Award-winning recipes on the rise
We believe food is more than fuel for the body, it’s an opportunity to build community. We also believe community is built through friendly competition. So a combination of food and friendly competition seems like a winning recipe, right? Here at the Stone we regularly host kitchen “throw-downs” where our employees can show off their skills. One of our favorites is our annual chili cook-off, where six employees fire up their crock pots and concoct their favorite bean filled chilis. Our chili cook-off usually coincides with the week of Super Bowl so it’s an excellent way to exchange recipes before the big game. Although most are hesitant to share the secret in their sauce, last year’s winner took a canned chili combo approach to claim the crown by simply combining a variety of store bought chilis for the win.
Another cooking show-down we enjoy is our March Madness “dip off”. With the first tip-off of the college basketball games, our employees get to work crafting their favorite dips. Artichoke, sour cream and onion, garlic aioli, mango salsa, buffalo, spicy hummus, and bean dip are just a few inevitable crowd pleasers. For the first Company All Hands Meeting of 2015 in May, leadership thought it would be fun to host a themed after party. With the meeting so close to Cinco de Mayo we decided to cater Mexican food, margaritas, and host an employee Guac-Off. We turned our largest conference room into a prep station where individuals could create their own signature salsa or guacamole. Each guacamole and salsa was analyzed by an esteemed panel of judges (i.e. a few members of iSoftStone’s leadership team) to determine the top three winners for office bragging rights. Each winner even received a medal to commemorate their win. Following the themed Cinco de Mayo meeting, our second All Hand’s Meeting of 2015 came in October. Naturally, we were inclined to host a themed Oktoberfest after party. Food included a variety of bratwursts, sausage sliders, soft pretzels and dips, mashed potatoes, braised cabbage, and of course a variety of beers. Needless to say, iSoftStone Oktoberfest was a hit!
Although we love competition, that’s not the only way we come together over a meal. During the summer month we host bi-weekly barbecue lunches where we fire up the grills and dine on our deck overlooking Lake Washington. On a warm summer day there’s no better view. Every summer we host an Annual Company Picnic where we invite employees and their families to get together for food, games, and water activities. In the winter, we celebrate the holidays with a night of dining, drinking, and even dancing sometimes at our Annual Holiday Party. But not every meal is formally planned. We regularly round up the gang and head over to the Beach House Bar & Grill for a spontaneous happy hour. The bottom line is we love food and we love the community we build through sharing a meal.