Allrecipes knows how to throw a party and I’m happy to say that I was invited. They graciously invited all of the Allstar Ambassadors to fly to Seattle and join them in celebrating their 15th year of providing a home for home cooks on the internet.
Paul and I flew out a day early so that we could do the tourist thing before my Allrecipes activities began. Our quick visit back in April left us with a list of things we still wanted to see and do.
As fast as we could check our bags at the hotel we hit Pike Place Market. Ever since our last trip I had been dreaming of the seafood bisque at Pike Place Chowder. Now listen close cause this is important. If you are anywhere near Seattle, hit this place up. It’s life changing, earth shaking, kiss your mama, good chowder. I’m not sure where the kiss your mama part came from but I like it.
Excuse the iPhone photos, I was more concerned about swilling chowder than I was about pulling out the Nikon.
There was still room for a little more so we went inside the market and picked up a prawn cocktail from one of the many fish counters.
Can you say “inhaled”?
The next day we headed out for a little fun.
First on our list of things to do. We jumped on the Monorail that takes you on a short jaunt over to the Space Needle. It’s just so iconic we had to see it. Here is Paul, not looking at the famous landmark. There are lots of other less well known, but wonderful things to do nearby so it’s definitely worth the trip.
And the Monorail is fun…weeeeeeeeee!!!!
The Pacific Science Center is located adjacent to the Space Needle and currently houses the King Tut Exhibit. I thought this statue was particularly beautiful. This was a nice indoor activity for a cool morning.
We exited the Tut Exhibit and walked right over to Chihuly Glass and Gardens, a completely awe inspiring exhibit of the work of famed glass artist, Dale Chihuly.
There is an indoor exhibit, dimly lit and utterly gorgeous.
This glass atrium leads the way to the outdoor gardens which are filled with more beautiful works that just appear to sprout from the ground.
Time to move on. There’s more to consume.
We headed back over to a restaurant near Pike Place Market called The Pink Door. This place was on my hit list and for good reason. I loved everything about it from the charming decor, to the outdoor patio overlooking Puget Sound, to the amazing menu. I had the Caesar salad with crab (unbelievable) and Paul had the meatball panini. Go there if you get the chance.
That evening we did a little bit of this…
and a little bit of that.
Then, it was time to get down to business. Allrecipes business.
Early the next morning our day started at Allrecipes headquarters, and the gang’s all here. That’s Jennifer Baker of House of Frolic and Mirth, there in the front row taking a picture of me, taking a picture of her. We do that kind of thing a lot. She was one of the lovely ladies who I was thrilled to meet and work with back in April when we filmed the McCormick Gourmet videos.
Here is William gearing us up for the day while at the same time managing somehow to get laughs out of a large group of very tired ladies. William, I think you may have missed your calling as a stand up comedian. His session was called Allrecipes Culture Camp. What the heck is that? Let me explain.
We learned about the company ideals and practices, which pass from the employees of Allrecipes right out through the internet to its entire community of users. Allrecipes culture is why every single employee I encountered seemed so happy and satisfied with their job and it is also why we were there. Collaboration, risk taking, promoting growth and empowerment. They take this stuff seriously. Seriously enough to fly 70 of us from all over the country to Seattle to take part in this event.
I feel like this chart embodies everything I feel about myself in the kitchen. I am a home cook. Not a chef, not a professional, not a gourmet. I don’t relate to those terms at all.
The remainder of our day was spent in sessions like Business Intelligence, Video, Public Relations, Social Media, and several other areas of great interest to us all. It was a fun and extremely informative day.
Now, I believe it’s time for a party.
After a short break, we returned to find cocktails flowing from this customized Allrecipes ice sculpture. Some sort of yummy, creamy, orange concoction. The dangerous kind.
The chefs busy as can be whipping up all kinds of delicious party food. Yes, we can call these folks chefs.
Servers made the rounds with trays of deliciousness like these little bites of macaroni and cheese.
