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
    Beet Salad on a Stick
    baby golden beets, spinach, goat cheese and walnut orange vinaigrette
    Prosciutto and Figs
    with mascarpone cheese on a designer spoon
    House Made Smoked Salmon
    on a caper bisquit with lemon aioli
    Antipasto Sticks
    air dried prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, thai basil, melon
    Tandoori Chicken
    on an indian crisp with tempura jalapeño
    Deconstructed Spanakopita
    tomato gems
    Butternut Squash Corn Cakes
    celery hearts, asparagus, gruyère mornay
    Tequila Prawns
    pineapple carpaccio
    Open Face Italian Crisps
    sundried tomato | creamy shallots, ricotta prosciutto | goat cheese, fig jam, balsamic italian sausage | tomato jam, parmesan, basil crab salad | lemon, herbs
    antipasto | genoa salami, olive, tortellini, evoo
    Crostini (selection of 3)
    beef flank | herbed cheese, lemon arugula a
    vocado | citrus radish, fresh dill, white crema cured trout | gem tomatoes, pomegranate, jalapeño coffee and chili bacon | cream cheese, gremolata Filipino Chicken | boursin mousse, onion, fig jam
    Loaded Baked Potato Squares
    sour cream, cheddar, chives
    Caramelized Onion Tartlettes
    chive, crème fraîche
    Chipotle Chicken Cubes
    green onion, pepper
    Hot Selection
    Chicken Arancini
    smoked tomato jam
    Coconut Chicken Pakora
    raita sauce
    Lemongrass Chicken Satay
    peanut dipping sauce
    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
    Tandoori Salmon Skewers
    mango chutney
    Honey Sriracha Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
    lemon pepper ranch
    Crispy Shrimp Tempura
    with a bang bang sauce
    Creamy Seafood Mushrooms
    buttered crumbs
    Zucchini Pakora
    indian-style vegetable fritters with yogurt dip
    Chicken, Beef or Vegetarian Samosas
    with mango balsamic chutney
    Chicken, Beef or Vegetarian Spring Rolls
    with vegetables julienne in a spring roll wrapper with sweet chili sauce
    Quinoa and Spinach Bites
    orange ginger dipping sauce
    Spiced Potato Empanada
    pico de gallo
  • Salad Selection
    Caesar Salad
    hearts of romaine, herbed croutons, grated grana padano, classic garlic caesar dressing
    Tuscan Green Salad
    tuscan red and green leaf lettuce, red onion, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, chopped cucumber, shaved artichokes with herbed white balsamic vinaigrette
    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
    Farmers Spinach Salad
    baby spinach leaves, strawberry, red onion, candied almonds, rhubarb honey vinaigrette
    Three Bean and Rice Salad
    black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, long grain rice, peppers, tomatoes, onions, maple vinaigrette
    Squash and Pearl Barley Salad
    roasted butternut squash, pearl barley, green beans, red onions, parsley, balsamic vinaigrette
    Roasted Cauliflower Salad
    roasted cauliflower, flat leaf italian parsley, chickpeas, red onion, garlic, lemon tahini 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
    Asparagus Caprese Salad
    baby gem tomato, bocconcini, asparagus, garlic, fresh basil, white balsamic dressing
    Spicy Kale and Black Bean Couscous Salad
    couscous, roasted corn, black beans, red onion, chili lime dressing
    Moroccan Chickpea and Quinoa Salad
    chickpeas, quinoa, carrots, zucchini, figs, green onion, honey lemon vinaigrette
    Crunchy Asian Cashew Quinoa Salad
    quinoa, cashews, roma tomatoes, red cabbage, red onion, green onion, cucumber, ginger peanut vinaigrette
    Mexican Pasta Salad
    farfalle pasta, avocado, corn, jalapeño, queso, green onions, black beans, chili lime vinaigrette
    Beef, Lamb, Pork
    Salted Honey Pork Tenderloin
    with a red onion jus
    Rosemary and Garlic Beef Sirloin
    with a creamy shallot jus
    Braised Chili and Mustard Beef Short Rib
    with cognac and onion demi
