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Giving L’atelier des Chefs’ new Bake Off teambuilding package a test run, the V&E team took on the all-girl gang from the St Paul’s venue in a baking challenge to end them all.
L'atelier des Chefs St Paul's, 10 Foster Lane, London, EC2V 6HR
Inspired by The Great British Bake Off, both teams were set the task of creating profiteroles and cupcakes (macaroons are another option), the flavour and presentation of which, was left for us to decide. Your funeral, Ateliers.
First – a glass of fizz to settle nerves, then aprons and tactics. With the tasks divvyed, we set about trying to turn the Kitchen Aid on and make our pans hot. It wasn’t long before we worked things out and, with the help of our team chef Alice – awfully patient and friendly – we were whipping cream, stripping vanilla pods and redecorating the walls with cake batter.
We’d decided on a mix of salted caramel and chocolate profiteroles with vanilla-cream filling, and multi-coloured (and flavoured) sprawl of cupcakes.
For a while, things were looking good. But then, they weren’t. In the dying minutes, catastrophe loomed when it dawned on us that the profiterole cream had curdled, due, Alice claims, to an overeager whisking wrist. ‘More cream,’ she yowled. Cool under fire, we did the cows proud with a whip of velvet consistency. Out of the way, Mary Berry.
When time was called, both teams set the fruits of their labour on the tasting table, ready for the pros to pass their judgement. Like a window display from a fairy tale patisserie, our baked gold almost looked good enough to eat.
The result of a not-so-blind tasting: V&E won 19 points to 18 and a half. A tightly fought contest, but no love lost. Right girls?
This makes a great afternoon teambuilding event if you’re after a fun, competitive activity, for around 12 people. This could also be a winner if you want to treat a client you’ve got good relations with. Packages cost £85 +VAT per person and, of course, you take home what you’ve made.
If your group is after a more collaborative and educational experience, the Cook and Dine event is a good bet. Cook, learn and eat in a private setting. Capacity, in this format, can go up to 180 guests.