Thursday, May 3, 2012

Two Course Balanced Meal Set Menu Example

     This is just a nice example of a balanced two course Italian style meal.  Plenty of vegetables and broth are in the first course.  The second course features protein and starch.
     Lately, the chef school has us students writing menus.  An Italian dinner usually consists of four courses or more.  Balanced two course meals are most often found at banquets and special functions at a club.  For a party of 25 to 1,000 people or more, set menus with set prices are very common.  The more elaborate the event, the more elaborate the menu will be.
     Two course set menus with a choice of desserts work well for speaking event functions during a convention.  The main course must be an item that nearly everyone will enjoy.  An alternative main course offering for those with allergy problems should also be available, but the alternative offering should not directly compete with the featured main course!
     The main reason that there should be a choice of desserts following a two item set menu is because many people cannot eat sweets.  A fruit offering or a sugar free offering should be an option.  The other reason the desserts should be optional, is because a dessert aperitif should also be offered.  Face it!  Conventioneers at speaking events like to be offered alcoholic beverages.  So, why not offer a signature dessert alcoholic beverage creation!
     When conventioneers are happy with the food choices and service, that greatly increases the possibility of that same convention group returning the next year!  Good word of mouth does travel in a convention circuit and a happy convention group may lead to opening doors for more business in the future.  Treating a convention set menu event like it is a one time opportunity to scalp a load of profits with minimal attention is a road to failure.  Treating a set menu event like you are looking for returning customers is a much better approach!
     For a set event, it is classy to place menu cards at each seat or table.  The menu cards should be written in a way that cause interest in the food, rather than doubt!  Here is an example:    

D’ Chez Que
Ristorante di Italia 

Prima Piatti

Minestra di Zucca a Veneto - A superb recipe that was recently discovered in local Venetian monastery manuscripts from the tenth century.  Crafted exactly as the monk’s divine a la minute minestra recipe was written!    

Secondi Piatti

Gamberi a Veneto - The classic Venetian saute of shrimp with a bold lemon garlic flavor.  Served with polenta ai formaggi.  Bravissimo! 

     The dessert offerings are sometimes better off being left to the servers to offer to conventioneers in a spoken manner.  Conventioneers do like personalized service!  For a very large event, dessert cards should be sat at tables.
     If signature dessert cocktails are offered, they should be served to the table at the same time that the other desserts are served.  If a dessert cocktail is served before the other desserts are placed at the table, those who are waiting for their dessert will possibly ask to change their order and ask for the signature dessert cocktail instead.  That can cause confusion and chaos!
     Simple foresight like the points made in this blog entry will give my readers an idea of just some of the strategy involved in event planning.  I have cooked for many large banquets in my lifetime and now that I am in Las Vegas, I surely will be cooking for many more.  Las Vegas is the convention capitol of the world!
     Both of the menu items on the set menu above are available in recipe format at this blog!  Just click on the hyperlinks below to get to the recipe pages:
     Minestra di zucca a Veneto
     Gamberi a Veneto

     Ciao Baby!  ...  Shawna

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