Catering School Tips

Entertaining a large group can mean fun and satisfaction or it can mean chaos and anxiety. In today's catering class, you'll learn ways to make the job of host or hostess a lot more enjoyable.

  • Plan for Help. Have you ever been at a dinner where half the guests leave the table at the same time in order to help pick up? Plan exactly what help you'll need, then assign tasks so that each person is "on duty" for just a short while. You might ask one to pick up salad plates, another to pass the main course, a third to make coffee. Let each guest know that you appreciate their help and that the rest of the evening is theirs to enjoy.
  • Try Rentals. One great reason to rent is that it's a time- and space-saver. Instead of stacking, washing, and putting away dirty dishes, just wipe and place them in the crates where they came. Ditto for the cutlery, chafing dishes, and glasses. You'll not only save time, but your kitchen will be a much neater - and saner place.
  • Think Brunch. Brunch is a different, fun, and flexible way to entertain. At a bridal shower brunch, for example, you can serve anything from eggs and coffee to duck confit and champagne. Plus, a brunch gives you (and the bride) the rest of the day off.
  • Hors d'oeuvres Table. A great stress-reducer is to put all your hors d'oeuvres on a side table, with plenty of paper napkins and small dishes. Let guests help themselves while you chat with each one and put the finishing touches on the meal.

Catering Program Success...
Here's the moral of your home catering program: For snag-free entertaining, be sure to plan ahead, accept or even recruit help, and use every trick in the book to make things easier on yourself.