Tag couples cooking class

Date Night: Couples Cooking through the eyes of a staff member

On a Friday afternoon, I arrived at Dacor’s kitchen showroom to help prep the kitchen, greet our guests and ensure drinks flowed. It was the first Date Night cooking class of the new year, I was new to the Parties That Cook team, and this was my first experience with their hands-on cooking events. Date Night with Parties That Cook is a couples cooking class, but from what I saw, it could be better than couples therapy.

Guests began trickling in a few minutes before 6 pm, many coming directly from work, all hungry and eager to start cooking. The attendees checked in, “suited up” in Parties That Cook aprons and mingled with other attendees chefs-in-training.

The lead chef (Executive Chef, Tanya) gathered the group in the kitchen for an introduction and cooking demonstration. Tanya shared tips and tricks of the trade with a captivated audience. As they listened intently to the instructions, guests stood with arms draped over their partners’ shoulders. The couples seemed excited to be there, ready to cook together, meet new people, and have fun…except for one.

This particular duo came in when the cooking demo was already underway. Unlike the other couples, they didn’t smile when I greeted them. They stood behind the crowd, she with her arms folded across her chest and lips pursed. He also appeared distant and disinterested. Watching them, all I could think was, “Wow, it’s going to be a long night for these two.”

After the demo, the group broke into teams to begin working on the evening’s small plates recipes. Chefs circled the floor happy to help if and when questions arose. Most attendees were fairly new to cooking and delighted by the process. Still, I couldn’t help but focus on the averse couple. To my surprise, they had begun to warm up. We really mean it when we say you’ll “heat up the kitchen” at Date Night.

As the night progressed, wine was flowing, new friends were made and delicious dishes were coming together. I found the originally hesitant couple smiling and even laughing together. Date Night with Parties That Cook must have been just what the doctor ordered! They ended up having a wonderful time, and even bid us farewell with huge thanks, full bellies and smiles on their faces. Several couples exchanged phone numbers and think a few may have even gone out for drinks following the class. An excellent evening, indeed.

Working the event was fun; almost as entertaining as participating as a guest! This, I found out two weeks later when I took the class with my spouse. Stay tuned for a second Date Night blog, written from the perspective of an attendee (me!).

Parties That Cook’s Most Romantic Date Night for Couples. Ever.

Friday, September 23rd, could have been our typical Date Night Couples Cooking Class in San Francisco, but we had big plans. One guest in particular was a little more excited — and probably a lot more anxious — than the rest. This guest, Ray, had reached out to us over a month before the class asking if we could help him set up a marriage proposal. We could tell he was excited, feeling very positive and eager to pop the question. (Our all-woman office was buzzing with anticipation!) Ideas bounced back and forth about when he would want to ask, how he wanted to do it, and what we could do to make it happen. With the help of Chef Irfan Dama, we finally landed on the means.

Couples arrived at the venue by 6:30pm and all were excited to get started. Chef Irfan began his usual demo, teaching some helpful tips and tricks pertaining to the evening’s recipes. He had set up camera equipment, and casually explained it away as the filming of a training video for our chefs.

We have now received the video for this proposal! Check it out below…
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During the demo, Chef Irfan spoke on the similarities between peppers and love. “If there is a vegetable that symbolizes love, which would that be? No, not onions… though onions make you cry. I would have to go with the pepper. Just like love, peppers come in several shapes and forms. Just like love, you will find that peppers can be sweet, sometimes bitter and sometimes fiery. Peppers add interesting and complex flavors to your food, and love does the same to your life —  a little sweetness, a little spice, a little color and LOT’S of flavor. If you don’t handle a pepper correctly, it could be disastrous; you could end up with a real mess. But if you take care of and foster the love in your life, like you correctly add peppers to your food, you’re sure to have the most interesting and adventurous experiences.”

Chef Irfan called upon Ray and his girlfriend, Cassie, for assistance… He had quietly hidden the ring inside a bell pepper. (It’s really easy to cut around the stem and slip the ring through.) Chef Irfan stressed that correctly chopping the pepper is KEY to successful integration in the dish. How true that is was less pressing than how carefully Cassie had to slice the pepper without hitting the ring!

After a month of planning, hoping, and holding our breath, we can now relax and say Mission Accomplished. Cassie found the ring, and said YES!!!! Surprisingly, class proceeded as usual, with the exception of one new bride-to-be beaming around the kitchen and one very, very happy fiance.

Congratulations Ray and Cassie!!! We are so glad to have played a part in this special moment. We wish you the best of luck, and hope you always remember how it all went down.