This past week the Alta Editions crew had the privilege of sharing our first digital cookbook with colleagues from our corporate headquarters in Berlin, Germany. Over 30 employees turned out to cook a selection of recipes from the Laurent Gras: My Provence eBook. The event was held at the colorful Kulinarischer Salon in the beautiful Charlottenburg neighborhood of West Berlin.
Planning this event from New York was no simple task. The number of Berlin cooking salons was about as limited as my German language skills and my original plan to cook twenty-five dishes was quickly cut down to sixteen. Thankfully with help from our German communications department, we were able to divide the employees into teams and translate all of the ingredients for the wonderful staff at Kulinarischer Salon to purchase at the local Kaiser grocery store.
Finally the day had come. Four teams of digital marketers, app developers, product managers and designers went to work carefully preparing a salad, starter, main course and dessert from the Provence-inspired cookbook. As the teams raced (and disagreed) over the first pick of ingredients and dibs on one of the two ovens, it became clear that this cooking event would not be as seamless as I had originally envisioned...
Questions about the implementation of some of chef Gras' more complicated techniques began to paint an ominous picture over my idea of what would be a wonderful, stress-free event. Luckily after a few successful salad preparations and some glasses of French wine even the most cooking-challenged members of our staff were making culinary magic! For six hours the kitchen was filled with wonderful aromas and abuzz with the sounds of knives chopping, pans frying and nonstop laughing. By the end of the evening every group completed their assigned dishes with the only two mishaps being a spilled Chocolate Tart and an over salted Crabe Toulonnaise. The event turned out to be a great success not only for team building but also for providing us with delicious food to enjoy together.