Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cooking Your Way into a Great Rolodex

Many of you know I love to cook -- being the Chef-de-Cuisine is not only a fun activity but incredibly productive for business networking.

On Saturday evening I catered a private dinner for 12 at the home of a highly regarded CFO in SoCal. The guests were people in business of influence within his circle of contacts. My role -- cook. I prepared an Autumn menu using fall harvest ingredients including basil, spinach, lamb, bacon, baby greens, potatoes, late season vegetables and a variety of cheeses. The hit of the evening was my acorn squash soup with bacon. I could go on about the food (just cause I am such a tireless foodie) but the point in this article is creating relationships.

At this event I met and connected with a partner-of-influence at Deloitte, a political consultant that could help me gain a seat on a State commission and the CFO at one of SoCal's most successful nutritional supplement companies. As the Chef-de-Cuisine I had a captive audience and everyone begging for recipes -- the perfect recipe for initiating great relationships with people I need to know!

The lesson here is not that you should learn to cook. The lesson is that we need to find new and interesting ways to connect with people. Doing what we love can be fun and productive!

I served dessert (sweet corn blintzes with sauteed apples and bacon bits) at 9:30PM. The last guests left at 2:00AM -- I think the evening was a complete success!

What do you LOVE to do that you can share!