Tag date night

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


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!).