Master chef Teacher’s Edition 

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November 26, 2016 by pecanbutter

Our annual staff retreat on the last work day of the year. 

We were pre-grouped and tasked to come up with a dish that represented America. We had burger buns, chicken thighs, seasonings and lettuce. In every Masterchef episode on television, there was a mystery box challenge. You had to make a dessert with the items that were given to us in the box. In the box was a square piece of chocolate sponge cake, an egg, cream, chocolate bar, raspberries and strawberries. 

The challenge was similar to cooking classes I attended in NYC. We were given a recipe, introduced to the ingredients and within a stipulated time we had to come up with the dish. Only difference was that, in the BV edition, we were allowed creativity in the creation of our masterpiece. 

I did not let the Masterchef seasons I watched go to waste. Gordon Ramsey would be so proud of me. My colleagues and I collaborated like we have been doing this for a long time. I told them what I had in mind and we brain stormed. They split themselves up into two groups. One of the groups helped to split up the burger buns, slice the tomatoes and wash the lettuce. The other handled the making of our cake. 

My group shone awesomeness. They sliced, they buttered, they whipped and they arranged. All this while I was grilling the chicken at the grill bar outside. I suggested grilling the buns with mayo for the added tastiness. I didn’t ask who could or couldn’t cook. They stepped up and helped all around whenever we could.  They stepped aside when they needed to. I enjoyed the fact that no one micromanaged anyone. Trust and confidence we had. When I reentered the kitchen after I was done with the chicken chops, everything was in a good place. 

Our dynamics clicked like they were meant to be. We came up with our final masterpiece: Four patties of crispy grilled chicken chop in between slices of juicy tomatoes and cheese. Our burger was named ‘Trump Bugger’ after the presidential elect Donald Trump. I put on a pom pom to look like his wife, a recommended marketing strategy by one of my group members. We had to ‘sell’ our burgers to win votes. 

We didn’t win the dish with the most votes. Instead, we nabbed the best plating award and was presented with a broccoli trophy. Many thanks to the people who made this possible- MY TEAM MEMBERS! I shamelessly took over the microphone from the emcee to thank my team mates for the great effort. They deserved every bit of that moment. 

In that short span of time, I learnt how easy it was to step aside and let my team take over after the decision making was done. Though I had high expectations of what was going to be on the judging plate, I accepted that things may go in a direction I did not expect, like how the burger buns not toasted brown and soft on the inside like I wanted them to. I learnt to cultivate the patience to see that we are learning from this experience and I am being developed in my moments of mistake making. 

“Great things are done by a series of small things that are brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh 

One for the camera

Team Simply Italian

Our Broccoli Trophy for best plate presentation


‘Seriously’ trying to capture our final master piece

Our broccoli award for best team presentation. Looking at pictures of food art on Instagram helped.

‘The Trump Bugger’, named for all the Asians he despises.

Team American Fiesta. The one true cooking team.


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