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Help with cooking for 30(ish) people every week!

Hi All,

I need some inspiration from you all. Basically I am helping out at my local Rugby club in London (UK) and I have been asked if I can provide the hot food for after the matches (usually around 30 people every week). I enjoy cooking and I'd like to think I can cope with this, but I am only used to making enough food for around 6-8 people! Also their 'Kitchen' is very basic... Just one fairly small oven! The recipes I have at the moment are:

Chilli
Spaghetti Bolognese
Sausage/Tomato pasta
Macaroni cheese

And due to time restraints (I will probably only have 1.5 hours to make it) nothing like Mashed Potato that would take a while.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Embrace, how nice of you to do this! Would you have access to a slowcooker/Crockpot? This could not only free up the oven, but provide a place to keep warm stuff like stews/mashed potatoes. The mashed I'd do ahead of time.

    Perhaps hot sandwiches now and then....meatball subs, or pulled pork sandwiches, or hot sliced beef and gravy? Sloppy Joes? Tacos?

    A beef stew when the weather turns cold and damp.

    Frittatas and tortas (egg and potato)....good hot or at room temp.

    In hot weather, a huge antipasto platter. A huge chicken caesar salad. Wrap sandwiches with excellent chips (crisps, would you say :-) )?

    Cook ahead stuff you could bring in easily in trays and reheat. A couple of lasagna? A few meatloaves? A tray of stuffed bell peppers?

    3 Replies
    1. re: pinehurst

      Thank you! Some great ideas there :). I think I did see a slow cooker when I had a quick look but it looked a little worse for wear!!! Thanks for the ideas, it's been a great help x

      1. re: pinehurst

        Ok, the slow cooker does not work :( But there is a slow cooker on offer at my local shops for a 6.5 Litre one. Would this be enough for around 25-30 people? Or would I need two?

        1. re: Embrace

          6.5 Litre (6.8 US Quart) will have room for about 20 (US) cups of cooked food, leaving a reasonable amount of space at the top of the container. You'll want at least two, and maybe 3 of those, depending on the appetitie of your athletes.

      2. Embrace, I am in awe of your enthusiasm. You are either going to have to be very creative or do a lot of advanced prepping and cooking to serve 30 meals, particularly for hungry athletes which might be more like serving 60. Your facility likely just doesn't have the capacity to cook, or even safely reheat, that mass of food in that short time.

        I would purchase mostly prepared menu items and concentrate on making a few side dishes like salads and platters of finger foods and a sweet.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Sounds like cooking team dinners for my son's lacrosse team, but I have the advantage of being able to barbecue in the backyard-I do lots of smoked meats, w/ sides of baked pasta & salads that can be prepped in advance. Your saving grace is that hungry athletes will eat almost anything (& in quantity!) & be happy about it-the best tip I can offer is make detailed prep lists, & after your meal, note what worked & what didn't, quantities eaten....

            1. I suggest you have a look at Mennonite Girls Can Cook. They have a lot of suggestions for cooking for a crowd: http://mennonitegirlscancookforacrowd...

              1 Reply
              1. re: maplesugar

                yes - that is one of the best suggestions on here so far - i think I know of the same ladies - amazing women from the beautiful Fraser Valley in BC (which is now largely suburban sprawl but still has some nice farming country out there - and I think some of these ladies are hardworking farmers too) - they sometimes teach at Lepps Farm Market out in Abbotsford BC (suburban Vancouver BC) - if i lived closer i would make a point to go and take part (Lepps is really nice - great little farm market for anyone who is travelling thru - or lives nearby)