Menu for a Press Conference

Joined Oct 28, 1999
Here's the Scenario:

> 125 people, mostly VIP & press
> Mid-afternoon
> I have $8-$10 per person to bill the client, therefore about $4-$5 can go towards to food
> They do not want 'heavy' food.
> They suggested fruit, cheese, vegetables, etc. I am looking to exceed their expectations without going crazy.
> 2 weeks to prepare.

I can't get into all the details of what the event is for until its over, but I will fill everybody in afterwards.

Any suggestions?
Joined May 26, 2001
Without going into any confidential information, can you tell us whether any themes have occured to you? You know we're just champing at the bit to make suggestions!
Joined Oct 28, 1999
No themes, really. I wish there were, it would give me some parameters in which to work. Also, did I mention, they want the menu by Thrusday morning?!? :eek
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hey my friend,
Hollow out a few eggplant lenth wise and leach. Use the eggplant flesh to make a capanata. Fill the eggplants with the veggie stew. Some tasty pita crisp to shovel up the dip.
Hummis is always well recieved. Just open the # 10 can, throw in the tahini,garlic,mint,lemon and olive oil. surround this display with endive petals. Use some flavored wraps....spinach, sundried tomatoes. just take a couple discs of boursin with no more than a # of smoked salmon,sliced red onions,dill and capers. Make a spread, lay it out on the tortillas, rap and roll, chill and slice.
Just a couple ideas Jim..More comeing
Joined Oct 28, 1999
I like the multi-wrap idea. Multiple dips is a great idea, as well. I was thinking 'upscale' but not over-the-top displays. A neat cheese display with 'primal' cuts of cheese, marinated crudite, and the like. What about something with fruit. Its midday, so something refreshing might be nice....???
Joined Jul 31, 2000
I love it!!! (Primal cuts of cheese) :)
Fruit eh? Well melons are out of season, Citrus is pretty plentyful
Cut some grapefruits, blood oranges and navels in half, chill the empty halfs. From the flesh make a granitee and refill the skins with the ice, freeze. Slice into wedges to mimic the real fruit sections. serve on crushed ice and ground a little pink peppercorn over them.

fruit kebobs with a yogurt-fruit purre dip.
more later
Joined Mar 12, 2001
Make some tiny bread rolls and stuff them with good ham and cheese, tomato and mozzarella, smoked salmon and cream cheese etc.. or a big pile of cheese puffs
Joined Sep 21, 2001
For something like this, these are things I do
Fruit Kabobs with Procuitto
An assortment of dips with fresh breads-
Baba Ganouj, French Onion, and Smoked Salmon with Montrachet chevre.
Pesto Cheese bread and Calamata & Roquefort rounds.
Marinated Vegetables- Broccoli, cauliflour baby carrots and mushrooms, steamed and marinated in pesto viniagrette.
Spinach with artichoke Spanikopita, with roasted garlic dipping sauce
Baked Brie with raspberry coulis still popular after all these years
Spicy shrimp potstickers with scallion lime sauce
and of course....cocktail meatballs
Primal cut cheese- Huntsman, or whole balls or logs of chevre, a big L "Edel de Cleron with the top peeled back, looking like a 12" fondue.....a whole Tomme de Savoie that looks like something out of a still life painting.
Ste Agur or Forme De Ambert or sweet Gorgonzola drenched with good oil.
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Well, we ended up with 200 people in the main Press Conference area, 50 in a VIP reception, 40 boxed lunches, 10 guests in a post-conference reception.
For the 'main event' we menued the following...

Fresh Fruit Kabobs with crem fraiche-poppy seed dip, honey-yogurt dip and homemade 'fluff'
Crudite with pesto dipping sauce, red pepper coulis and roasted garlic dressing
Miniature desserts out the wazoo... eclairs, puffs, tuxedo strawberries (man are berries pricey!), cookies
Pinwheels... little slices of tortillas wrapped around savory fillings - curried chicken salad with toasted almonds, roast turkey with Russian dressing and flaked, grilled salamon with dill cream cheese
Primal Cheese cuts with naan and Swedish crisps, lingonberry preserves

It went very well. The client was thrilled. The reason I couldn't discuss too many of the details previously, was that the guest list included the President. Luckily, his schedule changed the day prior to the event an we got away with serving 2 congressmen and the governor. Dealing with a kitchen and that kind of security contingency is no fun.

Thanks to everybody for helping me build the event. It really did go well. It was 'fancy' enough to please the intellects and odinary enough to not scare away the rest of us.
Joined Jul 24, 2001
I want to ask something without being indescret.

If I am, please ignore the question. I don't know if I may ask such questions in the States.
What you have prepared , is it considered an expensive menu?
I don't want price just a yes or now.

Second althought it sound irrelavant, though it's not.
Have you , all of you not just Jim, thought of coming to Greece for the summer of Olympic Games to work??
I was reading an article the other day on the lack of professional caterers for the Olympics.

Think , summer in Greece and a Euro is less than an American dollar.
I mean , in Greece they haven't even heard of things we discuss here.
Jim's menu is offered only by 3 Michelin stars restaurants in an outrageous price...
Think about it...


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Jim! You mean George W. Bush? WOW! Close call... heh, however you wanna take it. j/k I'm sure it would have been a thrill to serve the President, just stay clear of the pretzels!

Joined Jul 31, 2000

Heh, In regards the Athenaues question. Why don't we put together a Cheftalk Culinary team! We could practice together, fine tune our work and reek havic in Athens. What do you think?

Could you imagine the thrill of being part of these games in Greece? Once in a life time gig.
I'm all for it.
Any leads Athenaeus?
Joined Jul 24, 2001
Seriously it's not so difficult to realize the idea.Let me check the Organizing comittee...

In a more " light" style, I am in, if afterwards the whole gang agrees to go to Santorine and start diving to the sea by my veranda that overlooks the Aegean and the volcano...

Joined Jul 31, 2000
This would be incredible.

I look forward to hearing back in regards to whats involved with something like this.
Who's in?
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Athenaeus, I'll bet you don't have to ride a donkey up to your villa! Next time I'm there I'll arrive on the shore away from the the caldera AND I'll look you up!
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Really? I never would have thought of it being anything more than an afternoon reception.
Kuan, yes George W... the one and only. We were going to have Philadelphia soft pretzels in his honor... (Making sure they were EXTRA soft) :lips:

For the last summer Olympics, I was offered a 6-week stint. I passed because of the time/travle constraints. It also sounded extremely rigorous. Don't get me wrong, hard work is good. But they were talking 6 weeks, including set-up of 16 hour days - straight through! Ouch. I would be up for re-examining the possibility, should it arise again. Always wanted to go to Greece!
Joined Jul 24, 2001
Here is the plan

We create an off shore company in Cyprus. Let's say " United Chefs" ( :p) The company has an expire date so no taxes...since Cyprus is involved.

Since you have not a professional kitchen of your own to work, you will offer your services to the main two cateres. Hilton and another Greek company. With your resumes... they will beg you .If they play the difficult all you need to ask is the american ambassador to make a phone call ... None says no to the american ambassador in Athens... And youwill come to eork for beetr Olympics after all.

Since we are mostly interested in the fun part you will ask that they offer you full paid hospitality while you work in Athens.

After the Games we go to my... villa ( there is room for everybody if you can sleep standing...the house belonged to a local fisherman and it's carved in the rock so no luxuries) in Santorini and we continue our Chef Talk Congress

Oh your lawyer won't charge you anything ;)


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