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Mass Production Cooking/CONVERTING RECIPES FOR 1000 PAX


Is there a formula used to take a recipe that feeds to 10pax to 1000pax.  If I convert by just multiplying items such as salt appear excessive.
If you use 2 onions for 10 people would that then mean you use 500 onions to feed 1000 people. I am specifically looking at a chicken and corn chowder recipe.

Hi Emily!

I'm sure you can find plenty of Chicken and Corn Chowder recipes on the internet. I don't have any recipes to share with you.

In your searching, I'd look for a recipe that has ingredients listed by weight and not volume. This makes it easier to scale upward.

The simple answer to your question is to multiply every ingredient by 100 to scale the recipe from 10 to 1000 people.

But, you're right that you don't want to measure 100 teaspoons of salt. Seasonings should not be scaled like proteins, aromatics and starches are in a recipe. Ultimately, it's up to the interpretation of the chef to adjust seasonings before serving.

Scaling problems are magnified when you try to scale from a 10 person recipe to 1000 people because of the large multiplying factor. Perhaps you can find a recipe that's already written for 100 people, and would only have to scale 10 times. This will limit errors.

Otherwise, take the main product of the recipe, like the chicken. Give the weight of the chicken ingredient a "factor" of 100%. Then, compare all other ingredients and give them a factor as well. If the recipe calls for 1 pound of chicken and 1/2 pound of celery, the chicken becomes 100% and the celery becomes 50%, etc.

That's how professional recipes are written, with percentages and not measurements. Then, ANY yield can be computed based on the benchmark 100% ingredient.

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Chef Todd Mohr. CCE


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 LIKE ChefToddMohr on Facebook Subscribe to ChefToddMohr on YouTube


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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