LTH Home

Throwing a Picnic for my Employees - Meat Help Please

Throwing a Picnic for my Employees - Meat Help Please
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Throwing a Picnic for my Employees - Meat Help Please

    Post #1 - August 9th, 2008, 6:09 pm
    Post #1 - August 9th, 2008, 6:09 pm Post #1 - August 9th, 2008, 6:09 pm
    I am a manager for a very large foodservice provider. There are no such things as employee holiday parties, bonuses, etc... for the hourly employees. Also, the Holidays are one of our busiest work times of the year. My small staff of 10 has really overcome some obstacles this past year and pulled together as a team. My client is very happy and I wanted to do something to reward their efforts. So... I'm personally throwing them a picnic the Saturday before Labor Day. We're doing a bit of pot-luck, but I'm providing the majority of things, especially the basics - meat, bread/buns, condiments, disposables, etc... Here's my quandry - I'm the only vegetarian amongst this group. Not counting a few Thanksgiving turkeys, it's been awhile since I've done meat for a crowd. My "crowd" is probably 3/4 hispanic, with the remaining 1/4 african american & white. In addition to my 10 employees, spouses/significant others and their children are invited as well. I'm not anticipating more than 3-4 kids though. The total will be about 22-25 people. We will have a grill. I don't want to just do burgers & brats. I'd like to do a couple of things that are a little different - w/ lots of flavor, but not a lot of spice heat ( one employee has stomach issues and not all of them like spicy.) There will be plenty of killer salsas at the table homemade by one employee. (I've had his verde - I was crying/sweating, but it was so good I couldn't stop eating it!) Anyway, I know I'm not being very specific here, but I'd love any "grilling great meat for a crowd for novices" ideas. :)
  • Post #2 - August 9th, 2008, 6:53 pm
    Post #2 - August 9th, 2008, 6:53 pm Post #2 - August 9th, 2008, 6:53 pm
    Whole Foods has some interesting chicken sausages that are freshly made in each store. There is a spicy thai sausage that's very good as well as a buffalo blue cheese for the lovers of spice in your crowd. For yourself or anyone else inclined to vegtarianism, a grilled portobello is hard to beat.

    On of my personal favorite grill items are grilled marinated wings per a recipe that appeared in a Williams Sonoma Cookbook about 15 years ago. I often make these for a crowd and they always get rave reviews. Fortunately, it has been published on cooks dot com. I recommend marinating the wings for at least 24 hours. I also like to add a load of chopped garlic to the recipe as published.

    http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,191,1571 ... 93,00.html

    Another idea, which would appeal to your Spanish employees would be to marinate some good fatty chicken thighs in mojo criollo, a marinade commonly available in the spanish section of most markets.
  • Post #3 - August 9th, 2008, 11:42 pm
    Post #3 - August 9th, 2008, 11:42 pm Post #3 - August 9th, 2008, 11:42 pm
    >>ere's my quandry - I'm the only vegetarian amongst this group. Not counting a few Thanksgiving turkeys, it's been awhile since I've done meat for a crowd. My "crowd" is probably 3/4 hispanic, with the remaining 1/4 african american & white. In addition to my 10 employees, spouses/significant others and their children are invited as well. I'm not anticipating more than 3-4 kids though.<<

