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Cooking for Parties/Birthday BBQ for 50



My son is 1 years old, and so we're inviting family and friends to a BBQ in our backyard to celberate his birthday. It's to be quite informal, but of course I would like the food to be delicious, enough and for people to have enough choices. The RSVP list isn't back yet, but we're counting on 15 women, 16 men and 19 kids between the age of 1 and 13. I would like to know if the menu (and amount) is totally crazy or not, and if you have any ideas on how to make it better.

The menu is:

Mini pulled pork burgers with coleslaw (11 lbs of meat)
Sausages (7,5 lbs)
Pork belly slices (7,5 lbs)
Chicken skewers (from chicken thigh, 7,5 lbs)

Side dish:
Cold potato salad, caprese salad, vegetable skewers, corn (all 5,5 lbs each)
Bread and herb butter (12 large sticks of bread)

Sauce (how much in total would I need?)
Satay sauce (we are in the Netherlands and this is a must-have here), barbecuesauce, cocktailsauce and garlic sauce

Ice cream (12 gallons) with 4 different toppings, and 2 different sauces (caramel and chocolate)

Alcoholic: Beer  (10 gallons) and was contemplating sangria (3,5 gallons)
Non-alcoholic: Strawberry lemonade, Ice tea and Water (4 gallons each)

You have WAY too much food and you are going to have a ton of leftovers and waste.  You have 12 gallons of ice cream for 50 people after a meal where if they consume 25% of the amount of food you have planned to serve, they will not be able to walk, let alone eat nearly a QUART of ice cream (30.7 ounces per person, and there are 32 ounces in a quart) PER PERSON.  The correct serving size for ice cream is 4-6 ounces. This means that if I were serving a 6 ounce portion per person, 12 gallons of ice cream is the correct amount for 256 (yes, two hundred and fifty six people!) or about FIVE TIMES the amount you would need for a party this size. You have similarly over-estimated the rest of the food as well--PLUS 19 of these guests are CHILDREN who will eat HALF of what an adult will eat.  21 pounds of meat, 20 pounds of side dishes??  That's FORTY-ONE POUNDS OF just MEAT AND SIDES for 31 adults and 19 children so you need about 40 adult size portions of dinner, you have nearly 110 portions or nearly 3 times the amount you will need--and you have FIVE times more dessert than you will need.  I'd suggest you cut back drastically on your amount of food or invite another 100 or so ADULT people to this BBQ.  Also, you've got enough beer and sangria planned that unless you are hosting 150 RAGING ALCOHOLICS you have about 4 times too much of that as well.
I'm sure it will all be delicious which is good; you will be eating the leftovers for a long time to come after the party--3 to 4 weeks at least with the amount of waste and leftovers you are going to have.  
You need to cut back--a LOT.  I am sorry for the delay in response.  I am battling ovarian cancer and am slower these days.

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Teri Davis Newman


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.


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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