I never believed that a team bonding event could be done in a kitchen, until D’Open Kitchen proved me wrong.
As a “zero-ability” person in the area of cooking, I thought I would be more of a hindrance, than an asset, in the kitchen. However, the very thoughtful chef and coordinator of D’Open Kitchen gave me a hope; a hope that I could very well be a Gordan Ramsey one day.
It all started when we gathered and were asked to watch a demonstration by the chef. I realized that cooking is not the difficult task, but preparation is. There were so many things to prepare, so many things to note, it was impossible for a novice like me. However, the amazing staff had prepared everything beforehand and all I had to do was just to find the ingredients necessary, which proved to be quite a challenge already, and bring it back to my work station to imagine that I am Gordan Ramsey.
The demonstration was engaging, kept me taking mental notes like as though I would be tested for it. “Add a dash of salt and pepper to bring out the flavor, followed by a drizzle of this sauce over here to bring out the fragrance..”
At the end of the demonstration, we went back to our work stations and discussed about our roles and responsibilities. My role was simple, I had to gather the ingredients and prepare the ingredients. Which like I mentioned before, it was such a challenge.
“Excuse me, where is the garlic?” “Where is the chives?” What is this called?”
I felt like a curious kid, lost in a magical land of toys. But the coordinators and kitchen assistant were ever so helpful, though they too, did a quick lesson on what the ingredients were and what their uses were for.
Who knew that chopping garlic was easy? I was trying my best to slice them and subsequently dice them into smaller pieces when a kitchen assistant came over and showed me how the real professionals do it. They crush it, and viola~ its done. I was amazed by that and off I went, crushing garlic like as though they were my superiors.. I mean cockroaches.
When my task was finally done, which felt like an eternity, there was no time for me to slack. Immediately, as a team, we had to think of creative ways to present our dish and why it represents the theme given. There were no time for mind maps, and discussions. We had to explain why was the dish done this way, through some magical means, and present the dish to my fellow comrades.
It was intense, fun and I began to notice sides of my colleagues that I have never noticed before. We had such a great time brainstorming, we nearly forgot that we had to clean up our work stations and do some basic housekeeping. Talk about instilling discipline! Every child should go through a boot camp, where they learn how to cook AND clean up after that.
The mess we created, was indeed a mess.
The presentation of our dish really brought roars of laughter. Every team had their jokes and hidden meanings behind the dish, for a moment I thought I was working for a company that specializes in creativity.
In the end, we ate what we cooked, went around tasting what the others had cooked. We shared jokes, tears of joy and saliva. It was such a good time of bonding, none of us felt like leaving, even though the event has ended. Or perhaps, it might be because there was still alcohol left. Nonetheless, we all left as strangers/mere colleagues no more and I left still believing I can be like Gordan Ramsey one day.