Tag team building events

Get To Know Another Parties That Cook Corporate Events Chef

To continue our run of Lead Chef interviews, I took the opportunity to chat with Chef Nicole at a recent PTC corporate cooking event. Occasionally working alongside Chef Nicole, I can tell she is an amazing chef; a true professional. I appreciate her way of making you feel comfortable, not to mention her mean culinary skills. Now, I’m giving you the gift of meeting her too…

Tell us who you are.
I am Nicole Gimmillaro. I was born in Upstate New York, grew up in Southern California, and moved to the Bay Area 12 years ago. This is my 5th year with PTC.

What made you want to become a chef?
My passion for food and wine was initially sparked by my Grandma Angeline when I would spend summers with her in Upstate NY. I was always fascinated with how she would start dinner preparations before we even finished breakfast. She was slow and methodical. It was all about the ingredients and simplicity.

What were you doing before you became a chef?
I’ve worked in the restaurant industry since I was 15, beginning with grilling hot dogs at Weinerschnitzel. I finished a degree in English Literature, thinking it was a road out of restaurant work but… all roads led back to the industry. I taught disabled children for a while, as well as English as a Second Language. I’ve lived in Denmark, Costa Rica, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Mexico.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever made?
One of the most memorable meals I’ve ever made was whilst cooking for a week-long yoga retreat in Provence, France. What stands out more than what was on the actual menu is the experience of sourcing the ingredients from the early morning fish market & massive farmer’s market in Nice prior to heading to the villa in Provence.

One thing guests would be surprised to learn about you?
I am a certified yoga teacher, a Pilates trainer, and a wine professional. I’m currently working on a Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition.

What’s your favorite PTC memory?
After five years with PTC, I have so many memories. It’s hard to choose just one!

What do you love about working at PTC?
I love the opportunity to work with people from varying walks of life and the ability to turn them on to cooking techniques and foods unfamiliar to them — in a party setting.

What new ingredients are inspiring you right now?
The bounty of Summer fruits & vegetables with which I’ve been doing a lot of fermenting, pickling & dehydrating. I have a huge jug of Beet Kvass, a sour ferment originating from Russia, on my counter. It’s an excellent digestive tonic. I’m also turning Kirby cucumbers into dill pickles and have several jars of dehydrated Santa Rosa plums, strawberries & kiwi for salads & snack.

Clearly Nicole’s travels have taught her so much. She’s a real treat to have on the PTC team, and an invaluable resource to tap into at your next team building activity with Parties That Cook!

Meet Our New Intern + Corporate Event Recap

internblogpostHi all! My name is Katelyn and I’m the marketing, event, and anything-we-need intern; I do it all! I made the journey from Missouri to San Francisco because I wanted experience in the events industry. After a few wrong turns, I was lucky enough to land an internship with Parties That Cook. This company has opened my eyes to the world of events focused around food. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Once I settled in, I knew this was where I was meant to be.

The coolest part of working at PTC is that I get to dip my toes in so many different departments! I’ve only been here three weeks and I’ve already learned so much. From the difference between a head and clove of garlic (funny story), to the company “voice” as determined by the marketing team, I come to work every day and learn something new.

In my first week, I was sent into the field to see the magic in action! Appetizer platters, a bounty of drinks, and the evening’s ingredients were laid out and ready for the guests. A group of about 15 lawyers arrived at the venue for their Chef’s Table experience. Things started off slowly, and dare I say, a tad awkward. Small groups chatted quietly by the entrance, snacking and unwinding with some beer and wine. Chef Lauren called our guests to the demo table, and still, crickets in the crowd. I was beginning to worry that this would set the tone for the whole night!

helping at a corporate eventAs everyone was divided into teams to begin cooking, the energy of the entire room changed. People were laughing, talking, and getting their hands dirty! The group came alive as if someone turned on the lights. Music was blasting, food was flying, and the night was just beginning. Throughout the cooking and seated dining, everyone looked so relaxed and happy (I’m sure the booze had nothing to do with it). In order to create and enjoy a meal that was absolutely delicious, the team really had to communicate, delegate tasks, and most importantly, work together. I can’t imagine any other team building event to be this much fun and taste this good!

This is the most fun and fabulous place I’ve ever worked, and I’m truly grateful for this opportunity. I’m excited to see what Parties That Cook has in store for the rest of my internship!