Dinner Buffet Catering Menu

The buffet catering menu provides quick and easy service for any size of event. Flexibility is a huge benefit. By offering a well-balanced menu, you don’t have to worry if it will cover every guests’ preference. It’s also a smart budget choice when it comes to serving costs (fewer staff are needed for execution) and offers a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

Similar to the reception catering menu, the buffet catering menu can be suitable for any kind of event. It works great for internal corporate parties, casual weddings and family celebrations – like birthdays, anniversaries and showers. It can also work for bigger corporate events, networking events and expos, or for large events where different groups will be served at different times. Consider your audience and their comfort with the service as well as their expectations for the calibre of the event.

Dinner Buffet Catering Menu Items(click through different sections)

  • Cold Selection
    BLT Cakes
    double smoked bacon, pickled roma, arugula cream
    Prosciutto and Figs
    with mascarpone cheese on a designer spoon
    House Made Smoked Salmon
    on a caper bisquit with lemon aioli
    Antipasto Sticks
    marinated melon, prosciutto, pickled mozzarella
    Chili Braised Chicken
    queso fresca, avocado, charred tomato
    Spicy Golden Beet Poke
    cucumber cup, guac
    Roasted Flank Steak
    with a curry basil sauce on a garlic crisp
    West African Prawns
    two prawns with peanut sauce and arugula
    Vegan Aubergine Sushi
    with avocado mayo
    Open Face Italian Crisps (selection of 3)
    - roasted tomato | goat cheese, basil chiffonade
    - porchetta | spiced tomato jelly, squash
    - crispy procuitto | brie cheese, grilled asparagus
    - charcuterie | genoa, ricotta, gem tomato, artichokes
    - Italian chicken | spiced hummus, olive tapenade
    Crispy Toasts (selection of 3)
    - Italian | prosciutto, radish, mascarpone ricotta, pistachio
    - avocado | grilled vegetables, asiago
    - caponata | goat cheese, green onions
    - wild mushrooms | carmelized ramps, feta mousse
    - chicken caprese | balsamic droplets
    Caramelized Onion Tartlettes
    chive, crème fraîche
    Chipotle Chicken Cubes
    green onion, pepper
    Pulled BBQ Mushrooms
    wilted onions, house pickles
    Hot Selection
    Chicken Arancini
    smoked tomato jam
    Chicken, Beef or Vegetarian Gyoza
    with japanese dipping sauce
    Bourbon Beef
    horseradish gin cocktail
    Mini Shepherd’s Pie
    savoury ground beef and vegetables in a light pastry shell, topped with mashed potatoes
    Thai Chicken Satay
    with a coconut satay sauce
    Adobo Beef Short Rib Bites
    with poblano corn salsa
    Coconut Shrimp Lollipops
    two shrimp with a pepperoncini aioli
    Sweet Potato Fritter
    with sriracha dip
    Crispy Shrimp Tempura
    bang bang sauce
    Indo-Asián Lamb Satay
    asián masala glaze
    Zucchini Pakora
    indian-style vegetable fritters with yogurt dip
    Chicken, Beef or Vegetarian Samosas
    mango balsamic chutney
    Chicken, Beef or Vegetarian Spring Rolls
    vegetables julienne in a spring roll wrapper, sweet chili sauce
    Wild Mushroom Tart
    with chive royale
    Reuben Bites
    with dijonnaise
  • Salad Selection
    Caesar Salad
    hearts of romaine, herbed croutons, grated grana padano, classic garlic caesar dressing
    Tossed Harvest Greens | choice of two dressings
    baby greens, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, roasted pecans, watermelon radish with swiss shallot dressing | apple cider vinaigrette | white balsamic vinaigrette | orange vinaigrette
    Asian Chopped Salad
    mixed organic lettuce and cabbage, togarashi spiced almonds, mandarin oranges, slivered cucumber, crispy wontons tossed in a sesame vinaigrette
    Artisan Spinach Salad
    spinach, smoked bacon, boiled eggs, onion, pecans, maple dijon vinaigrette
    Wild Organic Ancient Grain salad
    toasted ancient grains, broccoli, carrots, crumbled eggs, watermelon radish, spiced carrot vinaigrette
    Broccoli and Apple Salad
    broccoli, apples, sesame seeds, cranberry tossed in a
    lemon honey yogurt dressing
    Lemon Herb Mediterranean Pasta Salad
    penne pasta, tomato, red pepper, onion, cucumber, black olives, brassica lemon dressing
    Roasted Red Potato and Green Bean Salad
    baby roasted red potatoes, french green beans, diced red onion, fresh thyme leaves, grainy mustard vinaigrette
    Trio of Beet Salad
    red beets, golden beets, striped beet julienne, white onion, pears, grapefruit, pink peppercorn vinaigrette
    Baby Gem Caprese Salad
    baby gem tomato, bocconcini pearled cheese, fresh basil, onion petals, balsamic crema vinaigrette
    Green on Green Couscous Salad
    spinach and basil roasted cous cous, corn, edamame, pistachio, onion with a lemon feta dressing
    Thai Carrot Salad
    organic trio of carrots, cucumber, red pepper, parsley, sriracha orange vinaigrette
    Southwest Quinoa Salad
    roasted quinoa, red beans, roasted corn, peppers, onions, tomato, with a lime cumin vinaigrette
    Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
    chickpeas with cucumber, peppers, black olives, red onion, goat cheese, with herbed classic vinaigrette
    Beef, Lamb, Pork
    Ginger Beer Braised Beef Short Rib
    5 spice onion demi
    Garlic Butter Alberta Roasted Beef Sirloin
    wild mushroom brunoise sauce
