5 Things to Consider When Planning a Party Menu
Food is one of the pivotal elements when it comes to planning a party.
More often than not, it is that one aspect of the party that most of your party guests would be looking forward to the most. Unfortunately, while planning for a dinner menu for four people can be fairly straightforward, planning for a bigger number of people is an entirely different ballgame—and can be quite the challenge. Sure, you can always take the easy way out by availing of affordable catering services in your area, but if you want to give your party a personal feel, a little panache and would want to take the extra mile, you would rather prepare the food yourself. As it is, planning a party menu can be a little difficult—especially since there is a myriad of things to consider, from food allergies, dietary restrictions to the availability of ingredients. From that perspective alone, planning a party menu can be a little overwhelming. However, it does not have to be impossible. In fact, it can be rather fun given the right mindset.
Keep in mind that there are basic things to consider in the creation of your menu. Some of the vital things of paramount consideration would be whether you are throwing the party to honor someone. In this case, you might want to include their favorite dish as part of your menu. Alternatively, if you wish for a more seamless execution in cooking recipes, you might want to come up with a theme—a particular country or cuisine that you would want to highlight. You can anchor your dishes to that theme for a more straightforward approach in preparation.
In building your menu, here are the things you ought to take into consideration:
One of the initial things you need to consider is what kind of party you would want to throw. Would you wish to serve food to your guests through waiters? Or would you rather have them eat it buffet-style? Is buffet more of your speed? These are things you need to take into account as it plays a factor in the type of food you might want to serve your guests.
If anything, you should avoid last minute preparation as much as possible. On the day itself, you would want to spend more time interacting and socializing with your guests instead of cooking hors’ d oeuvres in the kitchen. Mitigate last minute preparation at all costs or if not, eliminate it. Look for food to serve that can be prepared in advance or easy to prepare. After all, you might be the one preparing the food for your party, but you need to enjoy it as well.
Try to offer your guests a variety instead of using the same or similar food in every course. Some of the food that can be rather easy to do this with is cheese or lemons. On the other hand, you might want to opt for a more ingredient-centric menu by highlighting one ingredient. In this regard, you can turn what would have been a simple dinner into a classic case of show and tell by showcasing the various ways one ingredient can be transformed in every course. Not only would dinner be filling for their stomachs, but it would certainly be a riveting experience for them as well.
While eating is mainly a gustatory experience, it is best to take it up a notch by giving it a visual appeal as well. In this regard, picture what your meal would look like when it is on the plate and fill it in with colors. An all-white meal might be filling and tasty, but it does not actually make for a very interesting color scheme. Furthermore, plates would not have any aesthetic appeal. So, try to incorporate color into your dishes if possible and make your meals not only a feast for stomachs, but for the eyes as well.
Do not overload a meal with a singular flavor or texture. Take your guests on a ride and they might just discover that they have a palate for foods they are not necessarily used to. Balance out fatty food with something acidic to balance out the plate. If you are serving something spicy, then make sure that you serve something that cools down the taste buds or something sweet to offset it.