Last Friday I catered my skating club’s end of year party at a friend’s home. I had an idea of the menu weeks in advance but did not flesh out the details until pretty late in the game. Luckily experience with cooking for large group came in handy and I drew on all the lessons I learned in previous years. So what makes for a good menu?
I prefer to have a theme instead of just a mish-mash of dishes. I went with a southern theme including many traditional dishes from American south. So when a plate is piled high with bites of everything, there is some sort of continuity instead of many clashing flavours. Also, employing a variety of cooking methods is key. In a home kitchen, I do not have infinite oven space or stove tops. A menu that uses oven, stove top, slow cooker, and made-head dishes can optimize on cooking time so every dish will be ready at approximately the same time. I reduce any last minute assembly to minimum because the logistics of transferring all the food from my home to the party location is already a big challenge. No need to make things more complicated than it already is. This is the menu I served: