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Cooking for Parties/Wedding Antipasto Platter for 120

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Question
Hello

I have been asked to put together an antipasto platter for my son's wedding for 120 people.  They have hired caterers to manage a sit down main course and there will be a sweets bar afterwards.  So the antipasto platter will serve as an entree prior to the main course and will be a serve yourself affair whilst mingling prior to sitting down for dinner.  There is about a 2-2.5 hour time slot for drinks and antipasto and enjoying good company.

At this stage, I am planning on providing:
* cold meats (salamis, proscuitto etc),
* chargrilled veges (artichokes, capsicum, zucchini),
* olives,
* possibly a dip or two  
* fruits ( fresh figs and melon)
* biscuits and breads
* possibly cheeses ( brie, cheddar, blue)

As you can see, most of this is purchased, and I will mostly be organising the layout of the food on a long (around six foot) timber platter with the help of two friends.   We have hired a large cool room to store everything in. The platter will be split into 3 x 2 foot sections to go into the cool room.  

I have a couple of questions and would be grateful for ANY advice.  

Do you see anything wrong with the mix of food?  How much should I provide of the various items?  eg oz of meat and cheese per head etc.

Can I make the platters (or parts of the platters) up the night before? The wedding is at 3pm and the platters will come out of the cool room around 3.30pm - 4pm.  

I was thinking of making some homemade biscuits and flatbreads or other to serve with the platter. I would want to do this in advance and was wondering if you would have any recipes I could either make and freeze; or would store for say 2-5 days.

Thanks so much in advance for any feedback.

Answer
The platters MUST BE REFRIGERATED. Period.  I don't know what you mean by "cool room" but if it's not a walk-in cooler where the temperature is held between 34 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit then you are going to have food spoilage and food poisoning.  You cannot hold cold food above 38 degrees or it will spoil.  You should NOT put the platters out before 4 pm as the guests are arriving.  You can make them the night before and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and REFRIGERATE THEM until 4 pm.
Buy the flatbreads and crackers/biscuits.  It would take you a week to bake enough for 120 people and you could not prevent them from going stale.  Fresh from the package is always better than stale from the home kitchen.

If I were you, I would tell the catering company to make the platters and write them a check and enjoy the wedding instead.

You will need a half ounce of each meat and cheese item you are serving per person plus 1 ounce of each dip per person and 8-10 crackers per person depending on the size of the cracker.

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Teri Davis Newman

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I am a wedding and party planner in St. Louis, Missouri and I do weddings and parties all over the country! My brides are my number one priority as I understand how important their wedding day is to them! Any questions about catering and cooking for large groups. This would include recipes, cooking techniques, what to serve, how to prevent food poisoning, food storage and food integrity. I have thousands of recipes that are scaled for large groups and gatherings and will be happy to share them! If you are in need of professional assistance for helping you to plan your wedding, party or corporate event, please feel free to contact me! I do a limited amount of weddings and parties every year in order to make sure that I have the best service for my clientele. Feel free to visit my business website at this address: WWW.EXQUISITEEVENTSUSA.COM for detailed information on what services I offer. I have price point weddings for every budget--no matter what size and I am very specific about what you get for your hard-earned money.

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Catering and parties are a large part of the restaurant business. I do a lot of catering for local parties and weddings.
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Graduate, Le Cordon Bleu, Tokyo, Japan

Education/Credentials
Graduate, Le Cordon Bleu, Tokyo, Japan

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Allexpert.com expert for 9 years, owner www.yahoogroups.com/reciperequest with 30 thousand original recipes on site.

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