Last night, Chef Nancy and I had the pleasure of hosting a group of executives from The Coca-Cola Company for a hands on cooking class at the Cancer Wellness Center. This internationally diverse group of people were in town for meetings and of course a little fun. Nancy and I, I believe were an integral part of their “fun” component. Upon arrival, the guests enjoyed an array of southern inspired appetizers and a lovely selection of wines. They then broke into teams for an “Iron Chef” like competition. It was great fun to watch the teams collaborate as they tried to recreate, sans recipe, the grilled corn salad wrap they had tasted earlier. A winner was delcared and each of the four teams were next assigned an entree to prepare. Pork tenderloin with homemade BBQ sauce, Ratatouille Pasta, Shrimp n’ Grits and Grilled Chicken in Pepper Jelly Sauce with Black-Eyed Pea Salsa were on the menu. Chef Nancy and I had miticulously prepared each team’s mise en place, so that they would be able to create the food exactly as it was intended by the recipe. An interesting thing happened however, as more wine was consumed, and the worries of the day started to fade away, the teams began to relax. While teamwork and competition were always aparent, the relaxed, party-like atomosphere helped their creative juices flow. It was great fun to see a group of people who’s day to day lives may be ruled by production, spread sheets and the bottom line, improvise with ingredients and create inovative food presentations. I saw spicy mustard go places I’d never imagined, and at one point a huge glug of wine, straight from a participant’s glass, dumped into a sauce. A taste here and there, nods of approval and good hearted trash talking between the groups made for what I hope was a great bonding and team building experience for them. In the end, the food was declared delicious and happy plates were all that was left on the dining table.

I hope that this group enjoyed the process of cooking with their colleagues and working together at tasks that differ from their day to day responsibilites, as well as an appreciation for good ole southern hospitality. See my “Recipe for Success” below.

Recipe for Success:
1 Favorite Family Recipe and all the ingredients to make two full recipes
4-6 Friends or Co-Workers
Bottles of Wine, To Taste

Step One: Gather ingredients for the recipe
Step Two: Divide your friends into two seperate teams
Step Three: Pour your friends/family a glass of wine*
Step Four: Start cooking, competing, creating and enjoying eachother’s company!!!!
* If your friends and family are like mine, start with step 3 and proceed from there.

And don’t forget to Taste and Savor your results

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