Preparing a five-course dinner can be an intimidating task. A lot of time and preparation goes into making a five-course meal, which consists of an appetizer, soup, salad, entrée and dessert. You do not have to be a professional cook to pull off a nice dinner; all you need is a little planning to make a memorable meal. Whether you are preparing a five-course dinner for your family or a dinner party, the people at your table will enjoy the special meal you make.
Decide on your menu. This is the most important part of preparing a five-course dinner because if this is not done correctly, it can cause problems later. Write down each item you want on your menu. Divide your list into appetizer, soup, salad, entrée and dessert. List each item you want to include in one of these categories. The items listed on your menu should work well together. For instance, try not to mix Mexican and Chinese food. Also, keep in mind who will be eating this five-course dinner and their food likes and dislikes.
Make a grocery list. Look at the menu you have made for your five-course dinner. Take each item and write all the ingredients down that will be used when making it. Beside each ingredient write whether you need to purchase it or whether you already have it. Include how much of everything is needed so you will be sure to buy enough.
Fix some food items the day before. Since a five-course dinner is a big undertaking, make any dish that will not spoil, get soggy or lose any of its taste. Some items are actually better if they are made the day before.
Set your table to go with the theme of your dinner. If your five-course dinner is Chinese-inspired, decorate your table in a way that will complement the food being served. Set your table the morning of your five-course dinner to avoid a last-minute rush.
Fix the remaining items on your menu. This should be done a few hours in advance if possible, although you want the food to be at its best. Make sure you have enough time to get ready before your big dinner. Warm all your items you made the day before and put them in the appropriate dishes. Prepare the menu items so they can be made for the next course in about five minutes. Try to time it right so the food is warm (or cold if appropriate) for your guests.