    Herbed Sous Vide Lamb Shank
    coconut mint demi
    Rosemary and Black Garlic Alberta Prime Rib
    yellow birch syrup demi
    Tellicherry Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin
    red wine demi
    African Seasoned Pork Tenderloin
    with apple sastrique
    Blackened Salmon Filet
    roasted spinach, pepper garlic cream
    Roasted Sablefish
    with a miso apple glaze
    Stuffed Sole Filet
    stuffed with lobster, cream cheese, chili beurre blanc
    Icelandic Cod Sarciado
    with lemon oil drizzle
    Vegetarian *Vegan
    *Aubergine Steaks
    peppered chutney, turmeric tahini sauc
    Curried Chickpea Masala
    farro risotto, coconut cilantro and onion crema
    *Mediterranean Rice Stuffed Tomatoes
    white and wild rice, lentils, green onions, beefsteak tomatoes, grilled chive tomato sauce
    Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
    miso purée, carrot top pesto
    Honey Roasted Chicken Breast
    parsnip purée demi
    Marry Me Chicken
    sautéed chicken breast baked in a spiced sundried tomato parmesan cream sauce
    Dijon Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast
    dijon roasted turkey breast with dried fruit and bread stuffing, wrapped in peppered bacon, served with a savory jus
    Chicken Piccata
    with lemon sauce
    Mediterranean Caprese Stuffed Chicken
    buffalo mozzarella, roma tomato, fresh basil with a cipollini onion sauce
    Wild Mushroom and Shallot Stuffed Chicken
    creamy porcini cream sauce
    Maple Glazed Duck Breast
    glazed carrot demi
    Starch Selection
    Sweet Potato Brown Sugar Casserole Rice
    Pilaf with Lemon Rind
    Whipped Roasted Garlic Potatoes
    French Onion Roasted Potatoes
    Baked Quinoa and Ancient Grain Medley
    Herbed Garlic Potato Cakes
    | add $1.00 per person
    Scalloped Potato Stacker
    | add $1.00 per person
    Additional Starch
    | add $3.00
    Vegetable Selection
    Option 1
    poplar bluff fennel roasted carrots with honey
    Option 2
    oven roasted rosemary and garlic vegetables with sumac
    Option 3
    lemon herb marinated grilled vegetables and aubergines
    Option 4
    dijon maple roasted Brussel sprouts and yams
    Dessert Selection
    Multi-Tiered Display of Great Events Sweet Endings
    tortes, mousse dessert cups, assorted french pastries
    Orchard's Harvest Fruit Tray
    Arabica Coffee, Decaf and Fine Teas
    Dessert Upgrades
    Canadian Cheese Board
    dried fruit, grapes, crackers
    French Macarons
    House Made Hazelnut Truffles
    Assorted Gourmet Cookies
    Chocolate Fountain Rental | optional
    Lollipop Parade
    cheesecake and brownie lollipops, dipped with dark and white chocolate
    Mini Créme Brûlée
    french vanilla | dark chocolate
    Gourmet Cupcakes
    lemon ginger, pecan caramel, double chocolate, strawberry
    Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
    Chocolate Fondue
    choice of dark, milk or white chocolate. served with an array of fresh seasonal fruit, pineapple, strawberries, bananas, melon and biscottis (minimum 30 guests)
  • Combo
    choose one sandwich:
    Make your own Sandwiches
    selection of fancy
    sliced meats and cheeses, black forest ham, roast
    sirloin of beef, genoa salami, smoked turkey, grilled
    sliced chicken breast, swiss emmental, and canadian
    cheddar cheese, assorted breads and rolls, lettuce,
    tomato, pickle spears and condiments
    Mini Cocktail Buns
    parma ham
    shaved sirloin of beef
    double cream brie
    black forest ham with swiss
    smoked chicken
    good-nature vegetarian
    Choose 2 snacks:
    Market Dips
    spinach artichoke, jalapeno popper dip
    and cheddar bacon ranch with gourmet crisps and
    pita chips
    Tortilla Chips
    with salsa and guacamole
    Homemade Potato Chips
    loaded baked potato dip
    Fresh Fruit Tray or Vegetable Tray
    Buttered Popcorn
    with a variety of seasonings
    German Pretzel Bar
    salted soft pretzels with grainy mustard and beer cheese dips
    Old Fashioned Popcorn Bar
    carnival bags of buttered popcorn with a variety of seasonings
    Sweets Boutique
    based on 2 baked goods and 250 grams of candy per person
    cake pops, chouchou pastries, mini cupcakes, mini cookies, assorted candy (color customization available)
    Pub Selection
    vegetable dumplings with asian dipping sauce, chili chicken bites, swedish meatballs, vegetable samosas with
    chutney, potato wedges with spicy ketchup
    Build your own Nacho Bar
    Fresh cut trio of corn tortillas, ground spiced Alberta beef, pulled pork, salsa, sour cream, guacamole,
    creamy aged cheese sauce, onions, jalapeños, black olives, green onions, grilled corn, diced tomatoes, with a
    selection of hot sauces
    *Gourmet Mac & Cheese Bar
    creamy 3 cheese mac and cheese with guest’s choice of popcorn chicken, bang bang
    shrimp, double smoked bacon, crispy onions, jalapenos, green onions,
    buffalo sauce, spicy ketchup, maple cream
    *Street Side Tacos
    Soft flour or corn tortillas with guest’s choice crispy shrimp
    or pulled chicken, served with crunchy lime slaw, pickled onions,
    cilantro crema, pico de gallo, guacamole and fresh lime slices
    *Campfire Burger Bar
    Selection of charred cheeseburgers, grilled mushroom
    chicken burgers and vegan burgers served on a mini soft
    bun with burger toppings and cajun chippers
    *Chef attended station

