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Add a little spice into your next meeting or event with a cooking class: dinner plus teambuilding equals success.
In Arlington, attendees can learn how to learn to cook Middle Eastern delicacies, whip up paella or participate in an Iron Chef-style competition.
Groups can flex their cooking skills at Cookology, the culinary school opening in Arlington’s Ballston Quarter in late fall 2018. Cookology’s Arlington location, with six kitchens and 5,600 square feet, will be able to accommodate up to 350 participants. Take your group though a course on pairing food and wine, or set up a team-based cooking competition when teams face off to create the best dish with a mystery ingredient.
Watch colleagues release inhibitions and work together in the “Mystery Basket Challenge.” Getting festive is encouraged. Some groups even bring in an emcee or a comedian to egg on competitors.
For smaller groups, Arlington’s homegrown favorite Lebanese Taverna gets you involved in cooking Middle Eastern cuisine. Learn about Lebanese food, nibble on tasty treats and sip wine as you learn the Abi-Najm family’s cooking secrets. A sample menu might include lentil soup, Lebanese rice, stuffed baby eggplant and um ali, a Lebanese-style bread pudding.
A maximum of 20 people can attend demonstration-only classes, or 14 for hands-on classes. Participants get a 15 percent discount at the Lebanese Taverna Market which offers pine nuts, olive oil and spices you can take home to make your own delicious dishes. Email Gladys Abi-Najm at email@example.com or call (703) 628-9797 for class arrangements.
Sur La Table in Pentagon Row offers group classes in fundamentals like knife skills, bake shop basics and specialties like “Secrets of Summer Paella” or “Street Food: Vietnam.” Classes can seat up to 16 people, with a minimum of 10 people. The small groups create delicious, multi-course meals with Chef Scott Cacchiotti and Assistant Resident Chef Marion Anderson. At the end everyone sits down to eat and enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Check out Sur La Table’s calendar to peruse the full array of courses like “Go-To Autumn Favorites” and “Summer on the Grill.” You can choose any of the courses for your event or pick your own unique menu. Alcohol is not served, but groups can obtain their own license for an event.
Email Cooking024@surlatable.com to make class arrangements at least a month in advance. Participants also get 10 percent off Sur La Table merchandise, and event hosts get a 10 percent discount on take-home gifts for guests.
For sweet teambuilding, Kingsbury Chocolates will come to your hotel conference room or venue. Self-trained chocolatier Rob Kingsbury offers truffle-making and chocolate tasting classes, during which attendees learn how to make ganache and temper chocolate. Groups can taste a variety of chocolates and confections while learning about the history of cocoa. You can also try wine and chocolate pairing.
Looking for a less-interactive dinner? Try these group dining venues.
Author: Kathleen Murphy