How To Conduct a Virtual Cooking Team Building Event?

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Due to the recent COVID 19 situation, almost everyone is working from home and has been using Zoom or other online video conference platform such as Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting to communicate with your team on work matters. 

Covid 19 has changes the way and style we work and now with everyone working remotely, it is crucial for the team to remain connected and continue to build team spirit and stay close. Other than discussing work related matters online, why not engage your team in a virtual team building session

Due to the strict measures implemented by the Government, many of us have turned to cooking and baking at home as a new hobby. A virtual cooking team building session would be an interest way to conduct a fun, engaging and competitive team building event. 

Here are 8 planning steps from D’Open Kitchen events team to help you organise and plan your first ever virtual cooking team building challenge!

1. Set a date and timing 

Send out a calendar invite to block everyone’s time. Make sure everyone is free on the specific slot. You might want to surprise your team by only sending out details of the cooking team building activity nearer to the cook-off date.  

2. Decide on a theme 

Setting a theme for the cooking challenge increase competitive elements. You can set based on cuisines etc Korean, Japanese, Local food or a particular topic etc healthy meal, 30 minutes meal challenge. You can also choose to narrow down by course i.e entree, main or dessert challenge. However not everyone has the flair in making dessert, especially when they didn’t attend any baking class before.

3. Set a budget 

You might want to set a budget for the team to buy their ingredients for the cook-off. Working with a budget relate back to our corporate objectives of maximising resources and budgeting for projects. Setting a budget also make it a fairer game for everyone in case someone decided to use lobster as the main ingredient while some only have ikan billies. 

4. Duration of the cook-off 

Typically how long do you usually take to cook one dish? Set a comfortable duration that everyone can manage a dish within a certain time limit. Usually for an onsite cooking team building class at D’Open Kitchen culinary studio, our resident chefs set a time limit if 90 minutes for a team to complete a three courses main. So, 45-60 minutes for a dish would be an ideal allocation for a single person to attempt a dish. 

5. Appoint an E-facilitator 

During the cook-off everyone would be focusing on making their dish that they might not be able to interact virtually or check out what their team members are up to and their progression. It is important to appoint someone in the team to be the host for the cook-off and facilitate the session. The person can be a commentator to give updates to everyone on individual’s meal progression or to e-interview the team member on what they are doing for their dish. 

6. Set rules and regulations 

Everyone competition has its own set of rules and wining criteria. Hence it would be useful to have a list done up prior to the cooking team building session and send it out together in a calendar invite. D’Open Kitchen typically judge based on food presentation, taste, timing, creativity, hygiene and teamwork. A virtual cooking team building session is very different from an onsite session, hence you might want to change some of the criteria to make it more relevant to your virtual cook-off competition. 

7. Offer a prize 

A prize for the winner will be a good motivator for the team to give their best effort and showcase their best dish for the cook-off. Prize can be in terms of gift or cash vouchers, movie tickets or an extra off-day from the boss! 

8. Taste Judge 

Since this is a virtual cooking team building challenge, team members are not able to taste each other food. So, who to determine which dish taste better? Other than competing based on the visual appearance and presentation, team members can rope in their family members during the cooking session to try out their dish and give comments. Their facial expression when they try the dish will be the “moment of truth” whether the dish is up to standard. It would be fun to have family members to join in the virtual cook-off and it also promote family bonding and get to know each other more at a personal level. 

Need some recipe ideas and inspiration, you can check out our D’Open Kitchen recipe site or YouTube channel for recipes and cooking videos! 


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Trish yee

Trish yee

I was a runner up in Singapore's Masterchef Competition Season 2. Cooking has been a passion of mine since I was young. I would always follow my grandma to the wet markets to buy groceries and watch her whip up amazing dishes. Always inspired by my grandma, I look to continue her journey in the culinary world.
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