    When I ran a kitchen in Detroit, the union would arrange the hall and the managers and union stewards the food. Our crew was 90%+ African American and we always allowed the people to choose the food. Once they made the decisions on the menu, we made it happen by producing it our kitchen or buying it out. You want to involve the people in the decision making so that the largest number of people will want to participate. Otherwise it is a demotivator.
  • Post #4 - August 10th, 2008, 9:36 am
    Post #4 - August 10th, 2008, 9:36 am Post #4 - August 10th, 2008, 9:36 am
    My staff has been very involved in the planning of this event from day 1 when I asked if it was even something they'd like to do. They picked the date, chose the location, and are planning the activities. So far, everyone has RSVP'd that they are attending. We've been talking about this since June and, as mentioned above, it's partly pot-luck. There's been a sign-up sheet in the kitchen for several weeks and many people are excited about bringing their "specialties," like the salsas. However, there has been a surprising lack of strong feelings about the meat. I have asked. "No hot dogs" was the only thing everyone agreed on. Other than that, "whatever you want to do is good - brats, chicken, burgers..." was the response. I am looking for ideas that will surprise them by going beyond the ordinary and yet be enjoyed by a diverse group of people/tastes.
    Will - I like the wings idea a lot. I hadn't thought about that - thanks!
  • Post #5 - August 10th, 2008, 9:42 am
    Post #5 - August 10th, 2008, 9:42 am Post #5 - August 10th, 2008, 9:42 am
    If you have a smoker, you could make some pulled pork, otherwise, try making cochinita pibil. It is something that all the pork lovers will enjoy and the recipe feeds a lot of people. You could supplement it with some grilled chicken for the non-pork lovers.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - August 10th, 2008, 10:48 am
    Post #6 - August 10th, 2008, 10:48 am Post #6 - August 10th, 2008, 10:48 am
    LynnB wrote:Anyway, I know I'm not being very specific here, but I'd love any "grilling great meat for a crowd for novices" ideas. :)

    Lynn,

    Skirt steak is your friend. Takes well to a marinade, cooks quick, not too expensive, flavorful, versatile. One direction, of many, is a marinade of lime/garlic/salt-pepper/oregano/olive oil, grill to just past med-rare, slice thin against the grain on a slight bias and serve with small crusty rolls or tortillas, avocado, crema, salsa, rajas (sauteed pepper/onion strips), both caramelized and raw onion, tomato......well, you get the idea.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - August 10th, 2008, 11:22 am
    Post #7 - August 10th, 2008, 11:22 am Post #7 - August 10th, 2008, 11:22 am
    Seconded on the skirt. Outer skirt is my preference if you can find it. You have a multitude of salsas coming? Sounds like a taco party is a cinch here? Skirt, marinated thighs/ breasts (for those who need it) maybe a few lbs of carnitas as well - unless you feel cochinita pibil - y (which would be a show stopper kinda thing.) Bring a nice cutting board, and a good knife/cleaver for chopping the meat when it's done. OOOOH my neighbor hired a pastor cart for one of his parties - that would be cool too. He hired a guy who was cutting pastor right off the spit on a mobile cart type thing. Wonder if you can rent a cart, and buy a full cone of the meat.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #8 - August 10th, 2008, 3:18 pm
    Post #8 - August 10th, 2008, 3:18 pm Post #8 - August 10th, 2008, 3:18 pm
    Grant Park Packing
    842 W. lake Street
    Chicago, ILL.60607
    312.421.4096

    see Vince (he's like a character from The Sopranos!- meant in the kindest way...)
    You can get a 5lb box of "Hot Links" a very tasty sausage w/a lettle heat!
    - a 5lb box of Italian Sausage (hot or Mild)-
    ALL- for
    $6.00 a box.
    Tell me where yer gona get a better deal than that????-
    Buns? your on yer own.
    and- for me- Chicken Wings- or Legs- purchased from either Grant Park Packing (OH- he also has Rib Tips- a crowd pleaser!!)- or from Jimenez Carneceria on 3850 W. Fullerton Ave- .99cents a lb.- marinated in a ZipLoc bag- w/ Walkerwood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning- and you'll have a BBQ, that they'll remember for years to come.

    Thats how I'd feed a crowd-

    OH- and get a member of the Latino Crew- to whip up a batch of Aquas de Sandia-or Melon!!
    Que Rico!!

    Enjoy!
  • Post #9 - August 10th, 2008, 3:46 pm
    Post #9 - August 10th, 2008, 3:46 pm Post #9 - August 10th, 2008, 3:46 pm
    Thanks, guys! These are all great ideas. Picnic day I'll take some pics and let you know how it all turned out.
  • Post #10 - August 10th, 2008, 10:55 pm
    Post #10 - August 10th, 2008, 10:55 pm Post #10 - August 10th, 2008, 10:55 pm
    Hombre de Acero wrote:Tell me where yer gona get a better deal than that????-

    LTHForum favorite, Reader Best Butcher Shop and friend to BBQ guys throughout Chicagoland, Peoria Packing has buy one 5/lb box of frozen hot links for $5.99 get one 5/lb box free. Fresh is typically $1.49/lb.

