Team-building activities that focus on food make it easy to introduce local culture. Good examples are the chili, salsa and guacamole challenges at the 253-room Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz., near Tucson.
“It’s interactive, it capitalizes on people’s interest in food and culinary competitions, and it allows guests to sample the flavors of the area,” said April Thompson, meetings and special events manager.
Group form teams of up to eight, and each team then competes against the clock to create a dish, assembled from ingredients in a stocked pantry.
One chef is assigned to every three teams. “But each team can get creative and design their own dish,” Thompson said. “The creativity definitely stands out with salsas, many of which include interesting fruit additions.”
The challenge makes for a fun prelude to a dinner, especially when a margarita bar is added to the activity.