5 course surprise dinner

Joined Dec 2, 2000
I was asked to cater a sit down dinner for 10 for a surprise 40th birthday party.
The husband is organizing it for his wife and this is what I have so far come up with..
They do not want a theme and the same ingredients in any of the courses. They also do not want chicken or Asian..
They also want 2 different proteins for their entree.And they definately want creme brulee..
Oh the wife just loves caprials and she herself loves to cook.
Here it is.
It is not final so please put in your 2 cents.

Butternut squash soup with curried horseradish cream
Baby mesclun greens with Anjou pear, chevre mignonette, and honeyed pecans served with a walnut vinaigrette
Iam still working on the appetizer, and feel free to give me some ideas.
1.Moroccan herb crusted salmon fillet with basil pistou and cherry tomatoes
2. Seared kalamata lamb chops with a pickled rosemary, garlic and roasted pepper chutney
Roasted garlic potato puree
Sautéed asparagus served with a coarse black pepper beurre blanc
Citrus cardamom crème brulee and orange truffles

So what do you think..
They want all this food.. I personally think it's alot but Iam not hiring me.

Thank you


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Sounds really good!!! I just have 2 questions. What are you doing for your intermezzo, and what is chevre mignonette? A couple of suggestions: You have a lot of food for these people. I might consider doing the soup in demi mugs, more as an amuse than a full coarse. For the app., how about: Pan-seared scallop on a bed of arugula risotto with a tomato-ginger sauce. Or a crab martini (guacamole, spicy crab salad, and creme fraiche layered in a martini glass).
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I'd cut out the buerre blanc on the asparagus....too much sauce....think of your plating to get all the components on your entree plate and keep um hot. pull in at least 2 more staff/3 better to get it out.... served and plates washed.

yep small poritons you've got rich food....
apps. shrooms!!!! make um simple you've got alot happening....
I don't know what you have fresh now....if you've got chanterelles, mix with boiled fingerlings,tarragon and rehydrated apricots and put in a fillo cup or make a triangle

cold....Spicy seafood on an artichoke leaf or on a baby artichoke with capers and dillweed.....
I'd do something seafoody.....
Hope you're getting paid well, this is a bang out party!!!

Whoa....maybe a pomagranite molasses drizzle on figgies and blue
Joined Dec 2, 2000
Chevre Mignonette is goat cheese rolled in coarsely ground black pepper.
Thank you all who responded.
I am changing the buerre blanc to just a bit of butter. The portions are small.
And FYI.. Shroom. $50 a head.

I will keep you posted as to how it goes..
Iam waiting for a response.. I faxed them the proposal yesterday..
Keep your toes crossed
Joined Dec 2, 2000
I grow my own rosemary and preserve it by either drying it and or putting it in vinegar.. I then use the pickled rosemary for my Meditteranean dishes...

I got the job.. They chose my menu and my price..
So Iam in business..

Hope word of mouth will do the talking..

I have 1 assistant in the kitchen and the 5 gentlemen who are all friends many years will serve the women..
Every course a different guy..
works for me...
It's their party..so they can do what they want...

I was 1 of 3 other personal chefs...

I guess I can call myself chef..

Danielle :bounce:
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Yea!!! let us know how it goes....don't forget to heat the plates....
I do alot of dinner parties for 8-10, Staff is over and above food and I have one just washing dishes, one bartending and serving and one helping me get the food out. Just garnishing and the volume of fine china and crystal is huge.....most places I hand wash everything.
Home kitchens don't always have as much oven space as you'd like, heat rolls, plates, entrees....apps. There is alot that goes in to prior planning a menu.
Again congrats!!! make sure you have cards on you.
Joined Dec 2, 2000
Thank you for the last minute peptalks..Shroom. You are indeed my idol. I was just asked to do a wedding party on April 3rd. A pediatrician who is renewing her vows. 50 guests, about 13 kids. We picked a simple yet, semiformal menu. She is taking care of all of the table, chair, china etc rentals. Beverages.. iam just doing the buffet and the service. Keep your toes crossed.. I but in my bid today..

Iam getting bombarded with all kinds of work.. It is crazy..
I have given away alot of my homecooking while I was going to school, so I kind of got people used to my cooking. I have 4 requests to prepare meals for freezing (for 2 weeks). Shroom, do you have advice for that kind of stuff?
I have some parties already booked for June and September..
Is this happening too fast or is this normal???

I can handle it.. Iam very organized. Have a kitchen.. I send away for my license and liability insurance for $1,000,000.
I have help and love the challenge.
Iam almost done with my menu and the cards are printed.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Cool~ not too fast.....
Rentals you get mark ups for and eventually you will want to own your own equipment and rent it out. Bev is a big income maker....beer, wine and soda $8 pp and that is generic goes up from there. Kids I charge half price under 10.

Come up with a list for your 4 frozen food guys or give them no choice but what your cooking that week....
If your clients want food and aren't too picky, let them sign up for what your making....much easier to make alot of one thing than personalized meals. If you are stressing the catering<that's where your money is anyway> then have the go-food as a back up and don't personalize but offer frozen meals...don't forget to charge for delivery, offer desserts at additional charges and throw in info on your catering gigs.

***Upcharge, upcharge, upcharge and do it from the beginning.
Delivery is a cost, personalization, staff gets a portion of the labor charge, charge for you being there....Anytime I hook up florists I get 10% of the job. During the slow times or the growth times or the nights when your dead tired and have 3 more hours to go....the money will tide you through or make it more bearable.

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