MTR: You also cook for your executive committee. Why does getting together over a home-cooked meal help with a high-level business conversation as opposed to doing it at a restaurant?
Patrick: I think it builds great camaraderie. When you're at a restaurant, it's very formula-driven. Come in, sit down, get your drink, get your food, have a conversation, get out the door. When we do these dinners at home, for the first hour and half we're often standing around the kitchen, there's cooking going on, people are having appetizers, we're eating, we're talking, you're not just talking to the people to the right and the left of you because people are able to mingle and walk around. And then we sit down, at two different instances, for a primi and a secondi, and people sit with different people.
I think the planning that I have to put into that is something that's noticed on even a subconscious level, that there's a lot of love and caring and passion that goes into that. And people just sense that, and when they leave an evening of a dinner like that, there's an afterglow that you just don't get at a restaurant.