From Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey to Master Chef and the Great British Bake Off, the UK has been swept with culinary fever. Not only do Brits love to watch professionals whip up a storm, but they also have a growing appetite for getting their hands dirty in their own kitchens. So much so, that the latest research from Statista revealed that a huge 64% of Brits “really enjoy cooking and being able to create a great meal.” Without a doubt, getting creative in the kitchen is the nation’s favourite activity of the moment. This means that if you’re looking to throw an event that caters to everyone, an oven is essential!
Putting together a large scale cooking event isn’t easy, but it is wildly fun. We created one from scratch recently, and decided to reveal a glimpse at what planning went into it, and what made it a scrumptious success.
With a 70-person strong guest list, we knew we had to find somewhere big enough to accommodate everyone. Eventually, we settled on an outdoor event under a marquee. As well as being a practical choice, the marquee gave the entire event a festive feel that added to the overall ambience. And of course, on the odd occasion that our competitors accidently burned their creations the smoke would simply waft away.
Creating an event that looks and tastes delicious
As far as we’re concerned, one of the absolute best parts of putting together an event is the decorations phase. We enjoyed so much creative freedom when it came to this bake off, with pretty pastels, colourful bunting, matching vintage and chequered table cloths galore.
Health and safety
With a group of 70 bakers, judges and attendees to entertain, health and safety was a top priority. The larger the event, the deeper you need to delve when it comes to safety measures. That’s why we were sure to give this particular venue a bespoke health and safety check.
Putting together an itinerary
One of the most intricate aspects of event planning is putting together a watertight itinerary. In order for events to go off without a hitch time management is paramount. With this event, each team was given three different challenges – Signature Bake, Technical Challenge and Showstopper. Every team was issued with a different recipe to ensure that a wide variety of cakes, biscuits, cookies, French macarons and fondant fancies were served up. Once baked to perfection teams were allocated time to add the finishing touches. Needless to say, lashings of icing, sweets, sparkles and toppings were deployed. As a fun and interactive end to the event, guests showcase their creations on display stands. After the judges have done their rounds attendees are free to check out the freshly baked delights, and socialise while sampling their favourite offerings.
Setting up a pop-up competition kitchen is no easy feat. Trust us, we know. For this event, each team required its own cooking station, complete with a mini oven, as well as all the necessary tools and equipment needed to bring their sugary creations to life.
The final product
Sifting, stirring, icing, slicing, mixing, whisking and more. There was no shortage of baking action at this tasty event! The results were mouth-watering, with our bakers pulling out all stops to create some truly spectacular masterpieces. As well as hands down winners that had the judging panel drooling, a kaleidoscope of weird and wonderful coloured macaroons also came out of those ovens, some tasting markedly better than others!
Behind the scenes
All in all, it was a fantastic day. It’s so rewarding to see all your hard work come together, particularly with an event of this scale. We’d pretty much planned everything to a tee, but there was no accounting for the mysterious saboteur who attempted to unknowingly turn down some of the team ovens. Taking the concept of ‘healthy competition’ a little too far if you ask us…
An event for everyone!
One of the things we loved most about planning this even was the fact that as well as being a competition, it was also an all-inclusive affair. A line-up of expert chefs was on hand throughout the day to give advice, offer tips and demonstrate techniques. This meant that everyone in the marquee was confident in creating culinary delights, no matter what their skill level.
This makes it the perfect event for corporate team building days, community workshops, family reunions, birthday celebrations and more. It can be held as a competition, or as a chilled out collaborative event where the reward is the opportunity to bake, share, laugh and of course, eat. Whatever you choose, we guarantee that attendees will leave with a sense of achievement, and a new appreciation for the concept of team spirit.