Tag 2011

Parties That Cook’s 2011 Corporate Holiday Events Wrap-Up: Part I

2011 is OVER. Time to close that great chapter, and begin the next. There’s just a little something we have to take care of first… This post is Part I of the final round-up of our corporate team building events and private cooking parties for 2011!

In mid-November, McGraw-Hill Higher Education hosted the first of a series of Parties That Cook events for a mix of staff and customers in Chicago. After finding us through an internet search, host Megan G. thought we had offered the most flexibility, the best venues… and “awesome recipes!” On working with our Chicago event planner, Megan said, “Christina Turner is top notch! She is a real asset to your organization. Right away, everything went smoothly and she made me feel completely at ease with the process. She was professional, friendly, and accommodating.” What kind (yet accurate) words!

The bar was set high with Christina’s customer service, but we did not disappoint! After the event, the raves continued. “The event was a great kick-off and a great way to achieve camaraderie right off the bat. It provided us with a way to make our customers comfortable and to break the ice before our event officially started.” Megan added, “Molly, Brandy and the team were amazing. We were so lucky to have had them running our event, they really went above and beyond!”

A few days later, Genentech hosted an intimate Chef’s Table, 4-course meal for 13, at the gorgeous Mumm Napa. Host Lisa D. is no stranger to Parties That Cook, and opted to stick with us after a successful first experience. On working with veteran event planner, Rosie, she commented, “Rosie made the event seem super easy and everything was organized and complete in a timely manner. The party was wonderful! The best part was the teambuilding and fun!!!!” *No exclamation marks were added to this statement.

To round out November, VelocX hosted a fun event for 16 in Portland!! It’s always so exciting to see events come in for our newer cities. After checking out a few of our different corporate event ideas, host Holly F. thought Sumptuous Small Plates was the “best event for the type of meeting [she] was planning.” No buyer’s remorse here! Despite some fears of skeptics in her group, post-event, Holly reported, “All of the guests were engaged and enjoyed the evening. The event was successful due to Chef Carolyn and her work in supporting our objectives.

Carolyn, our wonderful Operations Manager and event chef, agreed! “It was lots of fun! They were a great group, we made delicious food, and the venue worked out well (Great to hear of our first Bargreen Ellingson experience). Everyone loved it, even the skeptical ones that Holly forewarned us about. Lots of thank you’s from the guests, and interest in what else we do. Holly loved it and said she could see using our services again for her clients.”

Closing out a 15-event week for Parties That Cook was an especially fun Clearwater Group dinner in Seattle. This wasn’t just any corporate dinner. Host Paulette L. opted for the beautifully decorated destination venue: Efeste Winery. She also spiced things up a bit by adding a competition twist to their evening of Sumptuous Small Plates. “It sounded like it would be a fun way to have a party,” Paulette explained. And she was right! Lead Chef Pam noted that this was a fun, enthusiastic group, and that it was a great menu for them. Afterwards, Paulette reported that the best part of the event was “the interactive nature of cooking together as a team, and yes, event was very successful!”

Take A Stroll Down Memory Lane: Parties That Cook’s Top 11 Accomplishments of 2011

As we welcome in the New Year, we can’t help but reflect on the past. Sure, there may have been a couple of bumps in the road, but the good times far outweigh the not-so-good. 2011 was a big year for Parties That Cook, so we’re going to reminisce for a minute, and take a look at Parties That Cook’s Top 11 Accomplishments of 2011. After all, who doesn’t like a good flashback?

1. Became a certified B Corporation. That’s right! We became a B Corp to be part of a community of businesses that are proving you can be successful while taking care of people and planet.
2. Launched a new recipe deck. The development of More Sumptuous Small Plates was a team effort that required all hands on “deck” (Unintentional pun, I swear). It was great to see months of voting, proof-reading, editing and anticipating produce a final product we can be proud of. Not to mention, the More Sumptuous Small Plates launch party was a lot of fun!
3. Threw awesome surprise parties! What office that you know has employees willing (and ready) to dress up as Lady Gaga for a co-worker’s birthday celebration?! The same one that converts itself into a yoga studio for a quick birthday yoga session AND goes all-out to orchestrate a surprise Date Night cooking class proposal. (Yep. Right here.)
4. Hosted events benefitting the Boys and Girls Club and Women’s Initiative! There’s no better feeling than seeing the faces of dozens of kids (and their families) light up as they judge a timed cooking competition – and, of course, get all the “taste tests” their hearts desire… Though it feels pretty similar to raising $16,000 to help lower-income women get the resources, support and business training needed to start and grow their own businesses!
5. Expanded our office staff to 12 members. We’ve got quite the community/family growing in this office now. And this year, we came in at #56 in the San Francisco Business Times Top 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies of 2011. Woot Woot!
6. Hosted an awesome Second Annual White Elephant Gift Exchange Bonanza (commonly referred to as the PTCWEGEB). Gifts ranged from Justin Beiber electric toothbrushes to ice cube trays; from cookie decorating kits to matching his/her Christmas t-shirts displaying “Merry F N Christmas”; from a gift certificate to DRY BAR(!!!) to a pink pig in a tutu; from a shake weight to heated electric slippers that don’t separate. Needless to say, there were winners AND losers that night…
7. Added three NEW event types to our hands-on cooking party repertoire. Now you can go out on a GPS scavenger hunt that earns you advantages in the timed cooking competition to follow (Amazing Kitchen Race), put your spatulas to the test while competing in a heated baking competition (Cupcake Wars), AND create a meal using ingredients you picked on a farm (Cooking Farm-to-Table)! All at the same time?? You might be on to something…
8. Launched in Portland! Yep, we are officially hosting hands-on cooking parties and corporate team building events in four cities across the country. And while we’re never finished spreading the word and getting our name out there, at least the launch is done!
9. Celebrated Beth’s 1 Millionth (I don’t say that word enough…) dollar in annual revenue. You’d think we’d gone crazy after seeing our surprise $1 Million Dolla Balla surprise for Beth. Good times.
10. Hit $2M in annual revenue for the FIRST TIME EVER! We definitely had to stay on top of our game to reach this milestone in the shaky economy.
11. Had FUN! Whether it be getting our bacon fix from Lead Chef Mick, sampling Bibby’s award-winning Crack Cookies and Crack Pie (Momofuku), or just another Friday, we Parties That Cook folks know how to have fun while getting the job done – it’s what we do.

Here’s to the goals and possibilities of 2012! It’s guaranteed to be another crazy ride…