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Toronto Venue to host a Cook-off?

m
Medira Nov 15, 2007 12:10 PM

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 clarity...it's been a REALLY long day)

  1. pescatarian Nov 15, 2007 12:15 PM

    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
      m
      Medira Nov 15, 2007 12:18 PM

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

      Sorry about that!

      1. re: Medira
        pescatarian Nov 15, 2007 12:26 PM

        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. OnDaGo Nov 15, 2007 12:16 PM

      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. Recyclor Nov 15, 2007 12:16 PM

        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
          Tara9000 Nov 15, 2007 12:22 PM

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

          http://www.calphalonculinarycenter.com

          I don't imagine it's cheap though.

          1. re: Tara9000
            Recyclor Nov 15, 2007 12:29 PM

            ...that sounds sweet!

            1. re: Tara9000
              m
              Medira Nov 15, 2007 12:34 PM

              Very cool! What did you guys cook?

              1. re: Medira
                Tara9000 Nov 18, 2007 06:13 AM

                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
              m
              Mila Nov 15, 2007 12:37 PM

              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
                pescatarian Nov 15, 2007 12:39 PM

                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
                  m
                  Mila Nov 16, 2007 06:04 AM

                  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
                    pescatarian Nov 16, 2007 06:15 AM

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

            3. pinstripeprincess Nov 15, 2007 12:47 PM

              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. c
                chutchut Nov 15, 2007 03:28 PM

                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
                Map: http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&dq=Culinary+Arts+Centre+loc:+Richmond+Hill,+ON&daddr=1550+16th+Avenue,+Richmond+Hill,+ON&geocode=4336573079806516481,43.862771,-79.385581&ll=43.862771,-79.385581&iwstate1=dir:to&iwloc=A&f=d

                Its website http://www.culinaryarts.ca/ doesn't show properly on my pc right now. You might want to check here to find more about this place: http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&...

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

                1. j
                  Jinks Nov 15, 2007 05:55 PM

                  When I planned an event like this I used the Meile showroom. I can't recall the cost though.

                  1. BavarianBaker Nov 15, 2007 05:58 PM

                    Almost any school would have the sort of space you would need. They be less expensive and less booked. Look closer into high school or College/University type places as they would be on break and so would have the kitchens rather open. I have heard recently (but have not verified) professional grade kitchens for rent by the hour on the Danforth. That could be something to look into as well.

                    1. p
                      piccola Nov 15, 2007 06:55 PM

                      Try booking a room at the Superstore. They do cooking demos all the time, and I'm sure they rent out the space.

                      If not, try Whole Foods.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: piccola
                        pancake Nov 18, 2007 11:23 AM

                        oh yeah piccola is right! Loblaws superstores do rent out there party rooms with cooking equipment in them. I think that would be the most affordable option!!

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