On my second week as a Database Manager and Web Development Intern, Our Chief Chef Officer, Layla Sabourian-Tarwé, and her family were kind enough to invite us over to her lovely home and organized a team-building activity. What a great way to spend a day of our week to get to know each other in the team while preparing a dish together and enjoying our passion for food.

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Today, my colleagues and I explored a couple of dishes from the Czech Republic. Layla brought out all the ingredients that we needed and we all contributed to peeling, slicing, chopping, and mincing the vegetables. Layla’s daughter, the Idea Generator behind the concept of Chef Koochooloo, showed us her little chef skills in the kitchen. It amazed me how she was able to demonstrate her capabilities of helping out in the kitchen at such a young age. We all learned a new “trick” from each other as far as how we can accomplish our kitchen tasks efficiently. For example, we had different ideas of how to chop onions without causing tears in our eyes; here are some suggestions I learned:

  • Freeze the onion first before chopping (Sara’s suggestion)
  • Soak the onion into water before chopping (Kevin’s suggestion)
  • Put a cup of salt next to you while chopping the onions (Cindy’s suggestion)


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While working on our tasks, we also had a chance to catch up and get to know each other well in a very homely environment. I felt more comfortable asking and answering questions from my colleagues because everyone was very warm and friendly to me. We got a chance to talk about topics beyond work such as school, future goals, family, etc.

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It goes to show that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy team activities when we can do something like cooking together; it is inexpensive, more intimate, fun, and something we can learn a lot from including health, food, and kitchen skills. Working with different people gets more efficient if there’s a personal connection in some way between the team members. This is something that Chef Koochooloo values, is to create an ideal workplace for everybody. Today’s experience and the bond that was created is something that I would treasure and look forward to in the future.

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It feels great and honored to be part of such an amazing team, and I hope that we reach our fundraising goals in our upcoming campaign on Indiegogo, so that I can continue to work with Chef Koochooloo post graduation.