A Holiday Cooking Adventure

AB cooks up some virtual Holiday Spirit (and also fish!)

We weren’t going to let COVID-19 get in the way of our annual holiday party. But because we couldn’t go to a restaurant, we all cooked and dined together via Zoom at ‘Chez Our Own Homes.’

Like most organizations, Ayni Brigade was forced to spend most of 2020 holding meetings behind a computer screen. Although we appreciated the chance to spend many days in sweatpants, we missed interacting with people other than our immediate families. ᅠ

With our annual holiday event off the table (we usually book a room at a fun restaurant and gather around a big family table to share a meal), we didn’t want to just do a standard “Zoom cocktail party.” So we aimed to find a Zoom activity that everyone could participate in—an activity felt like something new and different after a year of limply holding up beer bottles and forgetting to unmute ourselves.

We like to interact; we like to create; and, let’s be real, we like to eat. So a companywide cooking event seemed like a no-brainer. After the groans of ‘But I can’t cook!’ subsided, we took the Venmo payments that Ayni Brigade had sent us and began buying our ingredients.

Our cofounders Mark and Sherry guided us through a very lively group-cooking experience making sole meunière, fingerling potatoes, and a holiday crumble. And thanks to the double-edged sword of Zoom events, the family members who have been making cameos in meetings throughout the pandemic were promoted to co-stars, making the event one that really allowed the group to connect in a way that we hadn’t been able to for quite some time.

That evening was a great reminder of everything that we love about Ayni Brigade: a place filled with individuals who genuinely care about the success of Ayni Brigade and about all of the individuals on our team—each of whom cares as much about giving professional support as they do about making sure that everyone knows the best way to distribute sugar over a crumble.