People bemoan the fact that cooking for one is a challenge. That may have something to do with the loneliness factor, but it also has a lot to do with the fact that most recipes are designed for four, six or eight people it seems like. Imagine, though, if instead of six people, you had to cook for 60. Could you make ten times as much food and still have it come out tasting and looking the way you want it to? Probably not, but a good catering company can make a meal of any size and always deliver the same quality.
The most important reason why this happens, of course, is because it has to. There are certain catering companies that exist in the larger markets that have the luxury of focusing on certain sizes of parties, because they know there is enough demand of those size parties to keep them busy. When you move into a smaller market, however, a catering company cannot afford to be that picky. They need to have the skills to cook for a rehearsal dinner on one night and the full blown wedding reception on the next.
Of course, this means not only can they cook that much - or that little - but it also means they know how to prepare it, travel with it and present it so everything still looks and tastes as fresh as possible. This is where it gets far trickier than just multiplying the size of the recipe. Different foods react to time and travel in different ways. A roast chicken entrée can be started in the commercial kitchen back in the restaurant and finished at the site of the party, but a fresh salad course or guacamole option needs to be created at the last possible minute.
All of this is important because every catering company knows that each job they get is an audition for potential future jobs. Going back to the wedding example, many couples looking to choose a reception venue will have a tasting meal to try some of the options. Naturally, the chef is only going to prepare a sample, but he or she needs to know that those two dishes are what the 200 dishes they need to do for the reception will taste like.
Just as importantly as the convincing of the couple is making sure the masses have that same stellar experience when enjoying the food at the reception. Parties come in all shapes and sizes, and that is why a good catering program will be prepared to take on all comers. The recipes you follow may be perfect for your family of four; the recipes they have are perfect for everyone and everything.
Jack Terry is a freelance writer who, as a single guy, knows all too well the pains of cooking for one. http://www.osorioslatinfusion.com