Looking for a unique, private team-building event for your office to improve team morale, boost group communication and develop camaraderie, as well as obtain an interactive experience with clients or simply a fun get-together for friends? Koa Culinary Studio’s team building hands-on cooking class is the perfect solution.

If like many companies, you are searching for the above solution; what would be better than a day out of the office learning new skills and having fun the same time?

Laugh and learn as you participate in the planning and execution of a menu – either entirely of your own design or creative adaptations on recipes we can provide. The cherry on top is, that although preparing a meal is the perfect metaphor for teamwork, the meal itself also becomes the symbol of the team’s successful integration of ideas and talents. Team members interact in new ways, building and renewing relationships with every chop, dice and whisk!

Using the kitchen as a learning environment, groups of corporate executives, management and other staff members work together to create a gourmet meal, then sit down together and enjoy it. Challenges to the group’s creativity, communication, cooperation and time/resource management are inherent in the cooking process. Other management principles are also built into the presentation, making it an all-round win for your organization. In addition, all abilities in the kitchen are extremely welcome and therefore, the experience is designed to allow everyone from the novice cook to a master chef to participate comfortably.

Cooking-based team building fosters the organizational positives of open communication, thoughtful resource allocation and successful risk taking. Whether competitive or collaborative, working together in the kitchen breaks down barriers and builds bridges. We believe in the science of relationship building and that the heat of the kitchen forges better relationships. We know that the kitchen environment puts people in a situation they may have seen but never experienced. A place where everyone has a vital role to play and where there’s nowhere to hide! Each team member has to abandon individual aspirations for culinary stardom, since it is a TEAM event!

Koa Culinary Studio offers many different hands-on culinary formats for your team building event but we are also happy to customize any of the formats we offer in order that they accommodate your event and organizational requirements.

The Goal cooking

The goal is for the group to become a team, to discover new facets and ways of working together and to achieve a joint objective in an environment where everyone starts out at zero, as equals, as no one knows what to anticipate in these team building cooking classes.

The end result is a sumptuous meal for everyone's enjoyment, with the fulfilment of having completed a new and challenging task. Thereafter there is the opportunity to evaluate the meal, the process and the learning that has taken place. The value derived from this experience is that it will improve the cooperation, communication and planning between members or groups/teams whilst it has broken down some barriers between people. Although it depends on each group to reap the benefits / take all that it can from this learning environment, KOA will assist to provide a synopsis of learning experienced.

Cooking a gourmet menu requires and builds teamwork. Our Team Building Cooking event helps your team reinforces the philosophy of providing service to others, the need for close cooperation, planning skills, good communication, quality performance, leadership, consensus and attention to detail.

New techniques, ingredients and equipment 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.

Embedded in our offerings are the principle of healthy food preparation and eating. We therefore hope that these principles will stick and eventually provide a healthier work force at your organization. This will have many spin off benefits.

We use a fully equipped training kitchen in Centurion that will provide you with a truly hands-on experience.

Group size

We believe a small group of approximately 22 is the ideal size since the better communication and cooperation amongst the team members, adds a unique dimension to the event. Due to the kitchen size we can accommodate maximum of 45 participants in one session. You will have your own culinary work space and cook your dishes on your own individual stove top in our educational facility. For larger groups, we recommend options where cooking equipment is not vital such as the Gingerbread Challenge although we have alternative options available.

Group Cooking Classes
Book a group cooking class with your employees or friends to celebrate a great events or just any great occasion- this is more intimate than a restaurant dinner and far more fun.

Corporate Team Building
Schedule a corporate cooking class with value adding learning for your employees or clients.

Benefits

  • Improve the communication skills of your team members;
  • Relieve stress in a fun and entertaining way;
  • Foster a winning attitude and team spirit;
  • Learn new ways to achieve objectives;
  • Spark creativity and innovation;
  • Encourage constructive feedback and cooperation;
  • Build trust and strengthen relationships;
  • Have fun together;
  • Break down office barriers and get to know each other; and
  • Apply some team management principles.

Participate in a relaxing setting

In addition to specific teamwork exercises focusing on working together cooperatively and communicating effectively, the class will consist of informative cooking demonstrations by professional chefs, sharing their professional knowledge, and specialty food and ingredient tastings as well as printed recipes. A lunch or dinner completes the workshop.


Judging criteria

The whole idea of Koa Team Building is for participants to have a fun outing. Although we would like to create a competitive edge, it is not the intention of the studio to place undue pressure on participants. Competition adds suspense, builds team dynamic and provides for amazing team work! Therefore, judging can be competitive or relaxed; you choose and we can tailor the judging approach and style to meet your event’s needs.

Assistant chefs will progressively make observations and score the team throughout the cooking period. At the end of the cooking, they, together with the chef instructor, will do an overall appraisal of each counter where they will look at amongst other things:

  • Ingredient and time usage;
  • Neatest workers;
  • Teamwork;
  • Sensory evaluation (taste, flavour and texture); and
  • Most creative dishes.

Included in the price offering

  • Appetizers on arrival (optional);
  • Tea, coffee and water throughout the event;
  • All ingredients and equipment;
  • Dishtowels;
  • Recipes and notes;  and
  • The use of our Koa aprons.