Buffet Catering Menu Setup

Your event can be formally seated at round or long tables, or you can offer soft seating, like loungey sofas and cocktail tables, depending on the items you select. The food can be served by waiters (perhaps if items are limited) or guests can serve themselves. A chef-attended carving station can be added for a special touch.

When setting the room, the plates should always be stacked on the buffet lines with the food. Although many planners think it’s a nice look to put plates on guest tables and announce that they should bring the plates with them to the buffet, many guests will miss the announcement or forget. On the other hand, the choice is yours whether to set the flatware at the place settings or wrap them in linen or paper napkins and stack them in a basket at the end of the buffet line.

Designing the Buffet Catering Menu

Mitigating long waits at the buffet line is paramount, especially with larger events. Set double-sided tables at multiple locations to get guests through quickly. Adding a game conducted by a humorous emcee–in which tables contend for their place in line–takes the edge off the wait.

You should carefully track guests’ food allergies and inform about the meals’ ingredients. The best way to do so is to print food signs that will be displayed right beside each item. If a guest has very specific dietary considerations, it may be best to request a separately prepared plate from the caterer.

Because buffet menus aim to satisfy a large number of tastes, it’s best to choose items that are generic, like chicken, salmon and roast beef. Stay away from eclectic items like lamb, game or shellfish unless your group is quite large and these are secondary options. Not everyone you invite will be a foodie!

The buffet menu grants the opportunity to offer a wide or limited number of items. Be careful not to offer too many choices with a smaller crowd, as this may mean you will run out of one item before all the guests are served. This is less of a worry with larger crowds, but could mean leftover food. A good balance of variety and quality should be discussed with the chef or sales rep prior to your selections.

How to offer variety with your buffet menu

Choose your proteins for the main dish:

  • one meat
  • one seafood
  • one vegetarian item
Choose at least one salad:

  • a leaf salad (Caesar or mixed greens)
  • a grain salad (quinoa or bean)
  • a chunky vegetable salad (Greek or potato)
  • etc.
Choose 2-3 side items:

  • one or two types of vegetables
  • a starch
  • etc.

Add a dessert display.

Alternatives to the Dinner Buffet Catering Menu

There are several alternatives to the Dinner Buffet Catering Menu, based on the event type, the allocated budget, the event facilities, table setup and number of guests. Please find several alternative menus below. Keep in mind that our catering experts are ready to assist you along the process of designing the menu for your event. Feel free to contact us at any point and we will be happy to help you!

Please check our Plated Dinner Catering Menu for a plated dinner setup. It may be a better option for events where guests are seated at the tables and when the number of guests is well known in advance. It can either minimize the food serving time or integrate the food serving into the event’s agenda (e.g. Fundraising Dinner).

Also check our Reception Catering Menu if you prefer the food to be served on platters or chef stations. It may be a better option for events where sitting options are limited or when the number of guests is flexible. It may also work better for events in which the food is complementary to the agenda (e.g. hors d’oeuvres during a networking event) or serves as a cocktail hour preceding a formal dinner.

Additionally, we are proud to offer one of the top quality BBQ catering services in Calgary through our Rare Cut division. Check the amazing BBQ Catering Menu selection and prepare for a most-entertaining and unique culinary show!

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