There are cooking classes that specialize in corporate functions, special dates, families, and educational groups. It seems there are many that believe in the power and fun of experiences rooted in cooking. Cultures for years have built traditions around the power of food and cooking together. Some of my favorite childhood memories center around food—my mom cooking for days for a holiday feast; my entire family coming together to make homemade ravioli; dining out with family and friends at some of the amazing Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and Italian Beef restaurants in the Chicagoland area.
When is the last time you’ve leveraged the power of cooking together to bring your family or teams together?
Here are some reasons why you should consider using the experience of cooking to create special memories and bonds.
Why it’s good to cook with your kids:
- It teaches them that food doesn’t magically appear. I find that when my kids participate in cooking a meal, they have more appreciation for it. (To take it step further, I also find that when they harvest some of the ingredients from our garden, they have an even further appreciation). They are proud of the meals they help prepare, and eat them with more enthusiasm.
- It teaches them healthy eating habits. People often comment on how my kids are “great eaters.” They love vegetables and expect to have some at every meal. I believe this is partly because I taught them from a very early age that food can be a work of art. We observe each meal’s “rainbow of colors.” I’ve taught them that the more colors a meal has, the more beautiful (and yummy) it is.
- You can bond over sharing a new experience together. We often experiment with new and original recipes in our house. We have fun cooking and tasting the new creations together. Some are good, and some are not that good, but we have fun either way.
Why it’s good to cook with your teams:
- You can learn more about each other. When people cook together, they often start sharing memories of special memories centered around cooking experiences with their family and friends. You can learn more about each other, and have fun re-living special memories.
- You can learn more about other cultures. If you’re trying to increase cultural awareness on your team, why not host a cultural potluck or go to a cooking class that specializes in cultural cuisine? It’s a great way to learn more about others while enjoying amazing food from around the world.
- You can bond over a sharing a new experience together. Even if you have seasoned chefs on your team, you can find an experience that is new to everyone. If people are bakers, try taking a cooking class that specializes in a new pastry. Or if you have a team that loves appetizers, try looking up unique and interesting appetizers on a site such as allrecipes.com. There are so many different types of recipes out there that use interesting and unique ingredients that you should be able to find something that is new to most in the group—and you can have fun learning the new recipe together.
What are some fun experiences you and your family or teams have had with food? Do you have any tips to add to this list? Please share them – and Buon Appetito!