The Day I BBQ’d for 250 People…

The Day I BBQ'd for

I’d like to begin this story by stating that I am not a commercial caterer: BBQ catering is not my deal. I cater small, exclusive parties: business launches, private parties and the like. So when the school I was working for at the time asked me to host a BBQ for their student Christmas Party  I was just a little intimidated.

At that time, the school had 150 students, aged 18 to 30, from about 15 different countries. I had expressed to my boss my concern at the prospect of cooking for 150 people and was told that only about 70 would probably turn up and was reminded that I worked for a salary and would do as I was told…

So despite being angered by the way I’d just been spoken to, I was relieved that at least I was cooking for 70 and not 150. What the boss hadn’t told me was that he’d invited the students from the Brisbane campus too!

I was assigned a side-kick and we set about preparing our beef burgers and assorted other odds ands ends. When the time rolled around, my side-kick and I went down to the park by the beach early and began setting up. I hadn’t cooked on these particular BBQ’s before and decided to do a test run while we were setting up. The results were not good: the BBQ’s were really slow to heat up, didn’t reach a particularly hot temperature, and their timer shut off too quickly. Not even the Aussie summer sun helped get them hot enough to cook quickly. At least there were two of them…

Shortly thereafter the other teachers arrived with the students. And their friends. And the students from the Brisbane campus. And their friends. Before I knew it, I was cooking for 250 people and the other teachers were running down to the supermarket frantically grabbing every packet of sausages they could get their hands on!

Despite all of this, the BBQ was a success: the students were happy, the boss was happy, and I lost 3 kilos after sweating like a race horse from spending four hours cooking over two hot grills, so I was happy!

What’s the largest group you have cooked for? Let me know in the comments below.


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