A caterer’s guide for easy menu planning


Working from home and living on a reduced income has caused people to seriously plan their meals. This not only saves money and reduces food waste; it also reduces the number of trips to the market or the grocery store.

Sari Reyes Jorge

Culinary instructor and caterer Sari Reyes Jorge observed this pattern when more housewives, affluent women, bloggers and celebrities asked him for meal plans and recipes.

“They were tired of what their assistants served. The family wanted variety in their meals, ”she says.

Jorge is the founder of 25 Mushrooms Kitchen, a cooking school and catering company named after her address. Launched in 2009, the school offered basic courses in cooking, kitchen sanitation and table service for helpers in a village clubhouse facility. It had since turned into a course for any beginner who wanted to create themed or international dishes and have fun at home.

Most of its activity comes from company catering. In this pandemic, it offers personalized boxes for Zoom events. Jorge was approached by Philippine Airlines to plan children’s meals, including recipes, for domestic and international flights.

Food companies

Singapore chili crab
Singapore chili crab

Jorge admires his mother, Martita Reyes, founder of the Partyplatters.com catering service. The matriarch’s salpicao has been a favorite of both Concepcion and Villars. Jorge studied at the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management and worked as a food and beverage manager at a restaurant in Los Angeles, California.

Jorge’s cookbook “The Tastes of Home” (National Book Store), written in English and Tagalog, was long out of print. Throughout the pandemic, she received thank you messages from readers. The cookbook helped them overcome their financial difficulties by starting food businesses. Some said his recipes were popular in their restaurants.

Last year, face-to-face instructions stopped as her home village imposed restrictions on visitors. Instead, customers bought recipe booklets, perfected by Jorge and his chefs, and themed kitchen cooking class kits.

Families can enjoy the variety at home with recipes such as the mezze platter from the healthy cooking class, the roast pork varieties from the lechon bellies class, the cochinillo asado from Spanish cuisine, the Greek souvlaki skewers. of Mediterranean cuisine. Some recipes are shared on the 25 Mushrooms Kitchen Facebook page. Jorge notes that Singaporean chili crab has a lot of tastes.

“Mezze” plate

“It is expensive to depend on take-out and food delivery,” she says. “The problem with customers is that they don’t know what to cook. We give print materials and recipes in English and Tagalog to assistants. We teach menu planning and recommend where to find ingredients. We offer 20 courses, the most popular of which are Japanese, Thai, Korean and Chinese cuisines, kiddie, budget, and Christmas treats.

Thematic courses

A P650 package consists of two thematic courses. Each booklet includes 10 recipes, 25 Mushrooms Kitchen menu planning blocks, 25 Mushrooms Kitchen grocery list blocks, and an inquiries helpline.

Meal planning begins with a complete weekly inventory of the refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Jorge maintains the FIFO (first in, first out) standard of putting the oldest foods first and using them first to maintain resource efficiency.

“Use ingredients in the pantry. If there is a can of coconut milk and you have chicken, eggplant and other vegetables in stock, you can buy the curry mix, ”she says.

Housewives can customize the menu according to the preferences of family members.

Belly “Lechon”

“Wake up in the morning knowing what to prepare,” says Jorge. “Even the maids want to know how to organize their day. Look for variety and balance. Always include vegetables and a side. Don’t use the same meat for lunch and dinner, ”advises Jorge.

A Sunday menu might have tinapa rice with grilled tomatoes for breakfast, country fried chicken with gravy for lunch, and a truffle shrimp bisque with shrimp cake and a steak sandwich. For dinner. Another day might consist of a tuna toast with grilled tomatoes and olives for breakfast, a slow roasted Italian porchetta with buttered rice for lunch, and a pizza delivery for dinner.

The school interacts with housekeepers via its Facebook page. The assistants can also consult the chief teachers.

The benefit of meal planning is that it decreases stress and prevents the maid or housewife from buying impulsively, which could lead to unnecessary food storage. -CONTRIBUTED

Phone. 86314822, 0917-8272525

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