22 Mar2007

A buffet for 200 ?!?

by Marketman


Things have been a bit crazed in the Marketmanila household lately. The Kid had a major event at her school this evening, the culmination of a lot of hard work; an elaborate presentation on a notable person, along with all of her classmates. The evening buffet2event was to run from 5-8 p.m. and about 150-200 guests were expected. Guess who got volunteered to do the food…yup, yours truly. I have been planning the menu on and off for the past two weeks…and you will see several of the things I made recently (guava cheese, mango jam, etc.) featured in the dishes served. Usually, at these events, everyone calls for a pizza or they do a pot luck, but this year I guess folks just wanted the ease of having someone else just coordinate it all, and the parents chipped in a contribution to help cover the costs… The last time I did a school event was last year for The Kid’s move into Middle School… and I think the next time I will volunteer is when she graduates and heads off to High School in a couple of years. Remind me of that promise the next time I get the urge to volunteer.


With 200 folks expected, ranging in age from 6 to about 80, coming up with an interesting buffet of pica-pica, something more substantial for the kids to tide them over through dinner time, and a sweets selection which is always attacked with gusto, required more than a bit of planning. Also, you have to figure safely on 8 “hits” from each guest so I needed to have about 1,600 “hits” worth of food. A bit of a challenge as this is a home operation and I do not “cater” otherwise. But in case you were wondering, here is what the evening buffet included:

– Banana Chips (about 50-70 hits or servings; there were leftovers)
– Chicharon (1.5 kilos, approx. 80 hits worth, totally wiped out)
– Crackers, guava cheese and quezo de bola (approx. 60 hits, wiped out)
– Pita triangles and Bagel chips(400 hits worth for dips, totally wiped out)
– Pink Salmon & Dill Spread (150 hits worth, some leftovers)
– Hummus (150 hits worth, some leftovers)
– Red Pepper Hummus (150 hits worth, some leftovers)
– Hot Artichoke & Parmesan Dip (100 hits worth, totally wiped out)
– Caponata (200 hits worth, lots left over, too many veggies?)
– Baked Penne with Meat Sauce (100-150 hits worth, totally wiped out)
– Pork Barbecue (ordered, 150 sticks, totally wiped out)
– Chocolate Chip Cookies, no nuts (100 large cookies, totally wiped out)
– Soft Chocolate Cookies (80 cookies, some left over)
– Brownies, with or without nuts (200 hits worth, some left over)
– Date Nut Bars (80 hits worth, some left over)
– Prune & Nut Cake (30 large servings, a lot left over, prunes are hard sell)
– Blueberry & Almond Biscotti (50 hits, lots left over, too hard for most?)
– Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti (50 hits, lots left over, too hard for most?)
– Oreo cheesecake (approx. 16 slices, totally wiped out)
– Mango cheesecake (approx. 16 slices, totally wiped out)
– Madeleines (approximately 30 pieces, wiped out)
– Mini red Washington Apples (30 pieces, totally wiped out)
– Mini Gala New Zealand Apples (30 pieces, some left over)
– Pakistani oranges (25 pieces, some left over)
– Over 200 pieces of Oreo cookies, S&R sale!, (totally wiped out)


We also had nearly 400 glasses to serve roughly 100 liters of softdrinks, iced tea, juices etc, along with 15+ bags of ice and all of the napkins, paper plates, utensils, etc. Phew, I am bushed, we made all the baked goods (except oreos), pasta and dips in our home kitchen. And tomorrow I have an all day Board Meeting…ah…that’s where the extra biscotti is going!



  1. Katrina says:

    MM, I can’t believe you served 25 items, 15 of which are sweets! No wonder you were in such a frenzy! If I were there, I probably would’ve “hit” nearly every dish. Watch out…they’re not going to want to go back to pizza after what you’ve done. ;-)

    Mar 22, 2007 | 11:36 pm

  2. Maria Clara says:

    Wow that’s a lot of work and planning. I heard the saying “you cannot please everyone.” In your case – you made everyone happy. That’s tons of gourmet foods and excellent selection. You deserve the gold medal trophy for best caterer although you do it only once in a blue moon and for a good cause!

    Mar 23, 2007 | 12:34 am

  3. tulip says:

    My mom’s worst catering job demand was always a cocktail party to feed a multitude. It requires too much work and time. And don’t forget there should be lots of creativity in presentation, and a high-low leveling arrangement at a buffet spread! Nevertheless, you sure got it going. Very nice & inviting wide assortment and if I was one of the lucky ones, I will surely love the pita/chips and dips and prune cake-one of my faves.

    Mar 23, 2007 | 12:40 am

  4. ykmd says:

    If the Kid’s school goes back to delivered pizza in the futire it will be a big letdown for those folks I’m sure…I’m pretty sure they’ll be talking about that spread for years to come! At least until you put on an even better spread when she finishes HS :) Everything looks delicious and well-presented!

    Mar 23, 2007 | 1:03 am

  5. Knittymommy says:

    I am sure you know that you have raised the bar for your kid’s school events. I have a feeling you may be asked to do this more often. I wonder why my school never had events such as this?