    Peoria Packing Butcher Shop
    1300 West Lake Street
    Chicago, IL 60607
    312-738-1800
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - August 13th, 2008, 6:02 am
    Post #11 - August 13th, 2008, 6:02 am Post #11 - August 13th, 2008, 6:02 am
    grilled shrimp
    easy to make a mairnade
    just a few minutes to grill
    easy to impress
    the best shrimp are mexican wild shrimp not farm raised

    sausage peppers and onions always works for me on the grill

    and a couple slabs of ribs won't make anyone hate you

    grilled fruits and veggies yummy

    my favorites or pinapple and portabello mushrooms

    kabobs are always good on a grill

    good luck have fun
  • Post #12 - August 30th, 2008, 6:45 pm
    Post #12 - August 30th, 2008, 6:45 pm Post #12 - August 30th, 2008, 6:45 pm
    We had a very nice day in Gomper's Park today. The weather couldn't have been better and I think I managed not to skrew-up the meat! I wound up doing a combo of a few of the great suggestions I received above. I went with the following - Marinated Strip Steaks, Jerk Chicken Wings, Hot Italian Sausages w/ Peppers & Onions, and a few Chicken Sausages for those who prefer less spicy. I had been looking for an excuse to go into Paulina Meat market for ages, so I got my steaks and sausages there. I probably paid more than I could have elsewhere, but I had fun and the butcher was a pleasure to chat with. He did a great job scoring the steaks for me. Picked up the wings at Tony's Finer Foods on Elston. Here's a few pics:

    Image
    Grilling the Italian Sausages (I had par-cooked in Miller Lite,) & heating up the peppers& onions

    Image
    The finished product

    Image
    Chicken Sausages & Warming-up the tortillas

    Image
    Not a great shot, but cookin' up the steaks

    Image
    Post slicing

    Image
    Mmmm...lunch

    Image
    They seem happy!

    Image
    They do too!

    No pics of the jerked chicken, but it was well received also. Thanks again to all who offered suggestions. I'll think I'll be a lot more confident the next time I put something like this on. Happy Labor Day Weekend Grilling to All! - Lynn
  • Post #13 - August 30th, 2008, 6:48 pm
    Post #13 - August 30th, 2008, 6:48 pm Post #13 - August 30th, 2008, 6:48 pm
    Looks and sounds like a heck of a picnic. I'm sure your staff really appreciated your hard work and thoughtfulness.

    Thanks for reporting back.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #14 - August 31st, 2008, 4:18 am
    Post #14 - August 31st, 2008, 4:18 am Post #14 - August 31st, 2008, 4:18 am
    Wow! Great looking company picnic!

    Are you guys accepting applications? What's your policy on relocation expenses?

    Seriously - you don't often see that amount of care going into either food or employees at many company picnics. Congratulations!
  • Post #15 - August 31st, 2008, 10:24 am
    Post #15 - August 31st, 2008, 10:24 am Post #15 - August 31st, 2008, 10:24 am
    Thanks guys, for the kind words. Bridgestone, trust me, I'm pretty sure that if this had been an "official" company event, it would have been straight-off-the-Sysco-truck-style all the way. I am a firm believer in treating my employees the way I always wanted to be treated when I was an hourly - with respect and acknowlegement for a job well done. Throwing some frozen pre-grill-marked meat patties on a grill and serving up mass-produced mayo-glop potato salad would not have only been disrespectful to my group, it would have been downright insulting. I'm privileged to work with a great team right now and I hope to retain them all going forward. Plus, happy employees are a whole lot more fun to manage than unhappy ones! (Of course, there are some people that you can never make happy no matter what you do.... fortunately, I don't have any of those on my team right now. :D )
  • Post #16 - August 31st, 2008, 12:19 pm
    Post #16 - August 31st, 2008, 12:19 pm Post #16 - August 31st, 2008, 12:19 pm
    You sound like a great boss, Lynn. Congratulations on a successful. thoughtful and nice gesture for your team.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more