In our hands-on corporate cooking team building events it seems everyone wants to be a MasterChef. The TV show has created a multitude of budding foodies who want to learn to cook, be the top dog, and be the chef who goes on Dancing with the Stars. Is it really possible to use competitive cooking to develop team spirit, or is it just individuals trying to gain a step up and be seen and be noticed?

Teamwork - team building cooking - VictorsFoodIn our MasterChef Challenge team building cooking events, we measure success in team spirit, team involvement, and team bonding. We can tell a lot about a team by how they act in one of our cooking team building events. If they run for the bar throughout the event, or say “Oh, I just can’t handle taking the intestine out of prawns”, or refuse to wash their knife and cutting board, we know then and there that they are not going to help carry their team forward to success. But how do we implement competition in cooking to help them see the parallels to their corporate lives and their task at hand? How do you channel competitive energy into team spirit?

First it’s all about drawing out the metaphors. For example, if you have a project to deliver, you’ll need to do your mise en plus (a classic French cooking term that roughly means “everything in its place”). Basically this is about developing a work plan, reading the recipes, preparing the ingredients, staying clean and focused. Do what feels good and put your passion into it, but don’t try to be Heston Blumenthal.

Then, it’s about getting each team focussed on the outcome, but reminding them that the process (cooking) has to be managed well for the outcome to be successful. Ultimately, winning the MasterChef Challenge doesn’t happen at the point of judging, it happens throughout the event.

Teamwork - MasterChef team building cooking - VictorsFood
Finally, it’s about making the feedback positive. What worked? What was good about the way the teams worked together? While only 1 team may be the ‘winner’ as far as the ‘Best Food’, there are lots of aspects that can be acknowledged. And, everyone IS a winner when they get to sit and enjoy the feast they’ve cooked together.

With this type of focus and encouragement from the VictorsFood chefs, our clients excel at being the best chefs-for-a-day and  succeed in finding a strong bond with their team of budding chefs. When a team contributes, puts out great food and enjoys the whole process we know they can deliver the goods at work, whether it’s IT, Sales and Marketing, Administration or any function. They now can be the MasterChefs of their company, ‘cooking up’ great results.