The Buffet Experiment

Whether it be for a wedding, a coming baby, formal announcements, or just for the hell of it food is always the binding element of any decent size gathering. I’m working out a menu for my friends next big gathering. There’s no date yet we’re just putting together the menu so we’ll have this out of the way when it comes time to put together a budget and actually get down to the real work. Here are some ideas that I pulled from and from the largest cookbook I own, Bay Books Ultimate Kitchen Companion.  Dividing the food up between tables based on how it’s served or, hot/cold etc. makes the most sense, and having the food on separate tables makes the space more easily configurable to accommodate varying numbers of guests. As a rule, one serving line per thirty people will keep the lines moving quickly and the serving trays looking fuller longer. Additionally, one beverage table per thirty guests will ease beverage service considerably.

Cold Table:

Dips and Dippers:


  • Cheese Tray
  • Deli Meats Tray


  • Salmon and Chive Canapé [UKC p.102]
    Red salmon, cream cheese, scallions, and pecans.
  • Herb and Cheese Canapé [UKC p.99]
    Crushed garlic, fresh thyme tarragon and parsley. Cream cheese and chives.
  • Cheese and Fruit Canapé [UKC p.103]
    Dried cranberries, apricots and figs. Scallions, parsley, and sun-dried tomatoes. Cream cheese and pistachio nuts.

Custom Sandwich Bar:



  • Baguette
  • Bagel Minis
  • Pita
  • Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
  • Artisan Multi-Grain


  • Ham
  • Turkey
  • Salami
  • Bacon


  • Mixed Greens
  • Romaine
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Red Pepper
  • Grilled Eggplant


  • Swiss
  • Pepper Jack
  • Cheddar
  • Goats

Hot Bar:

  • Little Smokies Wrapped with Prosciutto
  • Zucchini Boats [UKC .p132]
    Grilled Zucchini boats filled with tomato, onion and parsley with salami and cheddar cheese.
  • Mini quiches

    • Goats Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato [UKC p.174]
    • Carmelized onion, Bacon and Apple [UKC p.174]
    • Cream Herb [UKC p.175]
  • Mini Pizza
    • Brie and Pear [UKC p.154]
      Brie flavored with basil, cilantro and parsley topped with fresh pear slices.
    • Vegetable
    • Ham and Pineapple
    • Meat Lovers

Standardized Sandwich Bar:

  • Mediterranean Squares [UKC p.149]
    Delicate Focaccia squares filled with a zesty vegetable tapenade and cheddar cheeses.
  • Vegetable Triangle Minis
    Assoted sliced vegetables, white bread, hummus or veg dip.
  • Club Triangle Minis
    3 Layer club sandwich with white and whole grain breads.
  • Mini pita pockets
    Stuff them with just about anything
  • Mini Spicy Burgers [UKC p.164]
    Miniature zesty burgers with ginger and mango chutney on warm naan.
  • Twists: [UKC p.182-3]
    Thyme, Cheese, Prosciutto, Asparagus etc. Puff Pastry cut into thin strips and twisted around just about anything before baking

Obviously this list is missing deserts, which I (albeit incorrectly) almost automatically associate with baking. Baking and I are a nasty combination that always results in disaster. It makes sense that I avoid it.


Posted on July 23, 2010, in Experiments and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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