Corporations Cook Up Teamwork In The Kitchen

Suzie O’Rourke of Cooking by the Book believes that the kitchen is no longer a place for just homemakers and professional chefs. In fact, her culinary school has been opening their doors to businesses across the city.

Read the article on NY1 / Watch the NY1 video spot

Smells Like Team Spirit by Robert Klara

Joyce O’Neill’s eyes focus on her clipboard and then flicker up to scrutinize a room full of us participants as we shift in our chairs. For the moment, O’Neill is holding a pen; soon she’ll exchange that for a large carbon-steel knife. Nervous murmurs echo in the air.

Read the US Airways Magazine article (PDF)

Innovator’s Interview by Josh Kutticherry

Cooking by the Book offers highly customized, hands-on team cooking events for corporate customers who value social activities as a way to facilitate learning and team building. futurethink had the opportunity to sit down with founder Suzen O’Rourke. The interview offers insights about how large organizations might take lessons from this innovative entrepreneur.

Read the interview with futurethink (PDF)

Memo to the Team: This Needs Salt! by Eileen Daspin

Kathy Kane, a vice president of Nickelodeon, says she signed up her twelve-person marketing division for a Cooking by the Book session because she liked the idea of matching personality tests with culinary techniques… Just as survival simulation games and outdoor adventures courses were once popular team-building techniques, the kitchen exercises are supposed to foster trust and communications.

Read this Wall Street Journal featured article (PDF)

The Main Course by Aleksandrs Rozens

You can almost mistake the scene for a dinner party, albeit one where everyone seems a little more nervous about culinary technique…each course will be turned out by a separate team of four, allocated by the school’s chefs or “culinary advisors”…about an hour and half after they began, they put the final garnishes on their meal, they’re free to take up their glasses of wine again and sit down to enjoy their sumptuous repast. At the evening’s end, they’re allowed to leave without attending to the most onerous kitchen chore: the washing-up… The idea of getting people to work together around a host stove came to O’Rourke when she and her husband invited single friends to their apartment to cook. “Once I saw people working together I knew something more could happen,” she says. “The cutting board brings people to the same playing level.”

Read the full Reuters article (PDF)

Inside Out Promotions & Events

The culinary events reinforce the cooperative skills vital for successful business projects and strategies… Fortune 500 companies use CBTB for team training, celebrating with customers, and providing the ultimate in corporate parties… The range of culinary events include multi-course dinners, personalized wine tastings, and all day training workshops customized to meet the needs of your team.

Read the complete Men’s Health article (PDF)

Down (town) Home Cooking by Jane Flanagan

New Yorkers gather at Suzen O’Rourke’s loft in downtown TriBeCa for a home-cooked meal. The only trick is, they cook it themselves… Unlike most cooking classes where students receive a lecture or work in large, unwiedly masses that usually leave one poor sap pressed against the fridge, O’Rourke has them break into cozy groups of two to four people, each working with a professional chef to prepare different courses.

Read Jane Flanagan’s article (PDF)

Bonding Over the Stove by Sharon Hartwick

As Suzi O’Rourke’s guests arrived at her Tribeca loft on a recent weekday evening, she greeted each one. Those gathering at her “Cooking by the Book” session were not a group of would-be chefs or enthusiastic cooks necessarily, but 25 personal financial advisors from JP Morgan Chase. All were female executives except for the lone male, Andy Ireland, a senior vice president and sales executive for the company’s 350 financial advisors.

Read the article on Downtown Express

Corporate Cooking

Cooking By The Book owner / founder Suzen O’Rourke is featured in a piece on Corporate Cooking on NPR.

Listen to spot on National Public Radio