Though she has mastered the complexities of social networking, [Randi] Zuckerberg, the former marketing director of Facebook and widely known as Sister of Mark, the company’s founder and CEO, she is a busy working mom who prefers grilling over gourmet.
While there’s a lot she can learn from a guy like [Creative Lounge guest and gourmet chef, Michael] Mina, there’s also a lot that he can learn from her as he tries to expand his social media presence.
Which is why Zuckerberg invited him and a select group of friends to her backyard in Los Altos last week, under a bright Silicon Valley sky, as the latest installment of her informal salons called Creative Lounge.
"As I’ve traveled around, I meet really inspiring people outside the Silicon Valley community who are always talking about what they want to do (in) digital, and I often think how great would it be to introduce these people to the bright minds in Silicon Valley," Zuckerberg said. "So when they are in town, I started hosting events where they can meet 20 to 30 top minds around here."
The first gathering she hosted was in April, in her Hamptons-esque open kitchen and den area, with singer and actress Mandy Moore. The setting and positive feedback got Zuckerberg thinking she should expand the Creative Lounge menu to include others who are comfortable in the kitchen.
"Food is inherently social," Zuckerberg said. "Chef Mina is all about innovative cuisine, and he’s now thinking about ways to take that innovation online." This culinary-themed Creative Lounge followed gatherings with former head of the UN World Food Program, Josette Sheeran, who spoke about food and decor; an evening with “Glee’s” Darren Criss, who sang a song from “Aladdin” with Zuckerberg (she sang a cappella at Harvard and has her own band called Feedbomb); a living room chat and manicures with Zooey Deschanel and Sophia Rossi (founders of hellogiggles.com); and an afternoon sipping rosé wine with Jessica Alba. …
"As we sample Chef Mina’s food tonight, let’s all brainstorm on what he should be doing and thinking about in the digital space," Zuckerberg told the crowd, which included foodies like Randi’s sister Donna, who runs a baking blog called Sugar Mountain Treats; Abby Sturges, co-founder of Culture Kitchen; Emily Olson, co-founder of Foodzie; and top tech executives like Twitter’sElizabeth Weil; Zem Joaquin, founder and CEO of Ecofabulous, and her husband, James (founder of Ofoto and now a partner at Catamount Ventures); Angie Chang, co-founder of Women 2.0; Meshin founder Kristen Galliani; ex-Facebook couple Natalie and Bob Trahan (now CEO of Phacility); and Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s director of platform and partnerships.
Zuckerberg’s friend Brit Morin, founder and CEO of Brit & Co., a lifestyle website, said it’s the scale of Creative Lounge that allows for real and meaningful conversations. “Everyone in the valley often communicates as if they are in a bubble - it’s all about the stock prices, who is going public and which startups are being funded,” Morin said. “There is a bigger world out there.” …