Philly Hops Blog

Team Building


I’d like to talk about Cooking Team Building and Culinary Team Building and how they relate to the team building philosophy. I started cooking professionally way back (you’re not going to get a date out of me though… that’s a lady’s privilege 😉 I chose the career because it was work that had a very positive spin about it… it was creative and about being around people who are enjoying themselves (the customers).

I cooked in a number of restaurants (“Making the Rounds” its called in France) and went back to school (at the CIA in New York) long after I was long entrenched in restaurants – just to see if I “got it right.” Much to my surprise I had. That was the old “insecurity bug” rearing its ugly head I guess. Even with rave reviews I was never sure about my talents… I wonder if that is a part of my Disc Personality type too? 😉

Well, anyway, back to how restaurants, cooking team building and culinary team building connect with team skill building. The most obvious one is teamwork at service time in a restaurant. This is the time when the pressure is on and teamwork is in full gear. Not one person is ever responsible for an entire meal… each “station” in the kitchen sends out a portion of the meal they are responsible for. But the entire meal must go out at exactly the same time. Talk about teamwork – cooperation and collaboration! That no one person can be successful without the efforts of all other teammates is more then obvious here! But when everyone works together volumes of people can be fed great food – quickly!

Another display of team building in a professional kitchen is – and this is especially true in high-end catering – is the practice that “no one is done until everyone is done”. Packing up after a long day or night (or day and night!) of catering looking like this – the whole team packs up. First they start with their own stations and if they finish early then they move on to help another teammate. And so on and so on right on down the line to the end. No one stands around waiting for others to be done… they pitch in and help each other. This scene resolves with everyone walking out together. Here is the practice of team’s supporting each other in play.

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