Tag team building

Portland Team Inspires Corporate Teamwork with Family Style Dining

Early this month we brought you an event recap from a sunny Seattle corporate cooking party. Now, it’s on to Portland we go. Funny enough, our gal Carolyn experienced and wrote about both of these events — that’s what you get when you’re the “Northwest Manager”! Take it away, Carolyn.

One of the reasons why I love working with Parties That Cook is the variety of culinary experiences we offer. I can trust that, as a chef, my experience at each event will be just as varied as that of our guests.

For the longest time, our Sumptuous Small Plates format was my favorite. Guests not only cook together, but also mix and mingle like at a cocktail party! And who doesn’t love a good cocktail party?? Another favorite of mine has been the intense Kitchen Challenge. This high energy event brings out the competitive edge in our guests, testing their creativity as they come up with their own recipes using our pantry of ingredients.

Recently, a new Family Style twist to our classic Chef’s Table event has caused a shift in my list of favorites. The words “Family Style” evoke nostalgic memories of everyone gathered around the dinner table, enjoying each other’s company. The magic of cooking together continues at the dining table when the platters of food come around. You see one guest holding the platter while a neighbor serves both of their plates. It’s a great display of sharing, teamwork, and complimenting colleagues on a job well done – isn’t that what team bonding is all about?

Up in Portland, a group from Intel recently experienced the magic of our Chef’s Table, Family Style. Intel host, Cari Williams, had told us that her group was going to be in back-to-back corporate meetings, and our cooking event was a natural team building extension. What better way to strengthen connections and unwind than at one of our cooking parties? We knew our Family Style format would be perfect for this group.

The group arrived at one of our favorite venues, In Good Taste, where we had all the cooking stations set up. We greeted guests with a beverage and bites from our antipasti platter. After a brief skills demonstration, the cooking began. Guests commented on how much fun it was, and seemed to really enjoy spending time together. Kari later commented, “It was great team work. The event was successful because the PTC team did a fantastic job setting expectations ahead of time.” Want to know what they cooked? Ready, Set, Drool!

First Course: Risotto-Style Pasta Primavera with Sweet Peas, Leeks and Mint
Main Course: Chicken Cooked Under a Brick with Artichokes, Capers, Shallots and Pecorino
Side: Sauteed Green Beans with Hazelnut Picada
Dessert: Goat Cheesecake with Glazed Seasonal Berries and Almond Crust

The food was exceptional and everyone was so proud of what they had created! We heard lots of “Ooh’s” and “Aahh’s”, “How beautiful”, “This smells so good!”, “Looks delicious!”.

Guests also took home a brand-new PTC apron. According to Cari, “Having the aprons was a hit. We took them back to our team meeting and signed them so each member has an apron with all of our signatures…makes for a nice memento.” A few guests wanted to continue honing their culinary skills at home, so our Small Plates Recipe Deck was the perfect take home for them. What nice souvenirs!

Big thanks to Cari and her Intel team! We loved cooking with you and are so glad you experienced the magic of our Chef’s Table, Family Style. Hope to see you in the kitchen again soon!

Parties That Cook Gets Scientific in the Kitchen with BMRN and Genentech

In the last couple of weeks, we have seen no lull in our busy streak. On Friday, August 5th, BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) hosted a fun Sumptuous Small Plates corporate team building event. Lead Chef, Laura, reported that the event ran smoothly and she thought it was a really nice group. She added that the guests were “excited about what the event had to offer and were proud of their work.” As they should be!

The mouthwatering menu consisted of such delicious items as Lettuce Cups Filled with Gingery Pork, Shiitake Mushrooms and Hoisin Sauce, Ground Sirloin Sliders with Smoky Cheddar Cheese, Little Fish Tacos with Tomato Salad and Chipotle-Lime Crema, Crostini of Homemade Ricotta and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Jam and Banana and Mango Spring Rolls with Caramel-Rum Sauce. I’m getting hungry already!

Chef Laura’s words were mirrored by the BMRN host, Paul F., who commented that, “It was just overall fun, with a great atmosphere.” This is not hard to believe, since Paul had selected, Zephyr, a beautiful San Francisco showroom, as the venue!

The following Monday, August 8th, repeat client Genentech hosted a high-energy Kitchen Challenge team building event at Thomas Fogarty Winery. Linda B., the Genentech host, best described the atmosphere as “controlled chaos”. Linda also reported, “Everyone told me it was great fun and they loved this activity,” – a fun way to end a morning of meetings! She found that the best part was “the opportunity to work with people on our team that we typically don’t have the chance to interact with on a fun task. I got to know some people better from a different perspective.” Mission accomplished!

Lead Chef, Scott, hit another one out of the park! It’s no easy task to engage people just out of a 3-hr meeting. Chef Scott and the rest of the PTC team guided guests through an event with NO recipes (the norm for a Kitchen Challenge). Linda commented that the guests created some terrific dishes, “everything the participants wanted or needed was provided… The staff was very responsive and right there when we had questions or needed help — good direction and handy preparation tips.” Nicely done, PTC team!

What a great sign of things to come as we slowly approach the busy Holiday Season!
We love hearing about all the fun in the field! If you would like to see your Parties That Cook event featured in our blog, just let us know!