How to Meal Plan and Prep for your Next Home Event

10/24/22, by Mayumi Tavalero

It’s not easy planning dinner for a crowd, but knowing what to take care of beforehand can make it a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable!

What questions to ask when planning your home event

  • What are some quick and easy dinner ideas that I can execute myself?
  • Will I have enough food storage containers and room in my fridge to store the dishes prior to serving?
  • How soon should I start my meal prep?
  • Should I hire a personal chef or private chef for some extra help? 

3 days before:

Wrap up all your major house cleaning both inside and out. In the days leading up to the event you can always spruce or tidy up as you go. Bathrooms may require a light cleaning the morning of your event. Finalize all your menu details. 

2 days before:

Shop for ingredients. Be sure to check expirations dates and purchase a bit more than you think you will need. Gather any equipment you may need and purchase what you don’t have. Run your wine glasses through the dishwasher if it’s been a while since you used them.

1 day before:

Prep dishes that need to be kept cold (or desserts that require chilling), or those that reheat nicely.

Select a location for the buffet table(s) and set them up. Consider space available and if you wish your guests to access from both sides, or just one side such as against a wall especially if you need a source of power. Make sure there is not a lot of foot traffic such as a main thoroughfare and that the spot you select is relatively close to the dining area. If you have the room and additional tables, set up desserts and beverages on separate tables in a location away from the main buffet table.

Add a tablecloth to table(s) then arrange serving dishes/platters and label each with the dish that will go in them. This gives you a sense of the space you will need and if any additional tables are needed. Glasses, napkins/silverware can also be set up. Decorate the tables if you wish.  

Day of event:

Finish remaining dishes and keep hot foods hot in the oven on low temperature and cold foods refrigerated. If grilling foods make sure everything is within reach and set up an extra table nearby if needed.

The buffet line should have a clear starting point (plates) and a clear ending point (utensils, napkins, and condiments).  Choose smaller plates to avoid food waste.

Arrange dishes in the proper order, starting with the front of the line with cold foods and/or inexpensive foods, and hot foods and/or more expensive foods toward the end of the line. Be sure to label each dish and provide serving utensils.

No time for all of the above?

If you are too busy, or need help with all the tasks of prepping for an event, we got your back! Book an affordable chef on Foodom platform to take care of the shopping, cooking, and clean-up! It’s easy! Select your dishes in advance, your personal chef will shop for all the ingredients, arrive the day before with groceries, cook, place all the food in containers, and clean up. You are free to relax, mingle with your guests, and enjoy your event!

 You can find our popular dishes under the special occasion category, using the filters for special holidays or events, such as ThanksgivingChristmasother special intimate in-home events as well as Rosh Hashanah, Passover, Super Bowl and more.

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