COOK founder Dale was a banqueting chef for many years, so there’s not much he doesn’t know about mass catering. He’s put together a brief guide for you.
1. Defrost your food in the fridge overnight. This will make it easier to decant into saucepans or dishes and quicker to cook. Also defrost any cream-based puddings in the fridge overnight.
2. Ensure hands, utensils and surfaces are squeaky clean.
3. If you’re heating casserole-style dishes on the hob, add a splash of water to your saucepans at the beginning to make sure the food doesn’t dry out.
4. Warm your food on a medium heat, stirring regularly until it’s piping hot all the way through (to be sure, you can use a temperature probe to check it has reached 75 °C). Heating a big saucepan full of casserole for 20 people should take roughly 20 minutes to half an hour.
5. If you’re cooking with lots of dishes in the oven, rotate them between shelves to make sure everything cooks through evenly. If you’re using a microwave, make sure to check that the food is cooked evenly and is piping hot.