Mar 10, 2010 09:50 AM

How much cheese for a cocktail party cheese platter?

My father has decided to cater his 90th birthday party himself. At least he has assigned some tasks to others and is buying stuff for about 50-60 in an open house format. Since my brother usually brings some really great cheeses with him from Vermont that is his assignment. He asked me how much to bring. I haven't a clue. The menu is pretty simple- shrimp cocktail, wild mushroom turnovers, Buffalo Chicken Tenders, Smoked salmon platter, crudite & dip, Fruit bowl and finger sandwiches in addition to the cheese. We are thinking of an assortment of artisan cheeses and a block of Cabot cheddar. TIA.

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  1. About 3 ounces per person. That should be 11 and a 1/2 pounds. If you've got some strong hard cheeses (like a pecorino or an aged gouda), you can do smaller chunks or shavings.

    1. "My father has decided to cater his 90th birthday party himself."
      (That made my day, and everyone else's, I'm sure.)
      I'd start to figure the cheese this way: a familiar cube of butter is 4 ounces. I'd figure no one would eat that much cheese, but might eat half that if they *really* liked it. So I'd make sure each guest has at least 2 ounces. (That's 7 1/2 pounds of cheese.for 60 guests.)
      I am curious to see if others agree, maybe I'm way off.

      1. Thanks for the responses. This at least gives me a ballpark to work within.

        blueroom, we are getting him a bicycle for his birthday.

        1 Reply
        1. I have a 93 year old FIL with that same level of independence. There are many things he can't do for himself (like his taxes; and his corn bread ain't what it used to be) but he doesn't know it. Have brother bring 10 pounds. At 90, dad deserves to have a couple of pounds he can keep in the fridge as "left overs".

          1 Reply
          1. re: todao

            Yeah, I would except he and my mother are taking off for 5 weeks in Europe the following week.

          2. From having made up cheese platters for various size groups as a professional cheesemonger, I would say that 6-8 lbs. will be more than enough for your size group. There is a tendency to assume that every guest will eat his/her full share of everything, which hardly ever happens.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cheesemaestro

              Another professional vote for this approach. For this group, and the other food, choose no more than 4 cheeses at about 2 # of each, depending on wheel size, and perceived popularity. The 3 oz per person "rule" is for no (or little) other foods available.

              Don't cube, chunk off the harder cheeses, separate on platters with each having their own knife/utensil, and make it easy and fun for participants.