There was also a constant supply of goodies being placed on this conference table. Here is another of my fellow McCormick video cohorts, Nelly (aka Latina Cook), helping herself.
One of the most exciting aspects of this trip was that the people behind the scenes wanted our input. Here are Jennifer and I discussing some of the features of the site with Kelly Kolb, Vice President of Product. I know he has an important job because he can say things like “consider it done”. Don’t you love that?
Here we are being shown a flip book and being convinced to don ridiculous accessories and props and make fools of ourselves to obtain one. Which, of course, most of us did.
This great group of ladies is showing us all how it’s done. Melissa Goff, Keri Palladino-Warner, and Bri Smith.
Then Kelly, aka My Sweet Creations, took her turn with her adorable daughter while everyone nearby said, aaaawwwww!!!
There was a raffle with all kinds of prizes ranging from oven mitts, to gift cards, to a video camera, and small kitchen appliances. Ivory Harvey had the honor of announcing the winners in her completely unique way.
The girls! Lillian Russo of My Recipe Journey, myself, and Jennifer.
It appears that Jen Evison and Cory Vicens of Allrecipes are busy at work even in the midst of the celebration. Hard workin’ ladies.
On the far left is super cute and super sweet, Kellie Cannon of the West Coast region. Next to her are Dawn Gerharz Logterman, Carol Castellucci Miller, Penny Hanstad, Allrecipes’ Elizabeth Martin, and Debbie Hendrix.
Thanks to Jennifer for taking this shot of me with the famous Michael Ketchum of What’s Cooking fame. Can someone hand me a little powder and some lipstick? It’s been a long day.
A good time was had by all.
I can’t thank the staff of Allrecipes enough for their generosity in sharing their knowledge, expertise, and their celebration of 15 great years with us. It will take some time for this experience to wear off. I loved every minute of it.
Questions and Reviews
You did such a great job showing all the things you did, seems like we were right there with you.You deserve the honor of being invited to this, so nice of you to share.
Wow, this looks like it was an amazing trip! The costume time must have been a hoot! And that seafood chowder looks really good.
I was waiting for this post! Thanks for sharing Valerie! Sounds like you had an awesome time there and Allrecipes people seem very fun and nice. I love Seattle – I can’t wait to go back there in the near future. =)
After a trip like this I have to ask how long you’ll be on cloud 9? 🙂 How fun! Your tour of Seattle, the Allrecipes conference – it all looks “like a blast!” I’m envious of the Dale Chihuly exhibit. I did see it once but I can’t get enough of his glass! I’m not a collector, except for pieces of colored glass. Love it! The picture of you and Michael is great! Thanks for sharing you experience!
Great post. Good memories! I never did get to Pike Place Chowder. Oh well , I’ll have to go back some day : )
I really enjoyed reading your story. It was such an awesome trip and you tell it so well. I agree with Lillian I want to see the glass garden. I wanted to ride the monorail and never got to it glad to hear it was fun.
There are always more things to do than time permits! Great reason to go back 🙂
It was great to meet you Valerie, your overview of the events, the slides you captured tell it all. I too, need another visit to this beautiful city to check a few more things off of my classic tourist list! And oh my goodness, those little mac&cheese spoon bites were just exquisite!
Thanks Laurie. It was great to meet you too. Let’s do it again!
Looks like you had such a blast!
Very well done! I love your commentary! It was a glorious celebration!
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet you Marianne!
Looks like you had a great time! It was so much fun 🙂 Great pics.
Great blog post!!! It was so nice being in Seattle with you again! So much fun! The glass garden is going on my list of places to see…amazing pics!!! And thanks for the plug! (((HUGS)))
It was great to see you again Lillian. I really enjoyed our dinner at Steelhead. Great ladies and great conversation.
Thank you for sharing. This was an amazing adventure, wasn’t it? So glad to have met you.
Penny, it was so great to finally meet you in person. I only wish I’d had more time to talk longer. It was a bit overwhelming meeting so many at all once!