You may want to know how to prepare catering food, especially as interesting as it seems watching the men and women bustle around in their white uniforms, tirelessly moving food from the kitchen to the table. Lugging the large platters of finger sandwiches, fruit trays or steaming hot shrimp may seem like a fun job, and can be for those who prepare wisely and ahead of schedule.
To prepare catering food, you will need:
- Serving dishes
- Serving utensils
- Mixing bowls
- Cooking pots
- Warming covers
- Commercial mixers
- Large oven
- Food preparation area
- Set up an appointment with the party planner or the person in charge. Find out how many people will attend the event. Ask about food preference and an overall budget. The money available will have an overall effect on the type and amount of food to prepare for the event.
- Prepare days or even a week in advance. Instead of waiting until the day before the event, save yourself loads of frustration and aggravation. Make a list of each dish to help stay focused. Purchase necessary ingredients. Make recipes ahead of time that are freezable, such as soups, casseroles and certain desserts. Prepare refrigerated foods last.
- Get ready the day before the catering event. Ask the host or person in charge if you can bring certain items to the catering site ahead of time. For example, unload warming units, large pots and pans, as well as cool boxes. Be sure to include temperature-controlled containers that keep the food cold or hot, depending on the dish.
- Clean and sanitize the cooking area on the day of the catering event. Cook and prepare the dishes. Arrange platters and dishes appropriately. Arrange meat and cheese trays neatly. Place the items on to leaf lettuce or a crisp white dolly. Prepare finger food platters that allow guests to easily grab a sandwich or hors d’oeuvre without too much effort.
- Prepare to restock. Monitor the guests as they consume the prepared food. Refrain from allowing a dish to become empty before a refilling its contents. Add fresh vegetables, cookies, sandwiches, chips and crackers where appropriate. Keep the area tidy.
- Wash dishes and cooking utensils with hot water for proper cleaning.
Keep cooked and uncooked foods separate to avoid contamination.