Building - Cooking
The old adage, “If
you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen” has no place
in Team building.
COOKING AT SEA LEGGS
Cooking, a recent innovation in the field of team building
activities, provides a unique challenge and a significant
opportunity for organisations and individuals alike.
to work together to produce exotic and unfamiliar gourmet
meals, using techniques and ingredients entirely new to most.
No prior experience necessary. For those with little or no
cooking experience this can be daunting. For those who think
they know how to cook, even more so!
It's not about how
much you know it's about producing a Team result. The old
adage, “If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen”
has no place in Team building.
Forging a team around
the cook stove (or campfire) is fun, natural, effective, intuitive
and essential to our nature (cooking is probably one of humankind's
first group activities, after hunting and gathering and certainly
a reward for all your hard work)
Cooking a gourmet meal
for 10 to 15 people requires and builds teamwork.
Cooking as a team
develops service to others, close cooperation, planning skills,
good communication, quality performance, leadership, consensus
and attention to detail.
New techniques, ingredients
and tools present opportunities for learning and innovation.
For both the uninitiated and the experienced cook, it is a
challenge requiring full focus, openness to constructive criticism,
constant learning, and most importantly, teamwork.
Each course is designed
specifically to meet the needs and objectives of the team.
The course Menus includes Asian, European, Classic French,
Contemporary, Indian, Wok and Noodle quick productions and
The first task is for
the group to choose the menu from the options provided. The
group decides by consensus. Individual tastes and habits are
balanced against the need to find common ground (The Menu)
and to take the risk of the unknown.
The menus offered are
based on the degree of cooking experience of the group, to
provide a challenging learning experience, to take the group
into new territory, to stretch whatever culinary skills they
may have; and to teach the fundamental truth: the team won't
get through this unless it works together.
There is no room for
"prima donnas" in this kitchen. Secondly, the strategy for
the meal will be developed and documented by the group. This
will cover the resources, labour, and schedule required.
Each member will receive
the selected menu and instructions prior to the cooking program.
The group will study the material, and begin to understand
the process and how best to distribute and perform tasks.
This stage is monitored to observe and record group dynamics
and the allocation of team duties and responsibilities.
Trust and confidence
in the ability of the team to accomplish the task is essential.
After all, you or your colleagues will eat what your team
has prepared. Concerns, uncertainties, and any questions will
be shared openly and dealt with throughout the course.
The goal is for the
group to become a team, to discover new facets and ways of
working together; to establish a team in an environment where
everyone starts out at zero, as equals, i.e., no one knows
how to do this.
The end result is a
sumptuous meal for everyone's enjoyment, the fulfillment of
a new and challenging task completed, and a chance to evaluate
the meal, the process and the learning that has taken place.
At its best, this experience
can affect and improve the daily work of the team. It depends
on the group to take all that it can from this learning environment.
Cooking is performance
art, where finite time, labour, and resources are tightly
choreographed to produce an excellent result on time.
The group will learn
to work as a team, set aside normal roles, plan carefully,
cooperate closely, ask for and give help as needed, deal with
mistakes and adjust quickly, and follow the strategy, the
recipes and instructions.
We are not going to
make production chefs out of the team, but we are going to
lead the team through the process, and instruct, support and
guide them to produce an excellent gourmet dinner.
They will experience
the fact that in this environment, no leader or manager can
succeed without the full support of the team. Each group member
will have to set aside individual aspirations for "culinary
stardom". Those who do have culinary skills may be selected
by the team to lead team sections.
arise in cooking, no matter how good the team. A moment's
inattention can ruin a dish. Misunderstanding and emotions
can disturb the group. Breakdowns happen and are opportunities
for learning, for innovating and redesigning.
The benefits of preparing
a delicious meal are obvious. In this case many other benefits
accrue, such as the ability to evaluate the team's performance
on the spot, throughout the process and after enjoying the
results. We are also serving each other.
We will rely on a thorough
commentary of the dinner, and on the process and what has
been learned. The convivial mood of cooking and dining together
is very rewarding for the team.
Schedule 9-12 Lunch Demonstration
The first stage of
the program is to demonstrate to the team the various preparation
and cooking methods, ingredients, timing, and presentation
which will be used during the dinner preparation.
It is essential to
show the process in advance and allow the team to understand
the work and how it will have to organize for the task ahead.
This involves the
team in the first steps of hands on cooking, such as learning
new ingredients and flavours, preparation of food, measuring,
proper cutting and chopping, and cooking methods (such as
steaming, boiling, braising, frying, grilling, roasting and
After lunch the team
will clean up and prepare the kitchen for the dinner production.
Schedule: 2:00pm to 7:00 pm Dinner Production
The team will have
reassigned tasks detailed in the strategy. Everyone will have
ample opportunity for hands on cooking, to experience the
detail of each dish as well as understand how the entire meal
is prepped, cooked and presented.
To maximise the learning
process and to foster the team experience, maximum group numbers
are kept to 20 participants. If your team is larger than 20
we suggest, the program is conducted over two sessions.
In the first session
one group prepares dinner for its invited guests (the other
half of the group) the fact that their culinary efforts are
to be judged by others adds weight to the activity. The non
culinary team could be responsible for all the dining room
preparations, setting and clearing of tables and washing of
The groups could
be reversed next session.
At every step our instructors
will be guiding the process.
For more information,
and a program designed for your group, please contact:
Tony Legg -
Mobile: 0425 752 745 or email