Hello! This post stems from one of my cooking experience as a chef. I am writing about this because I wouldn’t want you to fall into same mistakes I fell into and so you can have good success.
The first time I got a big contract, I actually thought it was going to be like my weekly deliveries and daily routine jobs.
I was excited because I had been contacted to cater for over 600 people.
The dishes ranges from basmati jollof and fried rice(for the special), normal jollof rice, Nigerian traditional foods like pounded yam, semovita with soups like egusi(melon soup), vegetable soup, pepper soup to appetizers like smallchops and cocktails. It was a lot and I was super excited.
Another major reason for this post is for you to know what to do or how to go by it if suddenly you are given a job that is above your capacity as a chef.
As a Wife, the whole extended family decides to spend their vacation and your husband has boasted about your cooking prowess.
5 Lessons learnt or Secrets to successful event cooking.
1. Get help or a professional help.
For me, thank God I had the sense to search out an experienced cook that worked with my team to bring it to pass. However, we were all stretched to our limits.
Also, it was my help that listed out all the things to rent and materials to buy and also help direct to cook with me being at the helm of it. After listing, I started getting a bit less excited and this leads to my next point.
2. Know the current market price before closing cost negotiation. So I negotiated a price I thought good in my own eyes before I got to know current market price but alas!
When we got to the market, I nearly screamed because prices of things had really gone up and all my excitement at big profit went down the drain.
3. JOB DESCRIPTION: let everybody involved know what they are supposed to do.
When we started, everyone was busy and some forming busy and I realised that if the energy is not well directed, it will end in serious time wasting.
So, I had to direct people, stop some workers from doing things that are unnecessary. Four people doing what one person will achieved so you should never assume your workers knows what to do.
4. Always have a Plan B for deliveries.
I might not be able to judge for other countries I have not been to but I know for sure that the worst mistake any chef can do is to get to the event late.
To me, it is a criminal offence because your client would almost have heart attack and you are sure you ain’t getting another contract.
In my case, my company truck got caught up in a serious traffic because of heavy rain which fell on this faithful day.
My saving grace is that I had contracted a delivery bike who was able to navigate the traffic and got some food delivered. It would have been catastrophic.
My summary on this is when you have a big job, divide your workers into two and send one part before hand to the venue to secure a good space, set up tables and cooking equipments for display and whatever equipments that is needed to be washed.
5. Be clear on what to pay everyone involved (your team and the outsourced help)
This is very important because if proper accounting is not done, after paying all the extras in the market, you will have to face your work force who don’t really care if you negotiated badly or there was change in market price or whatever the mistakes you do.
So remember to do serious accounting so you know what to give who and no emotions must be involved.
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