Originally posted 2011-12-27 23:59:00.
It all started while I was sitting in a hot tub with my husband, way back at the start of 2008. I was telling him how I was tired of working for other people and that it seemed I was always running around in the heat, schlepping materials for sales calls for a micromanaging boss. I was going nowhere fast and I just wasn’t happy. With years of experience in business to business sales along with my extensive hospitality experience, I was trying to figure out the perfect job.
Except it didn’t exist.
So, back to the hot tub. As my husband and I discussed the pros and cons of quitting my dead end job in the bubbles, I decided in one of the worst economic years of the decade to go out on my own and TEACH COOKING CLASSES!!! YES! My love of food and teaching along with my experience in hospitality, entertaining skills, sales and marketing would all combine for my new venture.
But I needed a catchy name? My nickname while bartending at an upscale Sydney restaurant was “La Diva,” I asked my husband, “What about ‘The Diva Kitchen’ in Italian?” I am Italian-American with an Italian last name. La Diva Cucina….it rolled off my tongue….Laura Lafata is La Diva at La Diva Cucina! I LIKED IT!
So, I did everything legally to register my business, started thinking of classes I would focus on and what “the people” my customers would want to learn and eat, how I would market my business and threw myself into it FULL SPEED AHEAD. I had a spiffy logo and cards designed by a talented friend who worked at an ad agency in Sydney. I decided to show people that I could cook and entertain, I would throw a launch party at the condo where we lived and invited all of our friends and neighbors. It was a success and I got a few bookings out of it, but most importantly, I got credibility. I COULD cook and ENTERTAIN!
But, trying to book consumer cooking classes was VERY SLOW that first year. As time went on, I began to get inquiries about another service, corporate cooking classes or “team building” as it was called. With my extensive experience in B2B sales, it was a natural fit. I was comfortable talking to corporate clients and knew their language. I changed my primary business from consumer cooking classes to corporate cooking classes and that’s when La Diva Cucina really took off! (I still really love to throw bachelorette and birthday parties too!)
As food television became more popular in 2011, I was sought out to audition for a variety of tv shows including the Food Network’s “Next Food Network Star,” “Master Chef” and “The Taste” on ABC starring Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson. It was a tough and heart-wrenching time, one minute you were up in the stars, the next, you found you were cut from the audition, devastated. I was approached to do my own show and to make a sizzle reel by a Los Angeles talent scout, but decided that television was not for La Diva and I went back to focusing my efforts on securing high-end corporate clients.
To date, I’m proud to say that I’ve had some of the most wonderful team buildings with fabulous clients including Apple Computers, Cisco Systems, Oliver Wyman, World Fuel Services, H & M, just to name a few. La Diva Cucina also offers corporate team buildings in hotels through meeting and event planners as well.
But La Diva wouldn’t be ANYTHING without the amazing people I get to work with, teach and entertain as part of my team building business. Thank you to all who have hired me and worked with me to make La Diva Cucina a viable business.
For more information on how La Diva Cucina can throw a tasty, fun and engaging event for your team, family or friends, click HERE to contact me! Thank you for eight years!
Originally posted 2016-08-10 19:32:53.
Gary is A BOSS on the wok as he flips stir fried shrimp in a garlic honey sauce!
Statoil ASA, is a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Stavanger, Norway. It is a fully integrated petroleum company with operations in thirty-six countries. The Bahamian and Connecticut crew gathered in Miami in August to partake in a La Diva Cucina team building with the object for guests to socialize together. The culinary team building would take the place of a group meal as well as being educational and fun.
Guests were greeted upon arrival with platters of North African chicken skewers with yogurt lemon tahini sauce, spicy Thai meatballs in a sweet chile glaze and Italian potato rosemary parmesan frittata. Soon after, everyone jumped into making a Mediterranean and Asian-style appetizers including Pad Thai summer rolls using Vietnamese rice paper wraps.
NOPE, NO FUN WAS HAD HERE!
La Diva Cucina GOES ON PREMISE to Accenture HQ for an intimate Friday Happy Hour class! Accenture is a multinational management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. Its incorporated headquarters have been in Dublin, Ireland and the Miami office boasts staff from the world over.
Accenture hired La Diva Cucina for a “Happy Hour” team building to show appreciation for their staff in a fun and unique way allowing them to mingle, relax and be entertained.
For their event, guests learned to make Cuban tostones (twice fried green plantains) with a garlic mojo sauce and created their own beef picadillo empanadas which they enjoyed with Brazilian caiprinhas, enhancing the global trend for the class. Recipes and FUN come with every La Diva Cucina event!
If you’d like to do an engaging and fun event for your company, please fill out the contact form below TODAY![contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Originally posted 2015-08-27 18:39:33.
The juice from the sugar cane is extracted using a machine, she puts the cane through, the juice comes out of the spigot and the cane is left flattened and dry.
The Upper Eastside Farmers Market is on Biscayne Boulevard at 65th Street at Legion Park from 9am til 2pm.
Originally posted 2014-04-19 16:10:00.
The art show that started it all is called Art Basel and it all began in Basel, Switzerland where have their show annually, as well as in Hong Kong. From what I’ve heard, ol’ Basel is quite boring compared to what goes on in Miami, though! Besides the art, Miami is THRIVING with parties, pop up restaurants, bars and events all with the backdrop of a beautiful beach setting including palm trees, sand and blue waves.
Every year my husband, The DJ, and I play a game of “What’s going to be the common thread?” In years past I’ve seen trends based on medium and subject matter, as if there is some sort of global synergy or intuition amongst artists the world over.
This year was no exception. I noticed:
Top and lower right: Artist Lee Downey. Carved fossilized walrus tusks, black jet stone with turquoise inlays. Porcelain skull by Katsuyo Aoki.
Originally posted 2013-12-20 02:09:00.