Turn up the heat with corporate speed-dating

A new recipe for a tasty evening out: take some business types, add some cookery and hope for love...

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Multi-taskers: drop that unfinished tweet and fork for a second. If you're just too busy with work these days to sort out the rest of your life, there’s a new kind of night out that may be just for you. It takes business people and gets them cooking together - while speed-dating. How very modern.

The idea behind the evenings, held monthly by London cookery workshop Venturi’s Table, is that singletons get to know each other while slugging down wine and slaving over a hot stove together (for eight minutes at a time), before sitting down to eat their hard-earned Italian meal at the end. And for the spicy twist: the lonely hearts are all pulled from the corporate world.

Now that may sound like a classic case of over-egging the pudding. But perhaps it’s the perfect way to sort out your next deal, your love life and the evening’s dinner all at the same time. (If only they'd put on season five of The Wire afterwards - you could have your whole to-do list ticked off by the time you've finished the cheese board.)

Venturi’s Table usually hosts corporate team-building, so it insists that its monthly ‘Love at first bite’ bash is not just any old speed-dating event - its client list includes the likes of Deloitte, BP, PwC, GSK, Tesco and Barclays. MD Anna Venturi describes the daters as ‘highly eligible and professional’ but ‘time-poor’. So be warned: if your ideal dinner-table chat is more the Brits than the British economy, or if you prefer the Metro to the FT, or if you'd rather eat your toenails than hang out with a City type who spends half the night on the BlackBerry, you may be better off hunting for love elsewhere.

Nonetheless, it got us thinking – perhaps Venturi’s Table has tapped into a whole new market for lonely multi-tasking professionals. The possibilities are endless. What about speed-budgeting, where you suss out prospective partners while solving the UK’s £178bn deficit? Or speed-banker-bashing, where you get a minute each to slag off Fred Goodwin? Or speed-Twittering, where you see how many times you can tweet about the person across the table in 60 seconds without actually talking to them? It's only a matter of time.

Venturi's Table ‘Love at first bite’ cookery speed dating events take place on the second Monday of every month. Contact 020 8875 7488 or love@venturis-table.com for more details.

In today's bulletin:

RBS faces bonus backlash as losses hit £3.6bn
Slump in business investment hits recovery hopes
British Gas feels the heat as profits jump nearly 60%
Ganging up to get a better deal
Turn up the heat with corporate speed-dating

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