Tag team bonding

Corporate Event Recap: The Amazing Amazon Holiday Party

Amazon Holiday PartyThe holidays are meant for getting together with friends, family, and loved ones — usually over a delicious meal. We spend so much time with colleagues at work, why shouldn’t we take some time to celebrate with them? That’s exactly what Kristen Joy was thinking when she set out to plan a holiday party for her Customer Experience team at Amazon.

Kristen considered many team building activities her colleagues might enjoy: whirlyball, bowling, an in-home cocktail party, and even a fancy dinner out. She was less than impressed. Having experienced one of our events with Amazon in 2012, Kristen remembered how fun it was to cook and dine together. She soon reached out to Parties That Cook to plan a hands-on cooking event for her team.

Fun with Kitchen Utensils

PTC Event Planner, Kelle, helped Kristen hone in on our Chef’s Table Family Style. In this format, the group cooks a delicious meal of several dishes under the guidance of professional chefs. Then, guests sit down together and serve themselves from bountiful platters of delicious food. Team bonding can be found in every stage of the Chef’s Table Family Style, from the collaborative cooking to the helpful passing of platters from guest to guest. According to Kristen, “Planning was easy, and I appreciated Kelle’s patience in working with my schedule. The recipes were simple enough that the cooking was not stressful, but fun and achievable. The dinner was amazing!”

Kristen’s Amazon group brought a fun lightness as they joked about which team was going to make the best dish and got silly in front of the camera. FYI, cooking utensils make fantastic props! Oh, and we can’t forget the White Elephant gift exchange…

White Elephant GiftWhite Elephant Exchange
Kristen had organized a White Elephant gift exchange for after the meal. With relaxed guests and amusing gifts, this low-pressure gift exchange resulted in lots of laughter. What a great way to end a fun evening! Given that this was Amazon’s Customer Experience team, we were especially thrilled to learn that we had exceeded their expectations. Kristen noted having “liked the small group size, intimacy, and the ability to get great direction and attention from the chef.” She also “loved the Seattle Wine Outlet, and the family style sit down meal after cooking,” and has already recommended us to friends and family! Thank you, Kristen, for choosing Parties That Cook to help your group celebrate and bond this holiday season.

The Perfect Winter Team Building Activity: Kitchen Challenge Iron Chef Cooking Competition

Corporate EventAs the newest marketing intern at Parties That Cook, I recently experienced my first PTC event: The Kitchen Challenge. This intense Iron Chef-style cooking competition took place at an urban winery in our very own Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. Upon entering Dogpatch Wine Works, I noticed how large and spacious the winery was. High ceilings and wooden wine barrels enhanced the authentic winery look.

I helped our chefs and staff set up before the guests arrived, and I was surprised to see everything being prepped in such a neat and organized fashion. For this team building event, the wine tasting room and bar area were set up with a few dining tables on one side, nicely decorated with flower arrangements, elegant napkins and silverware. The “kitchen” on the other side had ample supplies for the cook-off, including mini ovens, toasters, fresh food, condiments and spices galore. Talk about a mobile kitchen!

Corporate Team Building EventNearing the start of the evening’s event, our guests began to arrive. We greeted them with a Parties That Cook apron, and they all seemed to light up as they glanced around the room. Awaiting the cooking demonstration, guests mingled, chatted and laughed with their colleagues while sipping an assortment of red and white wine. It was clear everyone enjoyed this break from work, as relaxed music played, and platters of delicious cheese and crackers were devoured. The ambiance was great; you could feel the positive energy throughout.

Executive Chef Tanya Rogow introduced the guests to rules of the challenge and provided some helpful do’s and don’ts while in the kitchen. It was nice to see this hardworking group unleash their inner child, cracking jokes about themselves and one another. Once the teams were formed, and the high fives and hollering began, the group was off to the kitchen!

Corporate EventIn this hour-long timed challenge, each team creates an entire meal from scratch. They must use the provided secret ingredients, including one specific protein, starch and vegetable. Ingredients included purple and white cauliflower, chicken, potatoes and rice. Each team was assigned their own Sous Chef to encourage creativity and guide the group throughout the no-recipe cooking process. With an array of spices and ingredients available, everyone was able to draw from their individual pallet and work together to create a unique masterpiece!

Cooking CompetitionThere was constant chatter and buzz as teammates provided input on what they thought would give their dish pizzazz! With time winding down, teams worked under pressure to finish their dishes. Though some teams were definitely feeling the heat, there was a surprisingly lighthearted atmosphere. Then, it came time for deliberation by the judges. Regardless of which dish won, each team was proud of their dish as everyone sampled their fellow teammate’s concoctions. It then came time for everyone to sit down and enjoy their “fruits” of labor and teamwork, all served up in nice white dinnerware.

Corporate Team BondingFrom the appetizers, a delicious self-made meal and dessert, the night was a great example of teamwork served up in a tasty manner!