Come dine with us

Nothing brings people together like a good meal, so where better to spend our team-building day than in a kitchen?

Pens were exchanged for knives and desks for chopping boards, as all at the NCTJ offices prepared for our annual team day. As the newest member of the team, I was keen to make a good impression which mainly involved hiding my complete lack of culinary skills.

Our hosts were L’atelier des Chefs, a cooking school in Oxford Circus offering hands-on cooking classes from professional chefs.

We were greeted by glasses of bubbly and nibbles before being led into our Master Chef-esque kitchen. We were then divided into two teams, prompting a bit of friendly competition to keep us on our toes.

Our day didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, with our chef, Steve, slicing his finger open within the first 10 minutes. Ironically, he did this while demonstrating the correct way to chop vegetables.

Despite this early set-back, Steve soldiered on like a true pro and, while we busied ourselves preparing our three course feast, our communications manager turned resident photographer kept track of our progress.

Our first attempt at plating-up was met with some delighted muttering, with camera phones appearing to capture the finished product or, in my case, to prove to family and friends that I was capable of cooking something that looked good and was also edible!

It was at this point that our host Greg had to step in after Steve finally decided that his finger needed some professional medical attention, and we continued on with the serious business of plating up our mains and desserts.

It was an eventful day but, in the end, we managed to create 11 three-course-meals, learn three new recipes and finish up with just one casualty: not bad for a day’s work.

Lisa Nelson, Journalism Diversity Fund Intern