“Cook the Part” by Karin Eastham of Rancho Santa Fe is about “team cooking.” “Extraordinary Cakes” by San Diego food entrepreneur Karen Krasne lends itself to the “team cooking” concept, too. (courtesy photos)
By LAURA GROCH
Holiday season is rapidly approaching, and with it comes party time. One new way to host a dinner party is as a team. Rancho Santa Fe resident Karin Eastham has written, “Cook the Part: Delicious, Interactive and Fun Team Cooking” (Crosswalk Press, $24.95), which shows how to involve all your guests in producing a themed dinner that will not only entertain, but be a source of fond memories shared.
For example, the “Tuscan Farmhouse Dinner” offers not only a menu and recipes, but a four-course food preparation plan for each of the guest “teams.” Appetizers are done ahead by the host so each group can nibble as they work on the Insalata Caprese, Chicken Under a Brick or Fallen Chocolate Cakes for Eight. (Most dinner plans are for a group of eight.)
Other themes are A Taste of Baja, Pacific Northwest Seafood Evening, Dinner in Athens, Authentic Tastes of Indonesia, Handmade Pasta With Homemade Sauces, Comfort Food and Spanish Wine Dinner.
Eastham’s book and her “team cooking” concept reflect a trend of “social baking/cooking,” illustrated in readers’ approach to another beautiful cookbook.
San Diego patissiere extraordinaire Karen Krasne, who has long been known for her extravagant, gorgeous confections, recently published “Extraordinary Cakes: Recipes for Bold and Sophisticated Desserts” (Rizzoli, $37.50).
The cookbook is “devoted to the most fanciful, beautiful and decadent cakes,” according to the press release. For example, the “New York, New York” employs chocolate ganache, devil’s food cake, chocolate chantilly, and caramelized apples. Sounds delicious, but daunting.
So what better way to tackle one of Krasne’s complex recipes than to divvy it up among friends? That’s what’s happening, said Krasne in the release: “It’s like (people are) replacing social media with social baking.”
Krasne’s cakes have so many challenging components that to make them, people tackle the individual parts (“You guys make the chocolate ganache, we’ll do the mocha pralines, they’ll do the coffee mousse …”). Then the group comes together to make a social event out of combining the sweet elements into a fantastical dessert and memorable occasion.
So if you’ve ever been cowed by a lengthy, elaborate recipe or dinner plan, this might be the way to put it together —- by enlisting the help of friends and family. Which is really what most of our favorite food experiences are about, aren’t they?
Serving a Purpose
HUMAN RESOURCES: Cooking Uses Ingredients of Team Building By Julie Gallant Monday, May 14, 2012
Karin Eastham, after a long and highly successful corporate career, has developed a unique teambuilding program that brings people together in her kitchen to prepare a team dinner that captures workplace dynamics.
The kitchen can be a great gathering place for parties and is often the hub of family socializing, but who would have ever thought the warm and relaxing setting would be a venue for human resources activities.
As it turns out, two local companies and an author have devised creative ways of putting the kitchen to work for teambuilding exercises that can help employees work together harmoniously, or, at the very least, generate camaraderie that fosters an improved work environment.
Inspiration for corporate teambuilding in a social setting can be found in Karin Eastham’s book, “Cook the Part: Delicious, Interactive and Fun Team Cooking,” published by Crosswalk Press. The book features eight themed menus with complete plans to prepare a team dinner in the comfort of a kitchen and home.
The premise behind the book is that when co-workers gather to cook and dine for an evening, they will experience a fun event that captures workplace dynamics. To begin with, the participants set a goal of creating a fabulous meal. There will be time constraints for completion of that meal. Everyone will have tasks to complete; therefore, each role is critical to success of the team.
Eastham, a Rancho Santa Fe resident, suggests bringing work teams of eight to 12 people into the kitchen where they can learn about interacting with others, role flexibility, and authenticity and vulnerability as they help each other prepare a meal. Results can range from developing better relationships, to gaining a better understanding of co-workers, to learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, she says.
Click on the link above to read the full story….
See page 10 for the full story and recipes.
FROM THE IPPY WEBSITE:
Congratulations and sincere thanks to over 2,000 independent authors and publishers who participated in our 16th annual, 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards contest. Here are the results of this year’s awards, starting with the gold, silver and bronze medalists in our 74 National categories, followed by the Regional category medalists, our Outstanding Books of the Year, and for the first time, E-Book categories.
Gold (tie):Off the Menu: Staff Meals from America’s Top Restaurants, by Marissa Guggiana (Welcome Books) and Cook the Part: Delicious, Interactive and Fun Team Cooking, by Karin Eastham (Crosswalk Press)
Silver (tie):One World Vegetarian Cookbook, by Troth Wells (Interlink Books) and One Egg Is A Fortune: memories and recipes to share, by Pnina Jacobson & Judy Kempler (One Egg Is A Fortune)
Bronze (tie):Desserted: Recipes and Tales from an Island Chocolatier, by Kate Shaffer (Down East Books) and A Dash & a Dollop: Every Recipe Tells a Story, by Residents, Family Members and Staff (Atria Senior Living)
It’s been a great week in New York City enjoying great food at Bar Boulud, Esca, ABC Kitchen, Cafe Boulud and more. Restaurant reviews and pictures will be coming soon.
A highlight of the week was my interview on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius XM 110. Thank you to Brian and Betsy for the opportunity to be your guest on the show.
Go “like” Cook The Part on Facebook please!