Sharing food is an age-old bonding ritual, but preparing it can be intensely competitive. Which is why Bibby Gignilliat, the founder of Parties That Cook (www.partiesthatcook.com), thinks an event involving both is the perfect way to whip up a more cohesive company.
Gignilliat organizes culinary team-building events in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco for employees of American Express, Yahoo and other firms. Recently some 100 Barclays Global Investors executives crossed paring knives at a seaside Ritz-Carlton hotel, tasked with whipping up dishes like prosciutto and Gruyère filled puff pastries. Barclays managing director Paul Sacks credits the event with helping him bond with a London-based colleague he'd never met. "The competition broke the ice," Sacks says. "I was doing a lot of work with his group, and now it's much easier to call him when a tricky issue comes up."