Tag sumptuous small plates

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’s Corporate Team Building Event Round-Up: Hello, 2012

Hey there, cool kids! We’re back with another installation of our cooking party recaps. These posts give you an inside look at what makes our culinary events so fun, and why hosts keep coming back for more. Now where did we leave off? Oh, that’s right: January.

Let’s kick things off with a Sumptuous Small Plates event with Nomis Solutions Software. Thanks to “great Yelp reviews” and “better food options”, host Valerie G. decided to give Parties That Cook a try. The group of about 30 came together under the guidance of lead chef, Irfan, in one of our favorite venues, Dacor Kitchen! After the event, Valerie seemed very pleased with her decision! “Everything was amazing — from working with [event planner] Christina to menu options, great on-site staff and organization,” she said. “Everything was perfect!” We’re so glad we were able to make everything work, Valerie!

That same day, in Chicago, OMSNIC hosted it’s very own Small Plates event (emphasis on the small). This group of 9 may have had doubts about their cooking abilities, but in the end, found THEIR food “delicious and perfect”! According to the host, Leslee H., “Everyone was pleased with themselves and their co-workers. It was a great way to unite our group and start our training session off right – showing them that often times projects look more challenging than they actually are, particularly if you are working together.” We couldn’t have asked for a better take-away from a corporate event! These team building activities are all about building camaraderie while overcoming challenges together. The fact that groups get to enjoy a gourmet meal at the end of the event is just the cherry on top!

Let’s check out another Chicago event, shall we? About one week later, SKF USA Inc. hosted a Sumptuous Small Plates event for 15 guests. Host Stacy R. selected a scrumptious menu including some popular skewered items: Spice Crusted Salmon Skewers with Harissa Yogurt Dipping Sauce and Whole Grain Mustard and Garlic Beef Brochettes with Kumquat Aioli. The verdict? “The food was delicious!!” Stacy was pleased to report that everyone gave positive feedback on the evening. “I thought the best part was having our leadership team work together in small groups and build bonding relationships in a relaxed atmosphere,” she said. That’s why we love our Sumptuous Small Plates event! If you’re looking for a relaxed evening of mingling and getting to interact with friends and coworkers, Small Plates is the way to go!

Closing out the month, well, as far as this blog is concerned, is a PricewaterhouseCoopers Small Plates event for 50 guests! To keep the group down south, host Paula F. opted for the beautiful Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose. Lead chef Jed did a great job, as usual. “Jed was wonderful; very accommodating and great when working with the group,” according to Paula. The menu, which included such favorites as Canapés of Camembert with Olive Tapenade, Porcini Mushroom Tartlets, and Savory Cupcakes Lobster Macaroni Cheese, was a hit. Paula even confessed that she’s already looking forward to trying the recipes out at home! To sum it up, Paula added, “The food was great and working in teams to cook appetizers was a great opportunity to network with people we hadn’t met in person. Well organized, well run, accommodating and fun!” Thanks Paula! Now that all guests have received copies of the evening’s recipes, we hope everyone will continue whipping up tasty dishes!