    Mar 23, 2007 | 2:05 am

  6. Susan says:

    Your presentation of the food is A+. The taste A+ also. Your daughter is lucky to have a father like you that is not afraid to volunteer for this kind a school event. Good job MM..

    Mar 23, 2007 | 5:12 am

  7. linda says:

    Excellent job,MM! You’re such an amazing and special person to be doing all these for your kid and the school. You deserve an applause!

    Can you kindly share yr recipe for the red pepper hummus? Maraming salamat!

    Mar 23, 2007 | 7:37 am

  8. Marketman says:

    linda, it was a bit of “imbento” but here goes, 2.5 cups of garbanzos or chickpeas, canned. Throw that into a food processor with three cloves of chopped garlic, about 1/2 cup to more of roasted tahini (sesame paste), three roasted and peeled and de-seeded capsicum or red peppers, the juice of 4 large lemons or more, some salt and blitz until the desired level of smoothness. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and maybe a fourth of a cup of garbanzo an water if it is too thick. The color was AMAZING and this sold much faster than the regular hummus. Great with bagel chips or pita triangles.

    Mar 23, 2007 | 7:40 am

  9. linda says:

    My sincere thanks,MM! This recipe plus the artichokes with parmesan will be my contribution for a farewell party for our Pinoy contingents who are here for the 2007 World Police and Fire Games (mayroon one General sa group)this Sunday.

    Have a fun weekend!

    Mar 23, 2007 | 9:22 am

  10. CecileJ says:

    Wish I were a student again and The Kid was my classmate!!!!

    Mar 23, 2007 | 9:27 am

  11. angela says:

    whoa! congratulations! you sure did a lot of work including your kitchen assistants. The Kid must be extremeky proud of His Super Chef dad :)

    Mar 23, 2007 | 9:58 am

  12. pistachio says:

    Grabe, what a buffet! 25 food choices! Your kid and her schoolmates are lucky, that’s quite a labor of love! :) When preparing a buffet menu once, I chose 2 pastas, 2 meat, 2 fish dishes, but then my mother-in-law told me to limit the choices to 1 food type each, because the guests will surely want to try everything. She advised, the more choices there are, the faster the food will run out. I should show her this post of yours — 25 items! Amazing! :D

    Mar 23, 2007 | 11:34 am

  13. lojet says:

    You don’t do things halfway, do you, MM?

    Mar 23, 2007 | 12:17 pm

  14. Larees says:

    Congratulations MM! A feat only you can pull off.

    Mar 23, 2007 | 12:23 pm

  15. jun says:

    Congrats on your being a finalist at the Philippine Blog Awards. I sent you an email re: Awards Night.

    Mar 23, 2007 | 1:15 pm

  16. Marichu says:

    So, MM, my graduation is in two years. I was wondering… hehehe. Yeah, I definitely agree with everyone else. This is far from the store-bought chips, dips, and cookies everyone brings. Congratulations on pulling this off!

    Mar 23, 2007 | 2:11 pm

  17. Joycelyn says:

    You are such a sweet dad, MM!

    I’ve been wanting to make an artichoke dip and yours am sure is fantastic.. would you mind sharing the recipe, pls? And can you tell me if you use the bottled ones, the brand you prefer? Where to buy? Maybe an Artichoke 101 post na?? (smile) Thank you, MM!

    Mar 23, 2007 | 2:56 pm

  18. jules winnfield says:

    one thing’s for sure mm, i’ll see to it that my kids are going nowhere near your site’s archives when they’re older! hehehe!

    when i think of how lucky The Kid is, the more i frown thinking of my own kids. i mean, what kind of a dad do my little princesses have? üüü certainly no food superhero like the marketman here. hell, let ME be the dad who dials up the pizza guy!!! I can order from 4 different pizza places SIMULTANEOUSLY, and I decide on the toppings W/O VEGGIES!!! I’ll even see to it that the pizza delivery guy is late so we get some freebies!!! hahahaha

    kidding aside, mm, you’re a tough act to follow. certainly, The Kid will be hard to impress when sho grows up…

    Mar 23, 2007 | 6:33 pm

  19. Lou says:

    You are what I’d call a “Great Dad”… I cannot imagine my husband doing the same thing for any of of our 2 daughters; but then again, he can easily starve himself since he cannot cook…
    Whoa! 200+ people to feed, huh? Are you sure you didn’t bless and make them multiply? That’s a lot of hard work and cooking and energy spent. But the result is more than compensating knowing the Kid is very proud of you and the guests could still taste the food in their mouths … burp,

    Mar 24, 2007 | 4:28 am

  20. carina says:

    MM, hands down!!! I wouldn’t even think about these food that you served. I could only imagine how busy your household was during the prep. Galing!

    Mar 26, 2007 | 9:45 am

  21. chinkee says:

    Great spread MM, and thank you for sharing this with us. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: you are remarkably generous with your ideas and insights and the myriad of brilliant yummy things your blessed brain churns out! And woe unto whoever applies to be your son-in-law, his will be a steep, steep uphill climb :)

    Mar 29, 2007 | 8:42 am


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