Bon Appétit Management Company doesn’t generally cater outside the campuses where we have kitchens. But when CEO Fedele Bauccio was invited to give the keynote address at a very special awards ceremony held by the Association for Corporate Growth – Silicon Valley chapter (ACG-SV) at San Jose’s Computer Science History Museum, we couldn’t possibly let the 300 Silicon Valley CEOs and executives who were attending (many of them Bon Appétit clients) dine on anyone else’s food.
District Manager Markus Hartmann and Regional Operations Support Team Member Paula Nielsen took charge of the event, leading a SWAT team comprising Oracle Executive Chef Robbie Lewis, Oracle Executive Pastry Chef Ian Farrell, many other Silicon Valley cooks and supervisors, and an army of temporary servers. As if staging and feeding a three-course dinner in a museum with the tiniest of catering kitchens wasn’t challenging enough, Robbie and Ian were also cajoled into participating in a special 3D video shoot at Oracle that would be shown at the event to showcase some special new technology.
ACG-SV is one of Silicon Valley’s top business organizations, and the purpose of its 9th Annual GROW Awards was to recognize the “Fastest Growing Company” and the “Emerging Growth Company.” In a moment of serendipity, the winner of the Fastest Growing Company award turned out to be LinkedIn, which had just announced it was selecting Bon Appétit as its new food service provider.
The event went swimmingly. The 3D video, with its oranges whizzing at the audience, got many laughs as well as oohs and aahs. Barbara Holzapfel, a managing partner at Bon Appétit client SAP, introduced Fedele with generous compliments about the quality of SAP’s food and Bon Appétit’s industry leading efforts. Fedele’s speech about how Silicon Valley has led the way in corporate food service, and how its importance has evolved and grown over the decades, received a standing ovation.
Most importantly, the menu was spectacular by any measure —even more so for having been prepared offsite—and very well received.
“The food this year was absolutely tremendous — fresh, wonderfully flavored and certainly far better than any catered event I have attended in the recent past,” wrote attendee Cathryn S. Gawne to ACG-SV CEO Sally Pera after the event. “From the salad with the thinly sliced radishes to the array of desserts (and what’s better than an array of desserts?), every course created a dilemma — talk to one’s great tablemates, or dig into the wonderful food? My tablemates and I overachieved—we managed to do both.”