In June 2019, we travelled to Little Venice, Paddington, London for a very unusual breakfast meeting with CEO, Noel Wax of GroundSwell Group, a marketing company from Los Angeles. This was the start of our journey to London – The first city on our European Roadshow corporate culinary journey.
This was in response to this message from him some weeks before.
“…incredible temp experience/opportunity for Indian chef…We are looking for an Indian chef of Indian descent who will be our head chef for the tour preparing meals for 100 people in each city. We want someone with a great, fun, adventurous personality who also likes to travel”…
Following conference calls and discussions, Noel flew in to meet with us, and from a worldwide search of 12 potential candidates, Pure Punjabi were proud to be the company selected to deliver and head up the corporate culinary experience for an amazing roadshow across 10 European cities.
The roadshow would take place in the month of October 2019, with a campervan travelling across Europe.
- Week 1 starting in London, going on to Manchester.
- Then week 2, Madrid and Paris.
- Travelling on in week 3, to Berlin and Munich.
- Then week 4, Bornem and Amsterdam.
- Finishing the tour in week 5, in Stockhom and Helsinki.
Safia would be the head chef on tour, ensuring consistency and authenticity with Home-style Indian menu, for the Multi-national Indian client, Freshworks, based in California.
Here’s our journey starting in London.
Arrival at the venue
The first Freshworks European Roadshow, with GroundSwell Group, from Los Angeles kicked off at the amazing venue that is ZSL, London Zoo.
A unique and interesting setting for this corporate event, we were using the Prince Albert Suite, off the main kitchen and the terrace overlooking 36 acres of zoological gardens.
Meeting the kitchen team
The amazing Head/Executive Chef at ZSL London Zoo is Chef Gerald Aberdeen. He and his fantastic kitchen team couldn’t have been more supportive and engaged, allowing Chef Safia to enter their kitchen to head up the Indian Culinary Experience for this European Roadshow event.
Part of the experience that GroundSwell wanted for their client Freshworks, was to source and use local produce wherever possible so off we went on a scouting mission around the London markets for anything we could possibly use for extras or garnish.
Our meal kits
The delivery of the culinary experience had to be turned around over the five weeks, on the Tuesday and Thursday, with travel to and from the cities on a Sunday and Tuesday night.
When we had been interviewed by GroundSwell, who were still looking at a shortlist of 12 chefs from around the world, they had asked us how we thought we would be able to produce a menu to a high standard across the 10 cities, with the timelines being so tight and the logistical demands this might cause.
No problem at all we assured him as not only are we an authentic and traditional producer of hand made pure Garam Masala, but we are also an Indian Meal Kit producer. this means that every dish in our range was already prepared in sachets serving 4 people ready to finish with the addition of fresh ingredients in any commercial or domestic kitchen or corporate venue. We would simply produce our sachets in servings of 10 so that we could easily multiply up to their changing attendee numbers whether it be 100 or 200 or 300 attending.
Coupled with fantastic kitchens and kitchen teams supporting Chef Safia, food service went without a hitch. The set up and display of our traditional food was beautiful to see and the teams of servers were delightful.
We couldn’t have been prouder! The only sadness being that Grandmother Seso was not alive to see her food served at such venues.
The Venue – ZSL London Zoo
What a great venue selected as the first of the 10 European cities! This was further reinforced by Chef Gerald Aberdeen – it was a pleasure collaborating with him and his team, especially in such a beautiful and unique setting.
Freshworks, GroundSwell & Pure Punjabi
Freshworks were the client – a billion dollar multi-national Indian company that provides customer service software and automation tools for businesses.
GroundSwell are an innovative marketing agency based in Los Angeles.
Why were Freshworks and GroundSwell group doing the tour with us providing this culinary experience? To bring and showcase the vibrancy of India (and IDD – Indian Democratic Design) through great tasting, affordable, easy to prepare, scalable food prep that everyone can do!
Noel wax, CEO of GroundSwell said, “We are thrilled to be part of such an excited collaboration which brings together the best of the technology world, culinary insights and expertise and so much more to create a unique and engaging experience for Freshworks customers, partners and prospects”.
Pure Punjabi – We are a mother and daughter North Indian food events company and cookery school, maintaining and passing on the traditional culinary methods of our mothers home-style cooking, translated into the modern world. In the words of one of our customers. “They speak the language of Punjabi food, in English”.
Next city… Manchester…
After a full-on day at the London venue, Safia headed off the next morning to set up and prepare for the 2nd city on the European tour…Manchester. This was at fivefourstudios and you can get a quick read HERE