The other day, I got to be part of a real-life “Top Chef” competition. Scratch that, I won “Top Chef!”
OK, so I wasn’t on the actual show, but I did get to participate in a timed culinary event, cook inside a commercial kitchen (v cool for this foodie), and create a dish alongside a professional chef (even cooler). It was all part of Team Building With Taste, a new way for any team to bond over food (I mean, is there a better way to bond?).
|Each team working on their assigned recipe (c) Team Building With Taste|
Here’s what happened: A group of Atlanta media and food bloggers arrived at the Atlanta facility of Team Building With Taste, and after a round or two of adult beverages, we were separated into four teams. Each team had to cook a pre-determined recipe, with choices like smoked salmon crostini, meatballs all’arrabbiata, and falafel pitas.
My team was making choripan sliders: Homemade chorizo patties on buttered slider buns with chimichurri sauce. The basic recipe was provided to us, as well as all the necessary ingredients, but each team was free to get creative. Just like in “Top Chef” or “Chopped,” the Team Building With Taste kitchen had a stocked dry pantry and plenty of fresh ingredients we could add to our dishes.
|Just a sample of the fresh ingredients we could pick from to add to our dishes (c) Team Building With Taste|
My team improvised by stuffing the chorizo with apple wood-smoked bleu cheese and adding caramelized red onions to our dish. It sounds a little overpowering, but it turned out really well! Well enough to win the competition, at least :)
We only had 50 minutes to complete our dishes and make one plate for the judges. Each team had a professional chef (shout out to our chef Kerry Meier of the Lowcomotion food truck) work with us throughout the whole process, helping us chop, saute and grill. Once the timer ran out, the chefs finished plating the rest of our dishes, which ended up being our dinner (talk about yum!)
|Chef Paul working with his team to get creative with their recipe (c) Team Building With Taste|
Before we could eat, each team had to present their dish to the whole group, and a panel of judges graded us on the taste and look of each plate. The whole evening was a blast and all the food was delicious! Everyone had to work together in a fast-paced environment, coming up with creative solutions to issues that arose along the way, and reaping the rewards in the form of a tasty dinner.
|The smoked salmon crostini (c) Team Building With Taste|
|The falafel pitas (c) Team Building With Taste|
|The choripan sliders (my team's creation) (c) Team Building With Taste|
And you don’t have to be a food blogger to participate. All sorts of corporate teams have gone through this challenge, and their reviews are glowing. If your department at work is in need of a morale boost, I would highly recommend Team Building With Taste--it’s certainly the best team building activity I’ve ever been a part of.