4 Ideas for Food-Focused Events

By Alesandra Dubin October 14, 2009, 9:00 AM EDT

Chef Robert Danhi leads walking tours of Little Saigon.

Photo: Robert Danhi

Working on a food-centric outing? Explore these four rental, cooking, tour, and gift options.

1. If you're bringing in a chef for an on-site demo, Town & Country Event Rentals is offering a new cooking demonstration table that provides a view for guests to watch the action. The set consists of a 3- by 6-foot swiveling plexiglass mirror that can be adjusted to various heights and a brushed steel frame with interlocking casters. The 6-foot by 30-inch table affords a large work area, and a shelf below can be used for storage during the cooking process. The unit rents for $295.

2. James Beard-nominated author Robert Danhi leads groups on walking tours of Little Saigon. The chef takes guests through markets, with stops to sample treats at small shops, and to a tofu factory for samples. The tour concludes at a local restaurant where Danhi will demonstrate a recipe from his book Southeast Asian Flavors: Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia & Singapore. At the end of the tour, participants receive one of the chef’s cookbooks. The ideal group size is fewer than 20 people to keep everyone together; larger groups can be accommodated in a modified format. Base price per person is $100 for the tour and includes a book, tastings, and a meal. Customized tours are possible.

3. For an international spin, Culver City Korean restaurant Gyenari offers catering and can conduct cooking demos at off-site events, too. Chef Debbie Lee—a recent finalist on The Next Food Network Star—can prepare her new “Seoulful” menus, as she calls them, that showcase old-world traditional Korean cuisine, alongside new contemporary dishes. Gyenari also offers special menus and dining packages for corporate groups and has a private dining room for 30 guests, equipped with flat-screen TVs and iPod-docking stations.

4. Help the group remember a food-focused event by sending them home with customized aprons from Davida Aprons. Solid aprons silkscreened in one color start around $8 with additional setup fees; embroidery runs about $12 with a setup fee and a minimum order of a dozen.

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