How To Cook For Large Group? Planning And Execution
Are you up for a challenge? Did they accept your invitation? Yes, then you have to cook for a large group, cook for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 or 100 people. And that is a profession in its own right. It requires planning, insight and making choices.
How To Cook For Large Group?
Cooking for a large group? Choose a menu that is not too complicated. See what you need in terms of cutlery, glasses and other inventory. Make a plan, start shopping on time and ask for help from people. Think about what you can make in advance.
There is a lot that goes into cooking for a large group. A group can already be large if you always cook for yourself and now you have to prepare a meal for, for example, 10 people. Then you cook for more people than just for yourself; This is already different. In this blog, I’m going to help you with anything and everything for cooking for large groups.
Easy Cooking For Large Group
Cooking for a large group always creates extra pressure. It is often not just about the food, but also about practical matters such as do I have enough chairs? Do I have enough plates and crockery? Am I going to decorate the house? And oh yes, the house needs to be cleaned. In short, it is often more than just cooking.
Especially if there are people who have a special diet, the challenge is even greater. For example, consider a gluten-free diet or vegan food. These are additional challenges that you must complete successfully. Below is a whole list of practical things that can help you prepare for cooking for a large group.
You won’t find recipes here, but you will find all other information for a successful dinner with friends and/or family.
- Special wishes. If guests come that you don’t know well, ask if they have any special dietary or allergy requirements. I assume you know about your best friend(s) and family. If so, you will have to take this into account.
- Cook differently for kids. Small children often do not like everything. Then prepare something simple for this group that they will certainly like. This way you make it easy for the parents and they don’t have to worry about it. Fries and a croquette or nuggets often do wonders for children.
- Try your recipe first. Whatever recipe you are going to serve, prepare it for yourself first and taste it. This way you know what you are going to serve your guests and you will not be surprised. You also now know how long it takes to prepare it, what ingredients you need and what equipment you use. Now you also know what you can prepare in advance, it’s that easy.
- Complete your menu with easy recipes. If you’re going to make an elaborate main course, keep the other courses of your menu simpler. So are the side dishes, a nicely prepared salad is ready in no time and looks nice on the table too. Together with rustic baguette with spreads, there is immediately some food on the table.
- Make use of all cooking appliances and possibilities. When you cook for a large group, planning is important. For example, you cannot prepare all your dishes in the oven, which will take too long. So make sure that you also use your gas stove/hob for preparing your dishes. If you can heat parts of your dish in the microwave, do that too. This saves time and stress.
- Choose recipes that can be made in advance, in whole or in part. You can probably prepare a lot to make it easier on the day. Make these preparations 1 to 2 days in advance. Look for recipes and options to prepare it from scratch or that you can already prepare parts. Baguette can already be sliced, salad ingredients can be sliced, potatoes can be peeled, vegetables can already be cleaned. All these preparations will help you make your menu on the day itself.
- Stick to the menu you have chosen. Do not make any final changes and stick to the menu you have chosen. My experience is that last changes can cause a lot of stress.
- Accept help from your friends. If your friends or family offer help, accept it. They can help with everything, not only on the day itself but certainly during the preparation. And they also have a fridge that you can use.
- A (partial) buffet can be your friend. You can also do a lot in buffet form. Or serve your entire menu in buffet form. You give people a plate and they can serve themselves and take what they like. A dessert buffet, for example, can be a nice end to a fun and enjoyable evening. A drinks buffet can also bring a lot of peace.
- Make a preparation schedule. Once you’ve chosen your recipes, go through them and see what needs to be done. Now schedule the tasks to be done. This way you can probably make preparations a few days in advance and divide your work well. This will help you immensely on the day itself.
- Make a shopping list in time. Write down all the ingredients of your dishes. See what’s in your closet and what you can use. Pay special attention to the herbs, as they are often forgotten. Put the rest of the ingredients you don’t have on your shopping list. This way you can place orders on time and you can be sure that you have everything at home.
- Provide sufficient containers and bags. Get enough aluminum foil, microwave foil, baking paper, freezer bags and storage containers at home. You will probably have to keep the preparations in your refrigerator. This brings us to the next tip.
- Empty your fridge. Make room in your fridge for your ingredients, you’ll need it. Do you have good neighbours? Then ask if you can use their fridge if you don’t have room yourself. Or put a cool box in your kitchen for extra storage.
- Do the essentials, buy the rest. You will want to make a lot yourself, but you can also think about making your menu in such a way that you can also buy a lot. For dessert, for example, a cheese board. You only have to do some shopping for that and serve it nicely. How about spreads that you buy and can serve with sliced baguettes?
- Get your house ready the day before. If you need to clean your house or move things around, do it a day in advance. This gives peace of mind on the day itself. Do you have enough space for everyone?
- Count how many plates and cutlery you have. Do you have enough plates and cutlery at home? Do you have enough serving dishes? Enough glasses and cups? Do you have napkins and a nice tablecloth? If you need to supplement something, you can buy it in time. For very large groups, I recommend that you approach a rental company. They have everything for a pleasant evening. Also tables and chairs, if needed.
- Also think about yourself. Also take care of yourself during the preparation. Take it easy and don’t overwork yourself. Even on the day itself, you should take a break every now and then. Drink and eat enough.
Cooking For Large Group Quantities
Finally, the quantities for your dish. You’ve probably already picked out recipes. These are usually for 2 or 4 people and you have to cook for, for example, 16 people or for an even larger group.
It’s actually very simple. Double the ingredients until you reach the required amounts for your own group. A recipe for 4 people can be multiplied by 4 for a group of 16 people. It’s that simple.
However, you do need to be mindful of what else you serve. If you have served tasty snacks and baguettes beforehand, part of the hunger has already been satisfied. If you also serve a starter, main course and dessert with the necessary side dishes, it will probably be too much. Then you can adjust quantities, but this is really at your own discretion.
I hope I have helped you on your way and cooking for a large group and several people. Get started and have fun with the preparation and the day itself. Enjoy your meal!