    Thyme Roasted Leg of Lamb
    with a roasted salsa verde crust
    Rosemary and Black Garlic Prime Rib
    yellow birch syrup demi
    Butter and Herb Braised Beef Tenderloin
    with a red wine demi
    Seafood
    Maple Crust Salmon Filet
    with whipped sweet parsnip
    Stuffed Pacific Sole Filet
    stuffed with lobster, cream cheese, fresh herbs with chili and dill beurre blanc
    Roasted Sablefish Filet
    with a miso apple glaze
    Seared Soy Sesame Arctic Char
    with a curry corn purée
    Vegetarian
    Thai Vegetable Roulade
    green thai curry and marinated vegeatbles rolled in phyllo, served with chickpea stew
    French Onion Mushroom Risotto
    served with zucchini crisps
    *Paella Stuffed Peppers
    bell peppers, stuffed with brown rice and vegetables with spiced tomato coulis
    *Honey Garlic Baked Crispy Cauliflower
    baked crispy cauliflower, lentil stew, roasted vegetables
    Poultry
    Free-Range Citrus Rubbed Chicken Breast
    in a lemon rind garlic cream sauce
    Italian Marinated Chicken Breast
    with a ginger garlic jus
    Shallot and Lemon Cornish Hen
    with a creamy southwest sauce
    Baked French Onion Chicken
    cognac braised onions, swiss cheese
    Stuffed Turkey Breast
    seasoned lean turkey breast with dried fruit and bread stuffing, wrapped in sweet apple wood smoked bacon, served with sage jus and cranberry chutney
    Mediterranean Caprese Stuffed Chicken
    buffalo mozzarella, roma tomato, fresh basil with a cipollini onion sauce
    Crispy Herbed Duck Breast
    with a spiced tomato coulis
    Starch Selection
    Melting Sweet Potato with Fine Herbs
    Rice Pilaf with Vermicelli and Herbs
    Mashed Roasted Yukon Gold Garlic Potatoes
    Roasted Potatoes with Maldon Salt and Herbs
    Roasted Garlic and Tomato Lentils
    Oven Baked Mashed Potato Cakes
    | add $1.00 per person
    Potatoes au Gratin
    | add $1.00 per person
    Additional Starch
    | add $3.00 per person
    Vegetable Selection
    Option 1
    root vegetables roasted in fine herbs and seasonings
    Option 2
    pan seared vegetables with a herbed garlic butter
    Option 3
    roasted organic butternut, acorn and zucchini squash with brown butter
    Option 4
    french style green beans with charred almonds trio of carrots with olive oil, maple and sea salt
    Desert Selection
    Multi-Tiered Display of Great Events Sweet Endings
    tortes, mousse dessert cups, assorted french pastries
    Seasonal Fresh Fruit Tray
    Coffee, Decaf and Fine Teas
    Desert 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 raspberry | chocolate cherry | caramel pecan carrot
    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)
  • One Selection From
    Deluxe Cold Cut Tray
    make your own sandwiches from our 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 | smoked salmon | double cream brie | black forest ham with swiss emmental | smoked chicken | good-nature vegetarian
    Baja Rolls
    carne asada | red onion, tomato, quinoa, queso, cilantro, chili sour cream
    spicy thai chicken | quinoa, carrots, purple cabbage, red curry peanut sauce
    fiesta shrimp | field greens, black beans, corn, avocado, cheddar, lime vinaigrette
    hummus market veggie | red pepper hummus, avocado, spinach, cucumber, quinoa, fresh basil
    Two Selections From
    Market Dips
    creamy dill dip | white bean dip | cheddar bacon ranch | baked pita chips and raincoast crisps
    Balsamic Caprese Bruschetta
    chopped fresh roma tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic and lemon juice with toasted slices of baguette
    Homemade Potato Chips
    with spicy ketchup and onion dip
    Market Fresh Vegetable Display
    with fine herb sauce for dipping
    Canadian Cheese Board
    a variety of canadian cheeses with dried fruit, grapes and gourmet crackers
    Fresh Selected Fruit Tray in Season

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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