[Sca-cooks] Intro and Newbie question - estimating meat portions

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Wed Mar 12 04:58:49 PDT 2008

While it may be wasteful, as long as you broke even or made a profit on the 
feast, the leftovers are immaterial.  Cutting waste, however, can keep a 
feast in the black and is a worthy goal of itself.

When I plan a feast, I usually plan for 10 to 12 dishes (including bread) 
with a portion size of 3 to 4 ounces.  I calculate meat portions at roughly 
one pound for four people.  I will normally serve 3 different meats for a 
total of 12 ounces per person.  For fewer meat dishes, I might serve one or 
two ounces more in the meat portions, particularly if I were limiting the 
number of dishes overall.  Portion size of mixed dishes needs to be based on 
the total weight of the ingredients.  You could probably trim my estimates 
by 1/3 and still have a good feast with even fewer leftovers.

For tarts and things of that ilk, I usually ignore weight and serve as 
quarters or eighths.


----- Original Message ----- 
I recently helped out in the kitchen at a college event which was a
good experience and everyone enjoyed the feast. One thing that did
happen is that we overestimated the amount of beef that would been
needed for a roast and have ended up with a lot of leftover meat. My
question is what is a good way of estimating the amount of red meat/
poultry/fish that is needed for a feast? Is there a standard kind of
portion per person? Is it affected by how many other meat dishes might
be in a course/at the feast?


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