So, you’ve been tasked with trawling the internet for work Christmas party ideas, looking for something that ticks all the boxes: team building, fun, affordability and a format that suits all personality types. Going to your local for a few beers isn’t going to cut it this time, but don’t worry - we’ve got you covered. These corporate cooking classes in Melbourne are the perfect way to get the whole team involved, engaged and actually having a good time. Plus, when the cooking comes to an end and the dishes are plated up, you’ll all have the chance to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal and socialise with some people you might not usually get to speak to.
Still not sold on the idea? Well, science says that cooking has a whole host of benefits to your workforce other than just enjoying a delicious meal at the end of it. According to HuffPost, cooking for others can help with bonding, boost self-esteem and confidence and can even present an opportunity to engage in accidental mindfulness, making it much more fulfilling Christmas party than downing a few drinks and awkwardly mingling. Here’s a roundup of some of the best cooking classes in Melbourne for your work Christmas party.
Best for: The Health Conscious Workforce (Vegan-friendly)
Raw Food Essentials Cooking Class
Location: Croydon South
If health, wellness or ethical consumption are key values in your workplace, treat your team to a plant-based food party. This raw food workshop is a great entry point for anyone embarking on a raw, vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and it may even convert some die-hard meat-eaters. Over the course of the session, your team will not only learn how to prepare delicious raw vegan treats but they’ll also get a crash course in raw diet nutrition and a chance to try samples of organic and plant-based snacks.
Best for: Laid Back Laughs (Pescetarian-friendly)
Seafood BBQ Cooking Class
If your staff love the iconic Australian tradition of fresh seafood at Christmas and are looking to have a few drinks, cook up some simple but delicious food and just unwind and enjoy each other’s company, this is the class for you. Located at Beer DeLuxe in Hawthorn, this class will cover everything from rubs to marinades and will have everyone getting hands-on with a pair of tongs. The session starts with some simple snacks and culminates in an epic seafood feast accompanied by a range of well-matched Audrey Wilkinson & Cockfighters Ghost Wines.
Lebanese Classics Cooking Demonstration Class
If your workforce is always looking to try new things, they’ll love this authentic middle eastern cooking class. Your team will learn how to make traditional rice, garlic chicken and tabouli as well as sampling some Lebanese coffee, tea and sweets, before taking a tour through the on-site gourmet grocery store. This class is a great option because it’s a fun fusion of demonstration and hands-on prep time so if anyone doesn’t want to get involved they can sit back and enjoy the class, and the delicious feast at the end!
Best for: Picky Eaters (Can be GF, Vegan and Vegetarian-friendly on request)
Italian Cooking Class
Who doesn’t like Italian food? If you’re catering to lots of different tastes and dietary requirements and you want to be sure that there’s something for everyone, opt for this classic Italian pizza, risotto and pasta making class. After settling in with a drink on arrival, the team will dive right into making their own dough and learning to cook with fresh garlic, olive oil, cheeses and cured meats to create homemade sauces and fresh pizza and pasta (or risotto and gnocchi for the gluten-free amongst you). At the end of it all, you'll sit down to enjoy a delicious and traditional Italian family feast.
Best for: Creating a Family Feel
Greek Cooking Class
Focusing on family-style Greek cooking, this in-depth class is all about using food to bring people together, creating a sense of community and reflecting on the way food evokes emotions and memories. The menu for the day is based on the Mediterranean diet so come expecting lots of olive oil, fresh salads and grilled protein. Your team will create hearty home-style dishes they may never have heard of and at the end, they’ll sit down and break bread together. What better way to celebrate the end of another year.
Best for: High Energy, Light-Hearted Fun
Dumpling Party Cooking Class
Location: Melbourne CBD
Fast-paced, fun and delicious, this hands-on dumpling cooking class will have your team rolling up their sleeves and grappling with dumpling wrappers, attempting to fold their own Jiaozi and Mandu. They’ll be led through the entire process from making the dumpling wrapper, right through to cooking and seasoning before sitting down and enjoying the spoils of their toils alongside some especially paired teas and refreshments. Spend some quality time with your colleagues in the kitchen sharing stories and exchanging cooking traditions.
Best for: The Party People
Cocktail Making Class
Cost: $120 for the Banquet package
If you can’t picture your workplace getting behind a few hours in the kitchen and think they'd rather learn how to mix, muddle and stir your way to deliciousness, try this cocktail making class at the buzzy Asian eatery Rice Paper Scissors. This fun class will kick-off with a glass of prosecco and a canape so that everyone has a chance to catch up and mingle before the cocktail making session gets serious. Everyone will have the chance to make and drink two signature cocktails, and if you add on the banquet option, at the end of the class everyone can sit down for an epic five-course spread – the spoils of a cooking class but without the actual cooking.