Planning your menu
Lin's top tip: When catering for numbers the old adage 'less is more' is worth bearing in mind. A well planned simple cold fork buffet is more appetising than lots and lots of different contrasting flavours and foods.
General hints for planning your menu
- Think about flavour combinations and avoid clashes as people often pile a little bit of everything onto their plate.
- Choose different colours and textures to give an impressive looking spread.
- Work out what space and equipment you have and make sure you have enough hobs, oven shelves and surfaces when you need them.
- Do as much as possible in advance, there'll be plenty to do when guests arrive without undue fussing over food.
- Be clever with your budget - it can be expensive catering for large numbers so pick cheap ingredients and be inventive with them. Use cheaper cuts of meat in slow-cook one-pots to great effect.
Anna's presentation tips: When you're planning a buffet, think about good colour combinations and creating varying heights to make food look interesting and inviting. Space canapés out well on simple trays and the food will speak for itself.
The little extras
To keep guests happy and allow you time to get the main food out, Anna suggests, "Static nibbles, such as marinated olives, Parmesan shortbreads and tapenade on toasted croutes are good to have dotted on tables as these can simply be replenished."
She also points out that it's worth remembering the end of the evening."A cheese board is good for later on and bacon sandwiches after midnight are always a winner."
For tips, on how to combine your menu, click on the 'next' button below.