Brides Chicago

October 2007

Hors d’oeuvres “My Best Advice”

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Hors d’oeuvres are irresistible-and, for many guests, the best part of the meal. We asked Chef Christopher Tong of My Private Chef (773-370-8131,, A catering and event services company in Chicago, for his best choosing tips:

Hors d’oeuvres should be user-friendly. “Guests don’t want to pick up something that will spill on their clothes,” says Tong. “That’s why it should be bite sized, easy to handle, and easy to eat.” And if it takes more than two bites to consume, it really isn’t an hors d’oeuvre.

Keep the cocktail hour brief. If you are having a three-course meal following the cocktail hour, limit the hors d’oeuvre options to three. Also, remember that extra long cocktail hours can result in hungry and cranky guests.

Offer a variety. “You want there to be something for everyone,” says Tong, “so it’s best to offer a meat, a poultry, and a fish option as well as something for vegetarians and vegans.” A good crowd-pleaser: anything with beef, caviar or salmon.

To save money, “choose high-quality inexpensive foods and ingredients, like vegetarian options, domestic cheeses, and even certain shellfish like bay scallops,” says Tong.