Diary: Believe it: Ketchum’s office smells better than yours

Ketchum can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan - and has the facilities to prove it.

Ketchum can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan - and has the facilities to prove it.

Ketchum can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan - and has

the facilities to prove it.



The firm’s San Francisco office, along with Dreamworks, Pillsbury,

Pacific Bell, Inductors and a Kentucky elementary school, were recent

recipients of the ’Cool Corporate Kitchen’ award from Food.com, which

recognized each of the organizations for the warmth, coziness and

originality of their kitchens.



But Ketchum’s Food Center is more than a place where employees go to

reheat last night’s pasta. It’s a professional kitchen in which the

agency tests and develops recipes to find a gastronomic killer app for

its clients, thus giving the phrase ’slaving over a hot stove’ a whole

new meaning. For the record, the firm defines ’killer app recipe’ as one

in which a client’s product becomes integral, resulting in increased

product usage and sales.



’We bring the food in, cook it, taste it and think about what you can do

with it, and then think about the target audience,’ says Sandy Hu, SVP

and director of the Food Center. ’If you’re going to do food PR, you

have to have a kitchen.’



The Food Center also houses a library of cookbooks, a

temperature-controlled wine cellar and a prop room for food styling. In

addition to tracking trends and conducting focus-group research, the

firm has developed recipes for commercial and home use (which can be

found at www.recipe.com).



While Ketchum employees sometimes get to sample the food, they mainly

enjoy it from afar. SVP of human resources Wendy Atkins Pattenson says

that ’bizarre odors’ sometimes emanate from the Food Center, but adds

that she has picked up more than her share of chicken and pasta

recipes.



In any case, here’s hoping that somebody is cleaning out the fridge

before the Food Center closes down for the weekend.



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