Tag small plates challenge

Parties That Cook’s Seattle Event Recap: Corporate Cooking Competition

Happy Friday! For this corporate team building event recap, we thought we’d bring you the story from a different angle. Now, Carolyn takes it away with her first-hand report, all the way from Portland! (Or was it Seattle..?)

We, at Parties That Cook, love a challenge, especially when it involves cooking. So when Bri O., the host of a recent Seattle Microsoft event, requested that we turn their Sumptuous Small Plates dinner into a competition, we excitedly replied, “Absolutely!”

Before long, our team had the 6 cooking stations set up. We welcomed our guests with an antipasti platter and beverages. As guests put on their aprons, they quickly realized that they were about to face off in a cooking competition. Which team would make the best dish using Parties That Cook’s recipes? Only time would tell.

Excitement mounted as I explained how the competition would unfold, demonstrating tips and tricks that would come in handy in their cooking and providing suggestions on how to win (best execution, presentation, bribe, etc.)!

Soon enough, guests were assigned to their teams, had washed their hands, and the cooking had begun! While our inspiring Kitchen Challenge playlist pumped out rockin’ tunes, the PTC chefs circulated through the room making sure everyone was having fun and learning new cooking techniques. Our Server, Elizabeth, captured action shots of the guests while they cooked (to be emailed to them the following day), and made sure everyone was staying “hydrated”.

Delicious cooking aromas filled the air, and a few staff members at the venue, 415 Westlake, poked their heads in to see what all the excitement was about! One team made fresh Burrata, a delicious creamy version of mozzarella, on Grilled Bread, while another creatively executed mini Philly Cheese Steaks with Gruyere Cheese Sauce (yum!). There were also Little Fish Tacos with Chipotle-Lime Crema, Lettuce Cups with Minced Gingered Chicken and Hoisin, Shiitake-Scallion Potstickers, and Ahi Tuna Tartare in Toasted Won Ton Cups.

After an hour, the clock stopped and teams artfully plated their dishes for the presentation table. Each team chose their most charismatic member to present their dish and argue why they think they should win. After the presentations, guests were invited to enjoy their own helping of Small Plates. The room was quickly filled with the sounds of “Mmmm”.

Meanwhile, the chefs tasted, analyzed and critiqued each team’s dish back in the kitchen. The tension was high as the guests wondered how their dish scored. Like always, it was a difficult decision to make. Everyone did an excellent job, but a winner had to be chosen. Ultimately, it came down to the Philly Cheese Steak Team! They executed the recipe very well, worked together when troubleshooting how to get the right sauce consistency, plated up their dish beautifully, and made a second platter with additional toasted bread and cheese sauce (who doesn’t extra love bread and deliciously melted cheese sauce??). Congratulations, Philly Cheese Steak Team!

Each team member was awarded one of our More Sumptuous Small Plates Recipe Decks containing 30 of our favorite recipes, easy-to-read and all in one little box. There are even photos on the cards to show you how the dish will look!

Hopefully everyone will be inspired to bring what they learned back to their own kitchens to share with friends and family. We received many thank you’s and comments about how unique this event was. We love hearing that! Thank you, Bri, for bringing your Microsoft group to join us in a fun and spontaneously competitive cooking party! Hope to see you again soon!

Parties That Cook Corporate Team Build Event Recap: Quadruple Threat

Boy was September a busy month for Parties That Cook! With 28 events in only 2 weeks, we had a little time to spare! Now that we’ve got a chance to breathe before our mad holiday rush, we’re taking a look at 4 of those 28 crazy events.

First on our list: another Genentech event. On September 9th, Genentech host, Jessica S., brought this group of about 80 to San Francisco’s Ferry Building. According to Jessica, “I thought the outside venue at the Ferry Building was very creative and different! This was a beautiful venue, not to mention entertaining with all the public roaming around to watch. It was the perfect experience of San Francisco for those who don’t get to venture into the city too often.” And we agree – The Ferry Building is a great venue for large groups!

