Part of my role at my "real job" is to act as social coordinator and party planner for our team. This is a role I take on in full force, and one of the aspects of my job I love most. When I was asked to plan our latest group event, I wanted to come up with something different. We have done group lunches in the past, but inevitably you end up speaking mainly with the person across from you or right next to you.
I was asked to ask the team members for their contributions, which I did...although I secretly really hoped my idea would win. We put it to vote , and fortunately, my idea did win- a team cooking challenge at Cookology in Dulles Town Center (and no, I didn't sway the vote).
Within our little group of 15 people, we have 3 vegetarians, 1 shellfish allergy, and 1 expecting mother. Translation: we are not the easiest group to work with. Cookology handled our many issues with no problem and suggested we try the Mystery Basket challenge. We were divided into two teams: beef and chicken, with the vegetarians divided between the teams. Both the chicken and beef teams were given the added twist- no matter what we cooked, we had to be able to transform our dishes into a vegetarian option for our veggie friends, and it still had to be good! We had only 60 minutes to complete this challenge, and members of the Cookology staff would taste our creations and determine the winner.
We were given full access to their huge stash of fresh ingredients and a master chef was there to help us develop our recipes. I was on the chicken team, and we made veggie spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce, chicken in a coconut curry sauce (with a tofu veggie option), curried chickpeas, basmatti rice, and a strawberry and port reduction served with dark chocolate sauce. Our opponents made a beef fillet with a pear/balsamic reduction, roasted veggies, and a yummy chocolate tart.
After our creations were complete, we spent the remainder of the evening dinning in the private dinning room the staff at Cookology had set up for us. Not only was our food delicious, but we all had so much fun working together and challenging our co-workers in a food show down. The staff was so helpful and friendly and encouraged us to work outside of our comfort zones. It was a blast and more than accomplished the goal of "team building." We were all talking about it for days! The next morning my boss greeted me with the following "you know you are never going to top this, right?" I will take that challenge!
I highly recommend Cookology for their many options for fun parties, group activities, special cooking lessons, or a fun date night. Moms take note that they have a wide variety of options for the kiddos!