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Nov 15, 2007 12:10 PM

Toronto Venue to host a Cook-off?

Hello all!

This is a bit of an odd request, but I've been charged to plan a holiday-esque event for the company I just started working for. So, obviously, I want to do a good job. They want something competitive and fun and something that promotes team building. One of the ideas I came up with was a cook-off. You have a recipe card, your ingredients and go at it! Prizes can be awarded for the most creative, the biggest mess, etc. The thing is though, we need a venue. So, I turn to you Chowhounders...any ideas on where we could find a place to suit our needs? It's going to be a medium-sized group of 30-50 people. The cheaper the better, since we do have a budget limit.

We're looking at mid-December for the event.

Thanks! :)

(Edited for's been a REALLY long day)

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  1. I don't know who will be available with a kitchen for you to use on Monday. It's the busy holiday season! You can see if Cooks on Eight happens to be empty for some reason.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pescatarian

      I phrased that REALLY badly. The event is actually mid-December.

      Sorry about that!

      1. re: Medira

        No worries! I still think that's close, but you never know....

        It would have to be a cooking school environment as mentioned, which means Cooks on Eight, Calphalon, etc. They are not cheap though. I could be wrong, but I don't think that George Brown would do it on such short notice.

    2. the only thing I can think of would be a cooking school but that is a large group and I do not know if they would want something like that in their class room (biggest mess?) and probabbly the cost would be high...

      1. You could pitch it to Calphalon at Spadina & King, they have the facillities, or maybe even at George Brown if there is a vacancy from classes at a time that works for you...??...the required equipment and space probally won't come too cheaply, but it sounds like fun!

        8 Replies
        1. re: Recyclor

          I was in a work 'Iron Chef' event a few months ago at Calphalon which was tons of fun.

          I don't imagine it's cheap though.

            1. re: Tara9000

              Very cool! What did you guys cook?

              1. re: Medira

                The 'secret ingredient' was beef tenderloin. :)

                It was a ton of fun, but there was a bit of mass confusion/running around because every ingredient for the night is kept at the very front of the cooking classroom, and it makes for a lot of back and forth.

            2. re: Recyclor

              If you get George Brown only the kitchens on the second floor are worthwhile. The basement ones are old and tired.

              Sounds like a really fun idea. Good luck.

              1. re: Mila

                Sorry, I disagree with that. I took several classes in the chef program there last year and it was pretty unanimous in the class that we preferred the set up of the old kitchens downstairs to the newer ones on the 2nd floor.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  Ah, but you might not have seen the new production kitchen they just opened in September.

                  Proper stock kettles, flash freezer, restaurant woks, tandoor oven and more.

                  1. re: Mila

                    oh wow, no, the last course I took ended in August!

            3. an organization i worked with had iron chef type events but it only involved two teams, so i can't say if the size is appropriate, but they did use george brown and nella cucina before with great results.

              the room at calphalon may be more to your liking since there are several stations in one room.

              1. We had a group event at Richmond Hill Culinary Arts Centre last year. The size of the group was about 25. We were there for the whole afternoon. We cooked our own 3-course meal with the help of the chef, separated into 2 groups to have a cooking competition (3 people represents each team) by using squid, and had a sit-down dinner. We brought in our own wine. I'm not quite sure whether the place could accommodate 30-50 people. I would suggest you to give them a call to find out.

                Richmond Hill Culinary Arts Centre
                1550 16th Avenue
                Richmond Hill, ON
                (905) 508-2665

                Its website doesn't show properly on my pc right now. You might want to check here to find more about this place:

                Looks like that Seneca Brown College now has the partnership with Richmond Hill Culinary Arts Centre. This is news to me.