Cooking for a Large Group, Part 2, by Peter Kuperman

By Peter Kuperman

My advice for preparing food for crowds concludes with several more tips that have served me well in my own gourmet cooking events.

4. Mind the Presentation As you cook, consider the type of function for which you are preparing food. Will the event be a formal dinner? A buffet? A come and go as you please get-together? Your food should complement the occasion, as well as your presentation of the delectable delights. For example, formal occasions call for props such as name tags, candles, flowers, and ornate serving dishes. As the chef, you might not need to worry about making arrangements outside of your food, but you should give thought to how you lay out your meal, serve it, and so forth.

5. Prepare to Cook Bigger gatherings mean more ingredients. Prepare your shopping list, then clear out space in your fridge to make room for perishable items. You should also check the conditions of all the pots, pans, and other accessories you plan to use. Take care of these preparations before you head to the supermarket so you can immediately store ingredients and begin cooking as soon as possible.

6. Serve Neutral Drinks Remember, your guests will need something to wash down your edibles. The type of drinks you serve should match the food and occasion: punch and soda for informal gatherings, wine at more reserved occasions.

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