Online Cooking Classes

Here is our guide to online cooking classes.

We put this guide together after running thousands of successful virtual team building activities and connecting remote teams in all industries for over a decade!

Online cooking classes involve groups of colleagues collaborating and following instructions from a professional chef to prepare a dish remotely. This activity fosters team bonding and communication as participants work together to create a culinary masterpiece while being physically apart. Engaging in such an experience enhances team cohesion and promotes creativity, problem-solving, and mutual support.

Ideal group size: 

4 to 10 participants

Activity duration:

60 to 90 minutes


$20 to $100 per person

(This cost covers the cost of ingredients, equipment rental or purchase if necessary, and the instructor’s fee.)

What you’ll need:

  • Video conferencing software (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet)
  • Ingredients and kitchen equipment for cooking (varies depending on the chosen recipe)
  • Access to cooking instructions or recipes provided by the instructor
  • Access to a kitchen or cooking space for each participant

How to do it:

Step 1: Choose a Recipe

Before the event, select a recipe that suits the skill level and dietary preferences of your team members. Consider options that are relatively simple yet engaging, accommodating various dietary restrictions if applicable.

Step 2: Coordinate Ingredients

Depending on the logistics and budget, decide whether to provide ingredients to participants in advance or have them purchase ingredients themselves. Further, provide a detailed shopping list and suggest alternative ingredients for flexibility.

Step 3: Hire a Chef or Appoint a Team Leader

Consider hiring a professional chef to lead the cooking class virtually, providing expertise and guidance throughout the process. Alternatively, appoint a team member with cooking experience as the leader to facilitate the session and ensure smooth execution.

Step 4: Pre-Event Preparation

Before the event, distribute the chosen recipe, ingredient list, and any necessary cooking equipment or utensils to participants. Cooks can familiarize themselves with the recipe and gather all ingredients and equipment in advance.

Step 5: Introduction and Instructions

At the start of the session, introduce the chef or team leader and provide an overview of the activity. Hosts should clearly outline the objectives, timeline, and expectations for participation, emphasizing teamwork and collaboration.

Step 6: Chef Demonstration or Team Briefing

If your team is working with a chef, then allow time for a brief demonstration of key cooking techniques and tips. Alternatively, if you appoint a team leader, then conduct a team briefing to assign roles, review the recipe, and address any questions or concerns.

Step 7: Cooking Session

Hosts guide participants through the cooking process step by step, providing clear instructions and demonstrations as needed. To ensure a successful culinary experience, encourage teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.

Step 8: Support and Guidance

As folks navigate the cooking process, offer support and guidance to inexperienced team members. It is important to foster a supportive and inclusive atmosphere where all participants feel valued and empowered to contribute.

Step 9: Culinary Creations and Celebration

Once the cooking is complete, invite participants to showcase their culinary creations virtually and share their experiences with the group. You can celebrate achievements and recognize individual and team efforts, fostering a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Examples of games or activities:

1. Mystery Ingredient Challenge

Participants receive a set of mystery ingredients and must create a dish using only those ingredients within a specified time limit.

  1. Assign each participant or team a set of mystery ingredients, ensuring they are challenging yet versatile.
  2. Set a time limit for participants to brainstorm and plan their dishes, considering the flavor profiles and cooking techniques that best suit the ingredients.
  3. Encourage participants to collaborate and innovate as they cook, creatively using the mystery ingredients to create a delicious dish.
  4. Once the cooking time is up, have participants present their creations virtually, explaining their dishes and their inspiration.
  5. Facilitate a vote or judging process to determine the winning dish based on creativity, taste, presentation, and use of the mystery ingredients.

This activity encourages creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork as participants work together to overcome culinary challenges. Participants think outside the box and embrace experimentation to create unique and flavorful dishes.

2. Virtual Cook-Off Tournament

Teams compete head-to-head in a series of cooking challenges, with each round eliminating the team with the weakest dish until a winner is crowned.

  1. Divide participants into teams and announce the cooking challenges for each round, ensuring they vary in difficulty and culinary theme.
  2. Set a time limit for each round, allowing teams to plan, prepare, and cook their dishes within the allocated time.
  3. Facilitate a virtual cook-off, with teams presenting their dishes to a panel of judges or the entire group.
  4. After each round, eliminate the team with the weakest dish based on judging criteria such as taste, presentation, and creativity.
  5. Continue through multiple rounds until only one team remains as the ultimate winner of the cook-off tournament.

This competitive format adds excitement and suspense to the online cooking class, motivating participants to showcase their culinary skills and creativity. Be sure to encourage friendly competition and sportsmanship throughout the tournament, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and collaboration.

3. International Cuisine Challenge

Teams explore different cuisines from around the world by researching, planning, and preparing dishes that represent a specific country or region.

  1. Assign each participant a different country or region to represent, providing resources and information to guide their research.
  2. Have chefs brainstorm and plan a menu that showcases the flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques of their assigned cuisine.
  3. Set a time limit for teams to prepare and cook their dishes, allowing them to collaborate and divide tasks efficiently.
  4. Encourage teams to be creative and authentic in their interpretation of the cuisine, incorporating traditional dishes and flavors into their menu.
  5. Once the cooking is complete, have participants present their dishes virtually, sharing insights into the cultural significance and culinary traditions of their chosen cuisine.

This activity celebrates diversity and cultural appreciation while encouraging teamwork and culinary creativity.


  1. Ensure every individual has access to the recipe and ingredient list beforehand to avoid delays during the cooking session.
  2. Encourage participants to set up their cooking stations in advance with all necessary ingredients and equipment for a smooth experience.
  3. Facilitate clear communication and collaboration among team members throughout the cooking process to maximize efficiency and teamwork.
  4. Provide guidance and support for inexperienced cooks, offering tips and assistance as needed to ensure everyone feels included and supported.
  5. Embrace creativity and flexibility in ingredient substitutions and cooking techniques, allowing participants to adapt recipes to their preferences and dietary restrictions.
  6. Incorporate fun challenges or games into the cooking session to keep participants engaged and motivated, such as a timed cooking race or a mystery ingredient challenge.
  7. Foster a positive and encouraging atmosphere where participants feel comfortable asking questions, sharing their culinary creations, and celebrating each other’s achievements.

Final Thoughts

Hosting an online cooking class with teams offers a unique and engaging opportunity for remote colleagues to bond, collaborate, and have fun together. Through shared culinary experiences, participants can strengthen relationships, enhance communication skills, and foster a sense of camaraderie. By embracing creativity, teamwork, and a spirit of exploration, online cooking classes can serve as powerful tools for building stronger, more cohesive teams in the digital age.

Want more ideas? Check out our post on virtual community building activities.

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