My appearance on ESPN Stephen A’s World was hectic and needed some serious prepping and planning. Preparing for an event takes a lot of planning, especially when you need to travel a long distance. How do you plan quick meals for travel, AND make it appetizing and picturesque for television while keeping the food safe from harmful bacteria? Whew, very overwhelming and exciting at the same time. It’s very easy to forget some parts of your meal whether it’s the sauce for your meat, some type of garnishing or even a serving plate for a particular dish. All of the little things matter when you are under pressure for catering an event and are trying to be close to perfection.
As I finished all of my food and desserts for the ESPN Stephen A’s World show, my thoughts for packing were my next priority. How will I pack these items to ensure nothing has spilled over on the utensils, napkins or even other foods or can some of my tall food items fit in my travel container without being crushed and ruined. Guess what, it took planning and here are some of AC’s tips to use when packing foods for travel:
- Purchase a cooler or storage container with a lid and load it with ice pack/gel or ice in gallon sized Ziploc bags.
- You will probably need more than one ice-filled Ziploc bag.
- Store all foods in deep aluminum pans, making certain to not overfill the pan so that the lid closes properly and the pans are deep enough to fit taller foods.
- Place all sauces in plastic 8 ounce containers with a lid. (similar to what you would use for Wonton Soup). Place on the bottom of cooler, put your ice packs between these containers and level it evenly balances the rest of the food. Do not have any of the levels bulky, as the pans won’t lay flat.
- Place your aluminum pans on top of your sauce containers, which should lay flat and balanced. Your cooler should be deep enough to fit at least 3 aluminum pans
- Add garnishes to Ziploc sandwich bags and label for each food it belongs to. This works like a champ for me at the most stressful time and helps me to NOT forget that much needed ingredient, food dish and/or utensils.
- Place the food items with matching labeled Ziploc bags to ensure that everything for a particular dish is together. Continue with this packing ingredient system for each food item.
- Secure the closure of the lid.
Gotta have a plan, ALWAYS!!!!