Cooking is now one of the most popular themes in team building. It started to trend about ten years ago and it was probably inspired by the boom in TV cooking shows. Initially it was quite difficult to organise because hotels and venues didn’t really understand how it worked and were not keen to allow cooking on site. Now, however, most hotels are familiar with it and they realise that it is very professionally organised with no risk.
We have several variations on the cooking theme. We have Cuisine Team, which is very flexible and can be organised on any theme. This was our original event. One of the themes that came up a lot was Chinese cooking and we devised our own event called Team Wok. This goes beyond just cooking and into decoration and Chinese tradition. A further theme developed into its own event is Sushi Making with our Sumptuous Sushi event. This is an ideal team building event because the tasks are very specific, although the outcome is based on quality and not quantity – we don’t want you hurrying and falling foul of the sharp Sushi knives!
We launched British Bake Off because TV baking shows took off and baking is an ideal team building activity. In the sweet department, though, there can only be one champion. Our Chocolate Making event has been running for eight years and has delighted thousands of participants in that time. It’s a real ‘take home’ skill and we like to think that many people have been making their own chocolates since they experienced it.
The ‘take home’ skill is a real benefit of team building events based on cooking. Skills are learned that will last and there is a real sense of achievement for many participants. Teams can eat what they have created, so there is a feeling that there’s a point to what they are doing. The practice of feasting to mark occasions is also an ancient human tradition, so if you want to mark an occasion or celebrate something cooking followed by a feast is the perfect choice.