Crafted to Perfection – The Art of Designing A Heavy Hors D’oeuvres Reception

Crafted to Perfection – The Art of Designing A Heavy Hors D’oeuvres Reception

Photo by Brittany Love of Love be Photography

When planning an event, determining the perfect menu is always stressful. Accommodating the meat and potatoes bunch, the vegetarian gluten free paleo friends, and trying to stay in budget is like walking a tightrope, needing expert balance. But we are here to help!

Our reception menu is a la carte and completely customizable. It has four categories; Action Stations, Carving Boards, Grab and Go Cups and Hors D’oeuvres. Each item and station has its own price point, so just add up the items you want until you get to that per person price you want to spend.

A top concern is always if the menu is offering too much or too little food. To help with that we offer guidelines in selecting your menu, and guidelines to appropriate budget.

Medium Hors D’oeuvres

4-7 Selections

$15-$25 per person


Heavy Hors D’oeuvres

6-8 Selections and 1 station

$25- $35 per person



7-9 Selections

1 station and 1 carving board


Today I am going to focus on building a menu that substitutes as a dinner, but in the Hors D’oeuvres style.

How do I build my meal with Hors Doeuvres ?


Staples typically include the beautiful displays you see at events. Think fresh fruit and artisanal cheese boards, or Antipasto displays with Italian meats and pickled vegetables. These make wonderful starters without filling up your guests before they can get to the good stuff.


Action Stations: Starches

Starches are a very necessary component to any meal. They are the item that will satisfy and keep your guests dancing all night long! Action stations are the best and most fun way to work in a starch. They include a tasty side such as grits or mac & cheese, and come with 6 toppings for guests to personalize the dish. These are served in martini glasses, perfect for mixing and mingling.


Carving Boards: Protein

For that extra “wow” factor, consider adding a Chef-attended carving board! This will make the difference between “heavy hors d’oeuvres” and a menu that feels more like a meal. When you pair an action station with the carving board, you have covered the main components of the dinner. Think prime rib or beef tenderloin, or even a whole salmon or roasted turkey.


Grab and Go Cups:

Grab and Go Cups are similar to an action station, but nix the 6 toppings and add some protein. These are great and affordable options to do instead of an action station or carving board, or in addition. Most parties do 2 stations, or 3 if you want to make the meal very heavy. Favorites include our house made Gumbo and Chicken Pot Pies!


Hors D’oeuvres: Finger Foods

The best part of an Hors D’oeuvres menu is that you get to have a lot of different items and variety.  After you pick your stations (protein and carbs), use the finger foods to add some fun and creative options. Think crostini’s, dips, tartlets, and two bites.


  • Choose 2-4 additional meat options that are different from your carving board ( think sliders, chicken tenders, beef skewers, and different two bite pieces)
  • Don’t forget to add 1-2 seafood items
  • Consider the basics – such as vegetables or salads


Iron City has an incredible pastry chef, so do not forget to add a signature dessert or a miniature trio display!


Below is an example menu and pricing!

Chefs Choice Reception Package



Domestic & Imported Cheese Board – $3

Fresh Seasonal Fruit – $3


Hors D’oeuvres

Grilled Veggie Kabobs – $2

Fresh Citrus Feta Dip – $3

Fried Chicken Slider – $4

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Skewer –  $4


Carving Station:

Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream Sauce – $13


Action Station

Southern Mac & Cheese – $9


Grab & Go Cup:

Crawfish Etouffee – $5


Miniature Dessert Trio – $4

Fresh Berries and Cream

Smores Mousse Shooter

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Total Price:                                                                  $50 per person