I've been writing up summaries of the Plating & Presentation class I've been taking over on my Still Life With blog. Tonight is the 3rd out of 4 classes. Last week was on building buffets, and one of the most useful tips really wasn't about food styling, but on event planning. We got a great cheat sheet, provided by our chef/instructor Hope Sandler, on calculating quantities for larger gatherings... both stocking the bar, and preparing the food. If you are planning a party, these are great things to keep in mind! All quantities below are based on a party of 25 or so people, but of course, you know your friends or family, so adjust for their preferences. In fact, I went ahead and tweaked a few things from the inital list... things like switching the tonic to club soda quantities and increasing the red wine quantities. Also, the quantities assume your guests will bring some beer/wine. A Summer Bar: 1 qt scotch 1 qt bourbon 3 qt vodka 3 qt gin 2 qt rum 1 bottle dry vermouth 3 bottles of white wine 3 bottles of red wine 12-24 bottles of beer 10 qts club soda 6 qts tonic 2 qts ginger ale (unless you are inviting my husband. Then make it 4 qts, and throw in a bottle of Crown Royal :-) ) 2 qts orange juice 3 qts cola 4 qts diet cola 6 limes 6 lemons A Winter Bar 3 qt scotch 2 qt bourbon 2 qt vodka 2 qt gin 1 qt rum 1 bottle dry vermouth 3 bottles white wine 3 bottles red wine 12-24 bottles of beer 10 qts club soda 5 qts tonic 2 qts ginger ale (unless you are inviting my husband. Then make it 4 qts, and throw in a bottle of Crown Royal :-) ) 1 qts orange juice 2 qts cola 3 qts diet cola 3 limes 3 lemons Ice - 1 lb of ice per person plus 10 lbs for every 25 people (note 1 bag of ice is typically 5 lbs) Accessories: Ice bucket Water pitcher Jigger Paring Knife Bottle opener corkscrew Cocktail Napkins Hors d'oeuvere For a cocktail-only party, about 12 per guest. For a pre-dinner treat, about 6 per guest. Meat & Poultry Allow for about a half pound (or one to two pieces of chicken) of per guest. If you are throwing a larger party (50 or more), people tend to eat less, so you can reduce this to about a third of a pound per person. Seafood You'll want approximately a half pound per person, or less if served with a larger meat course. However, people will tend to eat as much shrimp or smoked salmon as provided, so you'll need to purchase according to your budget constraints. Vegetables Allow about a half cup of small, bite sized vegetables (beans, peas, etc.), one potato or three to five stalks (for example asapargus) per guest. In addition, allow about one moderate-sized handful of salad per person. Pastas, Grains and Breads One pound of dried pasta will serve about eight as an entree or sixteen as a side. For rice, estimate about one ounce, uncooked, per person. A loaf of french or Italian bread will typically serve twelve to fourteen. Dessert Estimate about a half cup per person for mousses, puddings or other spoonables. A standard ten-inch pie or cake will server eight to 10.
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