Suggestions on menus


Joined Jan 20, 2003
New person here, quite alot of details to
choose from in joining a forum!
I am planning some upcoming events in late
April and looking for some new menu ideas.
I have a preset luncheon for 300 and considering
chilled pecan chicken breast on spring mix,
with raspberry sauce,with fresh raspberries for
garnish. On side, grilled pencil aspargus with
lemon zest.
A simple plate but feel I need a starch to complete it but maintain it's simplicity in
presentation and production, any suggestions?
Secondly, I'm looking at surf and turf
alternatives to baked stuffed shrimp with
beef tenderloin, don't feel shrimp holds
the needed temp for plate service of 600 for
an off premise event, any opinions or
suggestions here?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Melinda
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hello Melinda and welcome to Cheftalk.

If I may suggest in the future that you may want to post a question like this one in one of our culinary forums.It would see more traffic that way.

For your Chicken salad,May I suggest a vinaigrette opposed to a sauce.

I don't think it is really nessasary to have a starch served with the salad. Perhaps a slice of grilled crostini. When I think of pecans I think of wild rice.Maybe ditch the mesclun and make some Minnasotta wild rice cakes instead?

Or maybe a fiddlehead fern/wildrice dried blueberry salad.

For the "surf and turf" I agree,600 heads are alot to feed. And with an average of 15 portions from a choice 189 you would need 45 pismos (big $$$)plus 1200 shrimp (if your serving 2 per plate?)

You need something that you could "scoop and go" so to speak. Maybe a seafood vol au vent with a grilled veal medallion with a caper buerre blanc. I find in large events (especially offsite) it important to have at least one element of the plate to be very simple and quick to plate.

What is your per head budget?


Joined Jan 20, 2003
Thank you for the quick reply, will take
your suggestion on using the culinary formats.
Great suggestions, thank you. I'm not familiar
with Minnasota rice cakes, is that a wild rice
pancake? I've used variations on wild rice salad
and agree, it pairs nicely with the pecan chicken
breast. I've used dried blueberries on a few
occassions, I like the concept but find their flavor does not come through very strongly in
hydration for salads or cooking and question if
it sounds better on the menu then on one's palate.
Color of plate was my thinking in going with
a raspberry sauce but a vinaigrette would work well. I like the use of fiddlehead ferns, it would offer more dimension to the plate in taste and presentation than a nest of mesclun.
Surf and turf: I like the use of puff pastry
with a seafood filling, a more elegant presentation and would carry temperature better
in plating than dealing with holding stuffed
shrimp. Considering 2 U-10's per plate with
a 3-4oz portions of sliced tenderloin.
I work for a fee account so raw costs are
passed on with no profit. I would put raw
costs of this plate at 15.00 including
salad,dessert and coffee. Labor and outside
expenditures will surely double it.
I like the use of veal but tenderloin seems
to be the client's favorite. You've got me thinking about the vol au vent, I think that
could work.
Many thanks for your time and input,much appreciated. Oh, curious about the Minnasota
cakes,so let me know about those when you have a moment.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Hello Melinda! Welcome to Chef Talk.

I see that Cape Chef has already undertaken to work through the considerations of your upcoming event. So that even more replies can be given, I am moving this already great conversation to The Inside Scoop, a professionals' forum.

Please do start an introduction thread in the Welcome Forum so we can become aquainted. Then enjoy all of the board's forums!

If you have questions about the board please ask. We're glad to meet you and want you to feel at home.

Mezzaluna, moderator
Welcome Forum
Joined Jul 2, 2001
Well, as usual, I agree w/ what CC said. Doing alot of banquet business ease of plating is very important. Medallions or something similar would work best because you are only plating one item. It is hard to maintain the quality if you pre-slice and to time consuming to slice to order. At least in my opinion.

As for the rice cakes, I'm not sure how CC makes his but I cook my rice them blend it w/ a mornay sauce. Chill it, shape it and bread it in groung townhouse crackers. Then I brown it in the fryer. I then heat to temp in the oven at service time. Easy stuff, holds well and is well received. Good Luck.


Joined Jan 20, 2003
Many thanks on the rice cake recipes.
Looking for suggestions on a preset or
served appetizer for 500. I'm interested in
using seasonal fruit and cheese as the main
components and get away from greens for the
base. Maybe a combination of grilled
pear and plum with fresh melon and toasted
garlic crostini? Serve with a bleu cheese
On a different plane, This is me thinking out of the box for a preset salad.
Plate: 3 sliced portions of vegetarian
california sushi roll,top,base or use as a side side,sauteed haricot vert with oyster mushroom and water chestnuts. Garnish with a fried rice pasta.
Use a lemon grass and olive oil vinaigette at
to finish.
Again, this is off the top of my head, my
intent is to offer something unique, interesting
and that tastes good.
I have to wonder if the many chefs reading this
are raising their eyebrows or seeing the possibilities in my ideas, hope it is the latter.
Look forward to the feedback.
Joined Jul 2, 2001
I like your first idea although I tend to lean toward either gorganzola or goat cheese for the cheese. I think that bleu at least for me is to bitey.

On the other I like the idea but can't get past he nori. That stuff just kills my taste buds. I think that for 500 people you might have trouble w/ that one. Of course, thats just my opinion.

One more thing..... Keep thinking outside the box. That is what separates the pros from the wantabes.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Several sushi chefs here use cucumber instead of nori, thin long ribbons of cuke....some use rice some do not...I would think filled with veg would work great with a viniagrette.

chevre in fillo cup with grilled fruit and a balsalmic redux
crunch and flavors

lemon verbena syrup with an acid would make an interesting fruit dressing
Joined Jul 18, 2002
"I am planning some upcoming events in late
April and looking for some new menu ideas.
I have a preset luncheon for 300 and considering
chilled pecan chicken breast on spring mix,
with raspberry sauce,with fresh raspberries for
garnish. On side, grilled pencil aspargus with
lemon zest."

Here are some quick thoughts:

basmati and wild rice salad with dried apricots & slivered cumin roasted almonds

long flat slices of sweet potato, tossed in garlic and herbs and roasted - could be served at room temp.

julienne of carrots, yellow and green squash with hazelnuts and vinaigrette.

roast something unusual like jerusalem artichokes and beets - I just had some roasted for dinner. You could compliment that with some cheese like grana padana shavings, gruyere, creamy blue brie - try a montrabriac. - Oh here's a thought nap a cheese sauce over the chicken.

I saw a great idea today for salmon wrapped in wine soaked grape leaves and baked in a filo wrapper. It conjures up all sorts of ideas.

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