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What You Need to Know to Feed More Than 5 People at Once, Without Scorching Anything
Cruise ship kitchen: Zimmerman begins cooking some foods a couple of days in advance, such as short ribs.
Your kitchen: Consider making long-braised or roasted meats. They can be made ahead and reheated the day of your event.
Cruise ship kitchen: Leypold knows 70 percent of his guests will order lobster if it's on the menu.
Your kitchen: Most people will splurge at a party, so if you're offering a choice of chicken or steak, prepare by having more steak on hand than chicken.
[After the jump, what you can learn from making soup for 1,100]
Cruise ship kitchen: Leypold and his crew follow strict regulations regarding food safety, storing perishable food at 29 degrees.
Your kitchen: Take food out of the fridge just before you are going to use it. No need for shrimp to sit out on the counter if you aren't doing something with it right at that moment.
Cruise ship kitchen: Zimmerman once tried to make a consommé en croute for 1,100 people. He and his chefs had tested the recipe for 30 people, but when it came time to deliver 1,100, the pastry on top of the soup collapsed and fell into the bowls because the chefs couldn't properly seal such a high volume of them.
Your kitchen: Just because you've made chicken piccata for two does not mean you can make it for 20. Use recipes that have a high yield, so you aren't multiplying a dish that's meant for four people by eight to serve 32.