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Mice Asia Net : October 2008
case study thai team-building Name: The Ultimate Thai Cooking Challenge (the world’s largest Thai cooking class) Type: Half-day team-building program to inspire, challenge and unite teams. ClieNT: (well known IT company) No oN eveNT Team: 20 plus 68 apprentice chefs and one celebrity chef pax: 430 IT executives from Australia and New Zealand. BudgeT: Thai Baht 6700 per person (A$200) eveNT maNagemeNT CompaNy: House of Travel Events loCal dmC: Diethelm Events Program: Guests gathered at a function room of the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel in Bangkok and were grouped into 48 teams and issued with aprons, The Ultimate Thai Cook Book, which listed challenges and provided a step-by-step guide to the morning. Each team was assigned an apprentice chef as their mentor. A mission briefing was conducted by well-know Australian TV presenter Larry Emdur. After the briefing, each team had to solve a puzzle before boarding boats for a cruise upriver. After a 20-minute cruise, teams were let loose at Bangkok’s largest open air market with a budget and challenge to buy 26 essential ingredients. With shopping bags full, teams then boarded boats for a shuttle across the river to the Royal Thai Navy Hall. At the covered open-air ground floor marbled terrace, 48 kitchen stations were set up with gas hobs, woks and necessary kitchen utensils. Mr Tanongsak, a celebrity chef who has worked in Australia and London, coached teams and provided his secrets to cooking Thai food. Each team had to prepare 10 dishes for lunch. Working in a relay, team members had to set up a buffet line and decorate it using the available props in the air-conditioned dining hall on the 1st floor. Challenges: Securing 68 apprentice Thai chefs to guide the teams was the biggest challenge. Reinforcing safety procedures as sharp knives could be lethal was a key to success. Only two minor cut fingers resulted, which small plasters remedied. This was the first time a Thai cooking class was staged on this grand scale and purchasing enough gas hobs and utensils whilst meeting the available budget was a major challenge. overComing Challenges: Two dress rehearsals ensured the event ran smoothly and all apprentice chefs and support staff were aware of their role, duties and positions. We brought in an outside catering team to provide a simple Thai lunch, should the participants not wish to eat what was cooked. The outdoor venue could have been hot, however to solve this we brought in cooling fans. Participants receive instructions before hitting the local market in search of ingredients. 42 miceAsia.net Final Comment: The event scored the highest marks above any previous team-building activity held by the IT company. Everyone was immersed into the challenge of buying the ingredients at the market and then exploring their culinary skills at the kitchen. O C T O B E R 2 0 0 C 8 T – M I A C I E S A . N E A S E S T U D Y N O . 3 2 4 9 1 5 6 -