A few weeks ago, a fellow Oakland Fitness Company member approached me about doing a cooking class. When he told me it would be for his all-male team at work, my first reaction was: what a great idea.
I found it so refreshing that he chose this activity for his crew. I know plenty of men who love cooking, but it's not very often that I hear of men getting together and bonding over new recipes in the kitchen. Plus, what better way to support healthy relationships and a happy culture at work than with a BYOB cooking party!
And, not to gender stereotype, but I was a little hesitant if the other men on the team would be down for this, mainly because that same night was an NBA playoff game...
However, I set those concerns aside because I was excited; cooking classes are my favorite thing to teach, and I always feel energized and inspired by the participants.
When drafting the menu, I combined seasonal inspiration with practicality. What flavors do I enjoy in the summertime? What dishes would be easy to bring to summer potlucks? Which recipes could they recreate for their special lady or partner? From there, I came up with six different recipes, all with a latin flair.
We did the cooking party at Homegrown Oakland and our theme was Summer Fiesta. My sous chef Anna and I set up stations all around the cafe with recipe guidelines. I started off with a small introduction for each recipe, highlighting an ingredient or demonstrating a knife skill or cooking technique. Then, the men organized themselves into pairs, and I cut them loose to tackle whichever recipe looked most intriguing.
I have to say, this class was a blast.
These guys got really into it. They had great questions, and some even came prepared with aprons (adorable!) or their own knives. The basketball game was streamed on someone’s ipad, of course, but this really didn’t distract anyone.
Amidst a bit of friendly competition and a lot of brotherly-like ragging, each group completed their recipe with enthusiasm and everything tasted delish.
The greatest part about this class was witnessing their camaraderie. It was clear this group of people worked well together, and even if some didn’t, the opportunity to bond and connect over a fun and novel experience would surely have a positive impact on their relationship, which would then transfer over into the workplace.
Host Your Own Cooking Party
If you’re interested in hosting a cooking party, please contact me! Participating in new, novel experiences is fun and, according to author Gretchen Rubin, a great way to contribute to your own happiness.
Thank you so much Woolsey McKernon for getting your men together for a cooking party, and for all the guys at CleanFund for being such great sports during the class.