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Oct 24, 2010 08:31 AM

planning for reunion of former teachers, approx. 50

I am organizing a luncheon for 50 ex staff of a school that I attended as a student. Trying to keep things easy as possible so looking at cold cuts, cheese platters, bread baskets, samosas, little squares, etc.

Any suggestions to make sure that I do not run out of time in setting up or run out of food?

I am doing this with a team of 5 volunteers on the morning of the school reunion.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. Highly recommend setting up the buffet table the night before. Day before, draw a "map" of the tables and decide where you want each item placed. If you are using sterno, set up the frames for the pans, baskets for the breads and plates. Have all of your platters done, covered and in the walk-in in the school kitchen.That way, the prep time before the can be used for last minute garnishes and food prep.

    Worked many banquets as a kid; always ran into trouble when setting up day of event.

    1. I made some ham rolls for a gathering recently that would be very easy to prepare the day before and hold. Parkerhouse rolls, which I split, and made a compound butter with stoneground mustard spread generously, and shaved Black Forest ham stuffed in. You can prepare them wrap trays well in plastic wrap to keep overnight in the fridge/walk-in and they can hang out on the table w/out worry for a few hours.

      When I've done buffets, three things I keep in mind: Plates first in line, always make sure there's room to set a plate down so the person can load their food onto it without trying to balance the plate in one hand, and silverware wrapped in the napkin at the end of the line so folks don't have to try to balance that while they're walking thru the line. Oh, and 4th -- beverages on a separate table away from the buffet line, b/c doing them too close together will jam the flow.