Tag cooking class proposal

Surprise Marriage Proposal at a Couples Cooking Class

Date Night Proposal GroupLast May, we received a very unexpected lead notification. The inquiry came from a man, Roswell, wanting to propose to his long-time girlfriend. He wanted it to be special, and knew we had done it before:

Me and my girlfriend of 4 years love food. I wanted to propose at one of your Bay Area cooking classes, but I just read that it has already been done. Regardless, I’d like to see if we can make that special moment happen. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.

I manage our public cooking classes, and the moment I saw this request, I knew who to turn to. Our Executive Chef, Tanya, was heavily involved in our last Date Night proposal — she loves this stuff! Tanya came up with a game plan for this surprise proposal, and everything was set.

The Drama: 
Fast-forward to July 19, the morning of the big event. I received an email from a different Date Night attendee that read, “My girlfriend doesn’t know I am going to propose to her…”. I nearly had a heart attack! Before I could collect myself enough to continue reading, I was overwhelmed with anxiety. We couldn’t pull off two proposals on the same night!

The proposal that would happen LATER

The proposal that would happen LATER

Luckily my overly dramatic panic attack was short-lived. The very next sentence clarified that he would NOT be proposing that night. This guest would be filming the class, collecting video for his own elaborate proposal project. Whew!

The Proposal:
That evening, Chef Tanya needed time to set the scene. She told Roswell to stall his girlfriend and come to class late. Before the pair showed up, Tanya recruited two fantastic volunteers to serve as decoys and help dupe Roswell’s gal. All other guests were kept in the dark (sorry, guys!). When our target couple arrived, Tanya could tell Roswell was nervous and his unsuspecting girlfriend was less than pleased they were late.

Date Night Proposal Decoy Couple

Date Night Proposal Decoy Couple

During her usual cooking demo, Tanya asked the decoy couple to stand in front of the class and help demonstrate knife skills. Behind our decoys, another PTC staff member held up a series of large signs that read:

“A marriage proposal is about to happen.”

“She has no idea!!”

“Everyone follow the directions on the next card!”

“Turn around…”
Obviously a little confused, the guests needed a little prodding by Tanya before they turned away from “the action”. Roswell took his cue, and got down on one knee. Success! His now-fiance said YES and everyone cheered. We are so happy to have been involved in this special moment, and hope all our guests remember that night forever. I know we will!

Date Night Proposal Couple

The Happy Couple


Parties That Cook Reflects on the Top 12 Accomplishments of 2012

We managed to survive the madness of the holidays, only to find ourselves waist-deep in January events! Just as we did last year, we’re about to dive into Parties That Cook’s Top Accomplishments of 2012.

1.  Broke our Own Records. In 2012, we hosted our largest event to-date (can you even picture 213 guests?!) and later booked our largest event to-date. This January, we’ll be sure to welcome all 275 guest with open arms!

2.  Launched New Events. 2012 brought the almost accidental development of Cooking with Kindness, a corporate event where groups come together in the kitchen of a local family shelter to cook for, serve, and dine alongside its residents.

3.  Became a Certified Women-Owned Business. That’s right. Not only is PTC founder and CEO, Bibby Giginilliat, a woman (surprise!), she also passed the rigorous application process and proved herself as visionary of the company.

4.  Hosted another Successful Women’s Initiative Fundraiser. We are on a roll, folks! Cooking up Success for Women’s Initiative has surely taken off. Raising $17,500 is nothing to be ashamed of!

5.  Celebrated Birthdays and Birth Days. Not only did we host awesome birthday celebrations (per usual), but we also welcomed 2 new little guys to the PTC family! HUGE congratulations to Erin and Rosie!

6.  Grew like Crazy in Multiple Markets. Talk about a growth spurt! When 68% growth (Chicago) isn’t the biggest change you’ve seen, you know you’re doing something right. Hello, 675% growth in Portland!!

7.  Cooked up Romance. We’ve conquered Date Night proposals in 2011, so we thought we’d challenge ourselves with Singles. Who better to partner with, running approx. 30 events in 3 cities, than Match.com?

8.  Won Awards and Made Headlines. We were awarded #63 on the list of Fastest Growing Small Businesses by the San Francisco Business Times and earned a spot on the Inc. 500|5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for the first time! Man, it feels good to be a baller. We’re proud to say we were featured in Crain’s Chicago Business for the first time. See it for yourself here.

9.  Worked on Cohesion within Our Team. A series of workshops with facilitator, Abby, raised our corporate and personal consciousness. Things have never been smoother.

10.  Positioned PTC to Make BIG Moves in 2013. Remember how we moved Carolyn to Portlandia to manage the NW territory? Talk about a good move! We also hired some amazing new office talent, AND managed to let go of bulk. We have officially embraced our new mantra: less is more.