PRE-COOKED OR PRE-MADE FOOD AS A CATERING ALTERNATIVE
So much more than just Party Platters...
Party platters have come a long way from the days when the only option at the local deli was a big stack of soggy mini-subs. Almost every supermarket, deli, specialty store, and most restaurants now offer a wide variety of pre-cooked food for entertaining. In addition to off the shelf pre-made platters or ready-to-reheat foods, many places also offer custom cooking to order.
Pre-made food can encompass anything from appetizers to entrees to side dishes to desserts. Whether it's a pre-made Italian Antipasto platter from your
favorite restaurant, a ready-to-serve roast from the supermarket, or a dessert sampler from a great bakery, it's easy and generally economical to incorporate
pre-cooked food into both your menu and your budget.
Having your entree provided by a caterer? Add a plate of exotic fruits from the market as an appetizer. Getting a specialty cake from a bakery? Ask your favorite Japanese
restaurant for a sushi platter for an appetizer or even an entree. Pre-made food can add a special touch to any event or party, and lends itself
especially well to ethnic foods that you may not know how to cook yourself. Don't know how to make delicious stuffed grape leaves for an appetizer? A local
market or restaurant can solve that problem.
Incorporating pre-cooked food into your event
Searching for the perfect place to make your pre-cooked or pre-made dishes is basically the same as for choosing a caterer
or finding restaurants that cater. A little research and a few phone calls can open up a world of possibilities.
If you do use pre-cooked or pre-made food for your event, keep timing and space issues in mind. If you pick the dishes up at the last minute, you won't need storage space, but you may still need to reheat or plate the dishes. And if you pick them up in advance, you'll need those things as well as a place to store/refrigerate the food.