Home/Preparing for a treat

Hosting a party or a group gathering can be a struggle and overwhelming for some people. It can be financially, physically, or emotionally frustrating and challenging from the point of planning to the actual day of celebration. Others opt to hire catering services to avoid the stress and to ensure prompt and efficient service. Whether you plan to serve elaborate dishes or simple gulay recipes, hiring a third party to serve food for you can be costly and oftentimes impractical.

With proper planning, you can do away with expensive catering services and pull off a Do-It-Yourself Catering (D-I-Y Catering). Here are the four (4) Ts of D-I-Y Catering that you should remember:

  • TIMELINE

Creating a timeline will enable you to use your time and resources efficiently. Make tie as your ally. This eliminates the risks of failure and minimizes last minute preps and decisions that often lead the downfall of catering goals. Plot the date and time of your activities, from brainstorming, sending invites, buying ingredients and decorations, preparing for the meals to be served, cooking, setting up, serving, up to cleaning.

  • THEME

Picking a theme is a big part of the brainstorming of your party. Other plans will mostly depend on the theme that you will be picking – from the location, decorations, table set-up, choices of food, and other nitty gritty details. You may also add a twist to your theme to make it more personalized.

  • TABLE

The next step to take is to plan out the meal to be served during your gathering.  If you want to save time, why not serve your tried-and-true ulam pinoy recipe and other dishes that you know are sure hit with your family and friends. But you may also try to prepare new dishes but make sure to test them early. Don’t forget to add a splash of colors using your gulay recipe and remember to always align you menu with the theme.

  • TAKEAWAYS

After the party, there will always be takeaways for your guests. More than the food and filled stomachs, the best takeaway that they can get is the memory of how great your party was. It’ll make them remember your celebration as a successful one. Remember to thank them too for being such good guests. After all, you can’t have a party without them.

Aside from the four (4) Ts, here are some additional tips worthy of taking when planning for a party.

  • Cook ahead – One big help in preparing dishes for a party is choosing food that can be prepared and cooked ahead of time. This includes stews, lasagna, and roasts that can be left in a heated oven to keep it warm. Lumpia, a party favorite, can also be made in advance, just wrap your filling into your wrapper and store it until ready to be cooked or served.
  • Platter meals – Doing a platter meal saves time in serving your dishes. Choosing a buffet style can be beneficial to minimize effort in preparing food. Also, Ajinomoto products will help you lessen your food cost and give you a consistent taste in bulk cooking. You can use Ajinomoto Products, such as Aji-Shio® Garlic Seasoning Mix and Porksavor®, as substitute to your usual ingredients without sacrificing quality and making it tastier and meatier.
  • Extended dishes – Serving “extended dishes” is also an option. This means serving food that is high in volume but costs less than it looks. Take chicken for example. The wing part of the chicken can still be cut into half doubling the amount of chicken wings produced.
  • Cost down – Ajinomoto offers products, such as Aji-Ginisa®, Porksavor®, and Sarsaya® Oyster Sauce, in big sizes for bulk cooking. This helps you cost down your dishes and cook in large amounts with ease. You can also cost down your dishes by using ready-made food ingredient or store-bought items as your ingredients. With this, you can cut down not only the cost, but also the time of preparation giving yourself more time to plan and prepare other stuffs.

With these tips, you are now equipped to try Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Catering for your next party. Stay tuned for more tips and recipes to try for your bulk cooking.

ChristianJosephBaluyot_AjinomotoCulinaryNutritionist

Christian Joseph S. Baluyot, RND is AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION’s Junior Specialist for Culinary Nutrition. He develops recipe, conducts nutrition research and provides nutrition information as a licensed nutritionist-dietitian. Jhay graduated at the Manila Tytana Colleges with a Bachelor’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition with Culinary Arts. 

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