FAQ:

  • How many can you accommodate? For hands-on cooking classes, we can accommodate a maximum of 45 people.
  • How long is the class? Class lasts between 3 to 4 hours and includes preparation, cooking and eating.  
  • What is the cancellation policy? In the case of a cancelation, we are willing to reschedule. Please keep in mind that we schedule our employees and independent contractors as well as turn away other business once you reserve your date. Sorry, no refunds.
  • Can we bring wine? Yes, you can but we recommend that you serve it with the meal. Anyone who is inebriated will be removed from the venue with no refund. No hard alcohol permitted.
  • Is there a dress policy? This is a working kitchen. Please tell your guests to wear comfortable closed toe shoes (no sandals or high heels); tie long hair back, and no blouses with billowing sleeves or scarves. Aprons will be provided during class.


What’s the game plan?

  • Guests arrive and enjoy complimentary appetizers and a chance to chat and transition from the day to cooking time.
  • The class begins on time. Please urge participants to show up promptly. Late comers will miss part of the experience/recipes and cause the class to have to rush to try and finish on time. There is no waiting for people to show up or make up what they missed. Our classes are taught in a communal fashion.
  • This is followed by a brief lecture from our chefs, covering the recipes and/techniques for cooking your meal.
  • If you are breaking up your guests in teams, we will do so at this stage. Each team will have a station set up with the recipe ingredients and essential tools.
  • Teams will have 15 minutes to strategize and then approximately 2 hours for cooking, plating and garnishing before judging will take place.
  • After judging you sit down and eat as a group and discuss your challenges and successes.

Some Standard Formats

  1. Mystery basket or Iron Chef - Adventure

A fast-paced culinary adventure in team building, this very popular format has many dynamics of team building inherent in its structure. Apart from the fun aspect, this is also a novel way of entertaining clients, a great form of teambuilding, or ideal opportunity of assessing various staff members’ abilities to work together and solve common problems.

Program length:

Group size:

Team size:

Approximately 3 – 4 hours, depending on the group size   10-45 6-8 per team, depending on the group size.
       
  1. MasterChef - Corporate environment

This is about pressure, deadlines, cooking on the fly, using your food knowledge, courage and team work; an event that is cooked in a competitive environment with a healthy bit of time pressure.

Program length:

Group size:

Team size:

Approximately 3 – 4 hours, depending on the group size   10-45 6-8 per team, depending on the group size.
       

 

  1. Gingerbread Challenge - Strategic thinking

During this event teams go head to head in a battle to make the most creative gingerbread themed house such as winter. This challenge provides us with the opportunity to come to your workplace for the team building as we don’t need large kitchen equipment.

Program length:

Group size:

Team size:

Approximately 3 – 4 hours, depending on the group size   10-45 6-8 per team, depending on the group size.
       

Space requirements:

This is flexible. Each team will need a table large enough to accommodate building the houses; therefore, the room must be large enough to accommodate the presentation tables. Very large events can be conducted in a ballroom or outdoors.

  1. Paying it Forward - Philanthropist

Food is one of the most basic needs of all human beings, yet thousands of men, women and children go to sleep hungry every night throughout Gauteng. In the Paying it Forward program, corporate teams will bond while making a meaningful and worthwhile donation of food to people in need. Helping others always brings people together! This format takes team building to a whole new level while giving back to the community. The benefits of your efforts will resonate beyond your event and help to nourish the lives of others.

With Koa Culinary Studio’s Paying it Forward option, not only will you learn new culinary techniques and experience an effective team building event, you will also fill a genuine need by making a cherished donation to those less fortunate.

Also consider the effects of team building and corporate events in terms of effects on employees' families and people's broader life needs. It is easy to become very narrowly focused on the organization and the community within it, without thinking of the families and social needs outside.

Program length:

Group size:

Team size:

Approximately 3 – 4 hours, depending on the group size   10-45 6-8 per team, depending on the group size.
       

Special requirements:

If possible, staff from the benefiting organisation will personally accept donations at the event and will convey thanks and appreciation.

  1. Mediterranean - The healthier option

Ever wondered why people from the Mediterranean region seem so happy and full of life? It’s tempting to attribute their good health and positive moods to one single factor alone — like their diet, for example — but the truth is that it’s a combination of their lifestyle factors and their unprocessed diets that has promoted their longevity and low rates of disease for centuries.

The Mediterranean diet is considered by many nutrition experts to be one of the most heart-healthy ways of eating there is as the base of the Mediterranean diet is loaded with anti-inflammatory foods. Let us show corporate team how to incorporate the real Mediterranean principles into the daily choices that they have to make regarding food and lifestyle not just to their own advantage, but to benefit of the organisation as well. This is a relaxed event that focuses on collaboration and not competition.

Program length:

Group size:

Team size:

Approximately 3 – 4 hours, depending on the group size   10-45 6-8 per team, depending on the group size.
       
  1. Italian Tastes - à votre santé!

Italians know well that food and wine are the best way to bring people together. The emphasis during our team building cooking class is not just enjoyment of the world class Italian cuisine but also creating opportunities for better communication and teamwork.

Under the friendly guidance of our chef, your group will learn new techniques in the kitchen and of course get to enjoy a variety of delicious regional dishes from different parts of Italy. Your group will need to roll up their sleeves and get their hands in the flour as they learn to make pasta from scratch as well as real Italian sauces to accompany the pasta. This is a relaxed event that focuses on collaboration and not competition.

Program length:

Group size:

Team size:

Approximately 3 – 4 hours, depending on the group size   10-45 6-8 per team, depending on the group size.