Occasions 365

Party Food

Appetizers and more

Everyone knows that one of the best things about going to a party is the food. When people remember an event and talk about whether or not they had a good time, inevitably the food that was served is one of the top things that influenced how much they enjoyed themselves.

So with so much of the success of your party riding on the success of the food, the question is: do you handle the food preparation yourself, or bring in a professional to take care of it?

Catering vs. DIY Appetizers

Appetizers make up the vast majority of party food because they're easy to eat with your fingers, and they're small so you can eat a lot of them, and try a wide variety of them, without getting too full. From stuffed puffed pastry to mini quiches to cheese plates, appetizers have to look great, taste great and go perfectly with your guests' wine, beer or mixed drinks.

Whether you should make your own party food or hire a caterer to take care of it depends on many factors. Some of the most important of these factors that you should weigh in making your decision include:

  • Your culinary comfort level. Do you feel confident in your skills to make food that can really impress your guests? With a caterer, you can rest easy that one important aspect of your party is under control, so you can focus on the other aspects, like invitations and decorations.
  • Number of guests. If you are expecting a large group, then with the volume of food and time commitment required, it may not even be feasible for you to prepare all of the food yourself -- at least, not if you don't want to spend your entire evening in the kitchen, reheating hot appetizers and refilling trays, while missing out on your own party and neglecting your social duties as the party host.
  • Party budget. It will very likely cost more, as it should, to hire a caterer than to DIY. If you are planning your party under a strict budget, then the additional expense of a caterer may simply not be in it.
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