“This is absolutely the best thing we can do together in current circumstances, wow!”
”Many thanks for tonight! I haven’t done anything like that before and really enjoyed it!
“The best company Christmas party ever! My children helped with the cooking and our whole family enjoyed the party together”
Company Christmas parties are a great tradition – it’s so much fun to gather up, have dinner together and get into the whole christmassy mood. However, just like many other companies, this year we had to ponder what to do with the party. Would it be possible to arrange a Christmas party at all due to the COVID-19 situation?
The closer we got to the end of the year, the clearer it was that this year a traditional party simply was not an option. However, we definitely wanted to do something together, and as we had been working remotely and using Zoom on a daily basis throughout the year already, it was only natural that we decided to do something there in the Tamturbo Touch-Free way, but what? An excellent idea came from one team member: Why don’t we get a Chef to instruct us and enjoy cooking and dinner together!
Where to find a virtual chef?
Originally, the idea of getting a virtual chef sounded simple and we basically thought that many of the chefs that arrange live cooking lessons, could arrange a Zoom lesson as well. However, it turned out that this wasn’t quite this simple and it took some Googling and calls before we could find the right person. Luckily, we found the wonderful Pasi Kuronen from Liemi & Linssi. He was right away up for the challenge and started designing the menu for us. We decided to go with a three-course menu with a meat or vegetarian variant as the main course.
How to arrange the delivery of groceries?
Then to the question of how to arrange the delivery of the groceries and drinks. Most of our people live in the Pirkanmaa region, so we contacted a local grocery store Ruokakeidas in Ylöjärvi and asked if they could arrange the delivery of groceries to our people, some of them living nearly 100 km apart. Without hesitation they said they’d do it. We just sent them a shopping list and they promised to deliver the groceries to all our people in the Pirkanmaa region on the day of the party. For our people living outside Finland, we sent a shopping list of groceries and they did the shopping themselves. In fact, we had people join the party from five countries and two continents.
On the Christmas Party day, Ruokakeidas delivered the groceries to the nearly 30 people we have living in Pirkanmaa. Regardless of the somewhat challenging weather that day, they managed to deliver all the groceries to the recipients in time.
The participants were advised to do some food preparations (some peeling and chopping) in advance so that we could get right to the cooking part when the party started. With the great instructions from our Chef Pasi (in both Finnish and English), we prepared the three-course menu together. Once we had the starters ready, we took some time to enjoy them, and then continued with the main course and desert. The level of the menu was perfect, there were some new “tricks” for those who were into cooking already, but the menu was easy enough for beginners as well.
How to teach 35 people to cook via Zoom?
Our Chef, Pasi, arranged the session using four cameras: he had one camera for a general view, a camera for a bird’s-eye view and cameras for the chopping board and stove. This way the cooking experience was very thorough and it was easy to follow the instructions because you could see clearly what was going on at each point. Doing this with only one camera would have been totally different.
During the cooking session, if people had questions or comments, they used the chat or just “shouted out”. Even though not all the food turned out to look exactly the same as the ones done by Chef Pasi, everything tasted delicious and we enjoyed the dinner very much. After the cooking and dining was over, many of use stayed online in Zoom and continued the party with conversation and music up until late night.
Well how did it go?
The virtual party turned out to be a success and we were able to have a wonderful time together remotely and safely from our own homes. Many of us had their family join them in the cooking and dining, and it was great to see how excited everybody was about the cooking. It was wonderful to experience the Tamturbo team spirit in the party and see how enjoying time together clearly recharged the batteries of each and every one of us.
A big thanks to Chef Pasi Kuronen, Ruokakeidas and of course, the one and only Tamturbo team who made this unforgettable party happen!
You can download the menu and shopping list of the party in English or Finnish below: