Help with menu for an event. 20 people, only apps and fingerfood.

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by kaiquekuisine, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    So I got an offer to do an event this month.
    Pretty simple and straightforward.
    20 people, only appetizers, and fingerfood. To be served over a course of maybe 2-3 hours.
    All investors, no fussy modern food, real simple, meat and potatoe type people. They will all be consuming wine during the entire duration of the event.

    I can do simple, but i really want to keep it simple, as it will be an event i will be doing alone.
    Kitchen is on site (i have seen the kitchen and its good), and things need to be prepped quick, and sent out quick as well. Since it´s 20 people im thinking around 40-50 of each app, maybe 3-4 options.

    So any help would be great, pretty open to any ideas. I just want them to be quick for prep.

    P.S. I generally tend to go more towards Mediterranean flavores.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  2. redbeerd cantu

    redbeerd cantu

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    3 ope
     
  3. redbeerd cantu

    redbeerd cantu

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    Sorry. Couldn't find delete option.

    3 options at 40/ea is 120 plates; 4 options at 50/ea is 200 items which need to be purchased, prepped, and presented...by yourself. Picture that. Ok, then.

    Mediterranean apps/finger foods:

    Tiny gyros, tiny kofta kebabs; tiny basmati rice bowls with chicken shawerma or kofta, or even beef shawerma; tabbouleh; hummus (different variations) w/ pita; small bowls of quaker soup; babaganoush; tzatziki; falafel w/ tahini; salata Arabica; yogurt with a fruit compote (dates, cherries); dolma; tiropetes...
     
  4. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Meat and potatoes. That makes it simpler. I have an article on this website about baby potato appetizers with goat cheese filling. So I'd recommend those.
    You can skewer lots of stuff fairly quickly-marinated beef, chicken, shrimp, or pork, and serve with various sauces. You can even skewer the day before and hold/cook as needed.
    Little shaved med rare beef sandwiches with horseradish mayo. (Add a nice flavored butter on either side of the bread and you may be able to do these the day before. )
    Tapenade on baguette toast.
    Phyllo cups- phyllo baked in mini muffin tins. Fill however you like.
    The old classic ratatouille, served....
    Pigs in blanket with spicy sausage and puff dough.
    Ham on toast or as finger sandwiches with spicy mustard.
    cocktail sized ribs,
    A selection of great olives.
    Salmon canapes.
     
  5. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    Do you have a wine list? That should influence your choice of apps and finger foods.
     
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  6. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    I agree with sgsvirgil, knowing the wines would really help drive the menu!

    Since you are alone, I would think hard about the logistics of any hot items.

    Are you replenishing a buffet, strolling with a tray and a smile, or are you handing out plates? Doesn't sound like a sit down event.

    Gougeres would work very well with a wine only event. Pipe, freeze, bag, transport. Out of freezer and hot to guests in 10 minutes. No filling needed if you aren't stingy with the Gruyere...

    I always liked flavoring pate choux to complement or contrast a filling. For your preferred flavors, something like a Cumin-garlic puff filled with a Grilled Chicken, tzatziki mixture. Cardamom puffs filled with your yogurt and date filling...

    You may want to choose some way to work in a cheese item. Wine and cheese anyone?

    Sounds like a fun gig! Good luck!
     
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  7. jimyra

    jimyra

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    You are off to a good start with the suggestions above. How about Italian style bread sticks with sea salt. A fruit plate or fruits scattered for grazing: grapes, strawberries, and melon. A meat tray with different Mediterranean sausages. Italian sausage or meatballs served in a simple tomato sauce. Bamboo skewers with miniature mozzarella balls, tortilla, and salad tomatoes; served with oil, vinegar, and lots of fresh basil.
     
  8. Cdp

    Cdp

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    not sure if they are called the same thing else where but palmiers

    puff roll out spread with pesto and parmo cut into long strips and roll and bake

    simple but tasty and for those who don't like fuss seems to win them over.
     
  9. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    So far i have 5 options on the menu, and as crazy as it seems, im gonna push 35-40 of each item, minus the dessert which will be 20 counted.

    I know im doing some type of bruschetta, because well its basically traditional and its so easy to get out, an just let hang a bit, prep is easy and the flavors are pretty classic.
    I have my mind also on doing some sort of salad, propably some type of lettuce cup, with a chilled chicken and pesto salad, grated parm, cherry tomatos etc...
    I may do something involving potatoes (because you can just boil them before hand, before doing some sort of final prep).
    Im also thinking of going with something like a zucchini boat, with cheese, italian sausage.

