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Mass Production Cooking/couples baby shower for 100 people

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Question
I am planning on an open house, couples baby shower for 100 people. I would like to have a variety of gluten free, healthy food and easy to eat while standing around, talking food. I want to have all the food done ahead. I have chafing dishes to keep things warm.
I was thinking of fruit buffet, fresh veggies with dips  beef roast korean style lettuce wraps.  I would have buns for the guys. OR:  fruit buffet, salads and meat balls?  I would like some hardy food for guys.  Any suggestions? This is at our air port hanger, so it is casual. I have a small kitchen, but don't want to be cooking when I guests are there. I want great food and not the basic menu.

Answer
Hi Joan!
Congratulations on the baby shower!

I like the ideas you have so far.  If you made a Korean style beef, it could go on a small roll for the "guys" and lettuce wraps for gluten-free.

It sounds like the majority of your guests are avoiding gluten.  When called for this in my catering company, we'd create a salad bar.  You can have 10-20 different items already cut and prepped into bowls along with lettuce and proteins.  Once you display the ingredients, you're done.  No more cooking!

Along with the salad bar, you could have a "build your own sandwich" station with sliced meats, pre-made protein salads, cheeses, condiments and breads.  You could add romaine leaves to make your own wraps also.

A hearty soup is always a good "make-ahead" dish and appropriate for all.

Otherwise, your challenge is having finger-food or those that don't need a knife and fork.  This is often a challenge in a "stand-up" type event.  The other alternative is to have items that may require a fork, but no knife for cutting.  I like your meatball idea (1-2ounce portions).  How about something on a stick?  Skewered Chicken Sate, marinated in peanut/coconut and grilled can be eaten with one hand.  Similarly, shrimp kabobs can serve that purpose.

If I think of any others, I'll update.  

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Chef Todd Mohr. CCE

Expertise

I'd be glad to answer your questions about how basic cooking methods apply equally to cooking for two in your home, or 1000 for an event. Please don't ask me how much to order from the caterer or deli. That's up to them to consult you on. If you are doing the actual cooking, I can help. My expertise is in cooking for more than 100 people. Your questions concerning cooking methods, amount to purchase, portioning, strategies for food service, and food safety for large production are welcomed. There are plenty of recipe websites on the internet. Please don't ask me for recipes. I don't believe in written instructions for cooking anyway. The more information you give while asking your question, the better response I can give. "How do I feed 100 people at my daughter's wedding?" is too broad of a question. "If I plan to offer chicken and beef for 100 people, how much chicken should I purchase?" is a better question. Visit my website at http://www.WebCookingClasses.com LIKE ChefToddMohr on Facebook Subscribe to ChefToddMohr on YouTube

Experience

I'm certified by the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Culinary Educator. I'm currently a Chef Instructor at three different culinary schools in Baltimore, Maryland. Previously an Executive Chef at a large hospital, feeding 3000 people three times daily over 8 different menus. Also a Chef at The National Security Agency in Washington, DC, part of a team feeding 15,000 people twice daily. Then, General Manager/Executive Chef of various Business Dining Cafeterias, feeding thousands daily. My catering company has hosted many large events, feeding up to 1000 people.

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American Culinary Federation

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Learn to cook like a chef at home in 16 weeks guaranteed. Visit http://www.WebCookingClasses.com Visit my blog at http://www.WebCookingClasses.com/blog Subscribe to my latest videos on YouTube. Find ChefToddMohr I am a featured author at Ezine Articles. Search YouTube for "ChefToddMohr" for my sillier side.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts, Long Island University Associate of Arts, Baltimore International Culinary College

Awards and Honors
Certified Culinary Educator (ACF)

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My catering company has had many of the nations largest companies as clients.

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