Chef Scott led this Small Plates event with an added competition aspect, and he thought it was a great event. Jessica confirmed, stating, “My group had an AMAZING time and appreciate all of [the] staff’s enthusiasm and hard work during our event! The best part of our cooking party was the culmination of the actual cooking and the presentations given by each team. Our group really got into the competition and we were very entertained watching each spokes person present their dishes!” Sounds like a fun group!

Jessica also reported that she thought Chef Scott was awesome, and that the other staff was absolutely wonderful. She added, “They were very nice, warm and inviting. The chefs assigned to each table were extremely knowledgeable about their craft and open to any and all questions about the food and cooking. The group was excited to work together in teams, but having a professional chef to assist them through this adventure was VERY helpful!” She thought the food was actually amazing, explaining, “Parties That Cook gave us wonderful and fresh ingredients that made the food taste delicious!”

A few days later, Omnicell hosted a fun Kitchen Challenge event at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose. This group of about 40 arrived at 3pm to a pantry of ingredients like Chicken Breast, Quinoa, Tomatoes and Zucchini. For dessert (the one dish they’re given a recipe for), host Michelle S. selected our Warm Chocolate Budino with Raspberry Sauce. Yum!

Chef Laura reported that the event went really well. The guests quickly warmed up, and there was a nice balance of jokers in the group that made for a fun event. Sounds like we have another great group of guests! According to Melissa, “Chef Laura was wonderful. I couldn’t ask for a better chef, and the rest of the staff was very much engaged and helped when needed.”

Melissa also added that everyone had a great time. The Kitchen Challenge event was engaging and got everyone away from normal work activity, but they’re open to trying other corporate team building activities from Parties That Cook in the future! Who knows, they might even take advantage of our option to host the event at their offices. We love that attitude!

The very next day, Navigant hosted a traditional Small Plates event at the Ferry Building – their second time there. Based on the verbal feedback he received from guests, Chef Irfan reported that the event was a success! There was a lot of fun and joking going on, and Irfan thought the guests were a delight to work with. Everyone loved the food, and there were basically NO leftovers! He explained that it was due to an “excellent selection of dishes. During the presentation, we focused on the international nature of the dishes chosen, and labeled it ‘A trip around the world’. For the dessert (our Double Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Tartlets), Chef Carolyn had a great idea. We mixed crumbled cookies with the mousse, and served it in cups. The clients loved it!” Nicely done team!

Navigant host, Erin P., later told us, “The best part was that it took almost no effort on my part to plan or set up. All I had to do was pick a date, pick out dishes (great choices!), and pick the music. Parties that Cook took care of everything else! Everyone was so impressed that everything was prepared and ready to go when we got there, and that the staff was very courteous and helpful. It was perfect! Everything was so delicious! The arepas were the most popular, followed by the hazelnut tarts, but EVERYTHING was eaten!”

When asked about Chef Irfan, Navigant host, Erin P. said, “He was very fun, as well as professional. We learned a lot from his tips demonstration, and he also showed us how to tweak dishes along the way for an extra special experience. All of the staff were super professional and courteous and very helpful. Rosie, as well as other staff, helped answer all of my questions and made the whole planning experience very simple. My office has worked with Parties That Cook before and the parties are always so fun and educational! There is a great opportunity to network and mingle while we prepare food and share wine. It’s great! I’m very impressed with all of the options that Parties That Cook offers.” Aw, shucks, Erin!

Finally, let’s chat about LBA Realty’s Kitchen Challenge on September 22nd. Lead Chef Jed could tell they had fun, and received many compliments before the night was done!

Host Kaylen P. thought the best part of the cooking party was the team building aspect. On behalf of her team of about 20 guests, she added, “Everyone got into their roles and as a group created two delicious meals. The event was definitely a success. Jed was entertaining and got our group excited. Everyone was enjoyable to work with and very helpful.” Kaylen even reported having received emails the next morning from her team saying it was their “Best team-building event”! Now that’s what we like to hear!!

If you would like to see your Parties That Cook event featured in a blog, let us know!
See you in the kitchen soon!