    My thoughts were literally having as many things as possible that can be prepped in before hand, having 2 cold/room temp options and 2 hot options.

    I will have someone to do all the cleanup, and I will not have to walk around and serve, there will be tables with all the options.
    I may need to restock, but since i usually go overboard with prep i will def be doing more of everything, especially if i stay under my budget.

    The dessert it something really simple, that does not require any onsite prep, and will stay tucked away in the fridge.
    I came up with a play on pineapple (in a sweet syrup), white chocolate ganache and some type of mint garnish. In my head its pretty easy and it will be small and prepped/portioned before the event.

    I tried keeping it less sophisticated, and to me thats rustic, fresh and tasty.

    I know what the wines are, but they aren´t all that great, dry red wine, and dry white wine. It´s non-expensive wine. Maybe a couple steps above what they have in the states, called Franzia.
     
  10. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Interesting thoughts.

    I thought you were describing an informal event where people will mingle and walk around for a couple of hours.

    But your menu sounds like they are all going to sit down.

    But, if they are standing...

    Salad in one hand, fork in the other, and wine glass in the third hand?

    Sounds like a plated, portioned dessert also. If one extra person shows up "Sorry I only made 20..."?
    Pineapple, heavy syrup and White Ganache? Since I can't see the vision in your head so, those components only say sweet, sweeter, and really sweet to me. Like the mint though I'm lost on this one.

    Besides the food part of the equation, one of my goals at a stand-up event is keep the guests clean. "Investors" sounds like very nicely dressed folks. (I don't pay $300 for a shirt!) I try not to set people up for anything that could easily drip on them or fall apart on them. This will embarrass the guest and the host.

    Are you doing this as a favor or are you looking for some of those investors to also hire you down the road?


    Good luck!
     
  11. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    For potatoes if you want to do something old school but easy to update why not potato skins? Do tiny ones out of different colored spuds? Mix up the fillings with fun stuff?
    I'm thinking of say a 2-bite size.
     
  12. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    It´s not a favor, but i´m also not looking for any of these investors to hire me.
    The event is a sitdown event, they are are investors for the same company.

    The event is only 20 people tops, the space where the event will take place will not support many people, and the quantity of people is literally at the limit for the space provided.

    The venue where this event is taking place is a co-working shared kitchen, with a dining area that holds a max of 20 people. It is only used for courses, small meal events and gatherings (forgot to provide this info). I ended up having some contacts and they called me to do the gig. Even though they are investors, and they probably have money they have specifically stated they do not want fussy, sophisticated food, which isnt really what i do anyway, but i I kept it simple. The budget also wasn´t that great.

    As for the dessert, it´s a work in progress, it´s not as sweet as you think, and there are acidic components that cut alot of the sweetness, but again it´s a work in progress, so i haven´t exactly figured out how it´s going to work.
    I have played around with this dessert, but im trying to alternate some things and experiment a bit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  13. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    200 apps doesnt sound unrealistic at all, 20 mature adults drinking wine for 3 hours can put away an unbelievable amount of appetizers especially if it's coinciding with a main meal time like lunch or dinner. And what they dont eat in the "sitdown",
    they will most certainly completely devour during the inevitable stand around and talk segment at the end.
    I've seen this happen time and time again, especially with a nice savory selection of appetizers like potstickers. lol

    There's a very nice app I used to make all the time in the banquet room it was a bacon cheddar Mayo bruschetta on a baguette.... it's a hot app, you place it under the broiler for a couple of minutes and it's really excellent, quite addictive.
     
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  14. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    I´m literally considering the idea in doubling the amount of apps, for this event, as I too over the past few days have thought that maybe 200 apps will not be enough.
    Maybe I won´t double it, but probably include 2 more options totaling around 300.
     
  15. pzofsak

    pzofsak

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    I have done truffled twice baked fingerling potatoes before for a passed hor d'oeuvre with great success. Its a potato option that touches both meat and potato crowds as well as those expecting more.
    You didn't mention what time this event will be taking place; I spent many years at hotels in a downtown setting. We would often do an after work cocktail reception for companies featuring wine/beer/alcohol and hors d'oeuvres; they would nibble the food but drink like fish and mingle most of the time; typically a 5-7 time period and they would go out for dinner afterwards.