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Cooking Team Building: 3 Skills You Can Learn in the Kitchen That Can Accelerate Your Professional Career

Cooking team building develops empathy, communication skills, and builds emotional intelligence.

How important is empathy, or the ability to understand others, in developing leadership? Why is nurturing emotional intelligence indispensable as you seek an upward trajectory in your career? How can communication skills enable you to thrive at work?

The nature of work has changed so much that the best performing teams today are seen to be those that are able to deliver results fast and constantly outpace the competition while still having fun and nurturing good relationships with colleagues.

Unfortunately, not all employees survive in this kind of atmosphere. Workplace stress is now identified as a global epidemic. The World Health Organization declared burnout as an official occupational phenomenon.

The good news is that progressive thinking companies invest in fostering communication, empathy, and nurturing their team’s emotional intelligence through team building activities. What’s more, they also do so creatively, veering away from traditional team building formats into more engaging and fun concepts such as cooking team building.

We recently organised a cooking team building session for a team in Motorola, and this was how they learned communication, empathy, and nurtured emotional intelligence working together in the kitchen.

Team Building by Cooking With Colleagues
Savouring the fruits of their labour!

We asked the Motorola team to replicate a spanikopita pastry the chefs made them try.

As part of the challenge, we put out a “supermarket” of ingredients that includes red herring clues to throw them off.

Here’s how this activity helped the team communicate effectively, show empathy, and demonstrate emotional intelligence.


Communication. It was great to see the team members talk to each other and try to figure out what ingredients they have to put in. Without a recipe to guide them, they had to rely on keen observation, evaluate each other’s suggestion, and arrive at a consensus. Most of the time they got the process completely wrong, but some of them were so confident they told the chefs that their version of the spanikopita was better.

Cooking Team Building with Motorola
Listening attentively to Chef Randall.

Empathy. The team members had varying levels of experience in the kitchen. It was easy to see that others were more confident than rest, but everyone was very encouraging. In the end, each team member had an important role to play, and everyone played it well.

Getting their hands dirty in the kitchen. This is serious work!

Emotional Intelligence. Throughout the activity, the Motorola team was critiqued each step of the way until the presentation. There was openness, humility to accept a misstep and there was no finger-pointing. In the end, everyone learned to be accountable, to work as a team, and to own up to their outcomes.

Hands-on Cooking Team Building
Hands-on cooking and working together builds strong teams!

As many HR experts say, empathy, communication, and emotional intelligence are among the most important abilities and traits of successful professionals in the 21st century workplace.

Perfecting the desserts!

The Motorola team booked “Eat” from our “Let’s Have Fun Program,” and they definitely enjoyed a delectable, lip smacking three-course meal.


If you would like to inspire these traits in your teams while having fun and enjoying great food, Palate Sensations Team Building will be happy to welcome you to our studio, or we can even bring our cooking team building classes to you.

Meals that will impress even the harshest food critic!

Are you considering activities for your team? Check out our varied offer of cooking team building programmes and feel free to contact us if you have any question at all!