‘Tis the Season for Christmas Cooking, Hosting and Gathering

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Cooking, Hosting and Gathering

CC Cooking Competition 🧑‍🍳👩🏼‍🍳 & Secret Santa Gift Exchange 🎁

If there’s one thing CodeChem is known for, it’s definitely doing things differently.✨ So, instead of throwing a regular Christmas corporate boring party where employees' kids would have fun with Santa, we poured our hearts out with some Christmas cooking combined with a Secret Santa gift exchange. It was a competition to remember where all the bakers, decorators, video editors, shopping executives, and other team members competed by showing their cooking skills.

Read on, as we are going into full detail about Secret Santa and who won the cooking competition. 👇

Who Could My Santa Be?

We decked the halls of Base42 with a beautiful light ambiance, presents, and a Christmas tree, creating a warm and inviting seasonal atmosphere. After our working hours, the whole crew went to Base42 and had the gift exchange. Everyone took this task very seriously, and you could feel the suspense and the excitement. Once the gift exchange was over, happy and surprised faces were everywhere, and the holiday joy filled the air. 💕

We decided to skip the public guessing part for Secret Santa 🎁 so that people could discover by themselves. Although some people weren’t thrilled with this decision, we hope you understand that guessing who bought a gift for 100 people would have lasted for hours, and you always have to take into account that there are other activities. After all, the season is about gathering, connecting with your colleagues and friends, and surrounding ourselves with joy and warmth. Plus, a little curiosity never kills anyone! 🤗

The Teams Behind the Cooking Competition

After exchanging presents, we put on our aprons and chef hats. There were seven teams, each representing a different color: blue, orange, green, red, yellow, violet, and indigo. These colors were not chosen randomly, and we'll discuss their significance in some of our upcoming blog posts. Finally, all the teams presented their pre-made Christmas desserts on the table.

Suddenly, the atmosphere transformed into something resembling a scene from a popular cooking show, as if Gordon Ramsey himself would emerge from around the corner any moment. It was the exact moment when you could feel the excitement and the competitiveness. The level of dedication, hard work, and teamwork required for this competition was truly surprising. The desserts looked impeccable, and when combined with the colorful aprons and chef hats, we resembled the crew of MasterChef.

Judge-Mental Much?

As we planned for this competition, we decided that the judges should be unbiased, honest, and willing to provide genuine feedback. Who is the most pure-hearted and honest person in this world? Children, of course. Thus, we came up with the idea of allowing our employees' children to become judges. Initially, we introduced them to the voting guidelines, and then they stepped onto the stage, officially introducing themselves to the teams as their judges.

The Rule of Three

All the teams had one common goal: to create the most outstanding dessert within a specified budget, select a wine that complements the dessert, and strive to win the competition. The judges evaluated each team based on their teamwork, decoration, and taste and awarded points accordingly. The first and foremost rule of the competition was that every team member had to be actively involved in the dessert-making process, and each person had a specific role to play, ranging from purchasing the ingredients, finding the perfect recipe, decorating the dessert, and so on.

It was enjoyable to overhear people discussing their cooking plans, what they would make, and who would bake. It was heartening to witness the level of enthusiasm and dedication everyone had, to the extent that some teams even held meetings to plan their cooking strategies. The dessert was made one day before the event, and each team made videos of the cooking process, proving the teamwork and that the dessert wasn’t bought from a confectionery (because everything looked so good).

Special Thanks to the Video Editors

Some videos were very professional, and some team members stood out from the crowd with their teamwork. Whoever made the video did a great job and left the judges impressed. After watching the videos of all the teams, the judges went around the table and carefully examined the decorations of each team. From gingerbread houses, winter wonderland brownies, Christmas cookies, Christmas tree muffins, chocolate snowmen, and pinecones, everything looked so magical that everyone enjoyed just watching it.

A Recipe Has No Soul, Your Team Has to Bring Soul to the Recipe

There is one popular quote among famous chefs: “If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it's not good cooking for yourself; the joy is in cooking for others,” and we somehow got stuck to it. 🌟❣️

The judges stepped away from the table and moved to another room to award points to the teams for their teamwork and decorations. Despite being young, they were very strict and made decisions quickly. Still, they got silly questions like, “Why are your gingerbread cookies painted red? Is that blood?” “Why is my father not included in the cooking? Is it because he really doesn’t know how to cook anything?” “Why are you lying to us that you are covering your gingerbread house with snow? We are adult enough to know that it’s icing sugar?” “Are those ghosts? Isn’t this a theme for Halloween?” which made the competition even funnier. 🤣

After a long day of judging, the judges became exhausted and hungry. They took a break to evaluate the final round based on taste. Each judge tasted every dessert before returning to the voting area to score them. It was a difficult decision, but eventually, they came to a conclusion.

The Verdict: Golden, Silver and Bronze Spoons

After making the decision, the judges ran back among the teams to claim the winner, the team with the best dessert in taste, decoration, and teamwork.

1st Place: The blue team won, so they got the first prize in the cooking competition, wine degustation in one of our local wineries, + their golden spoon (actually a wooden spoon with a golden ribbon, but let’s pretend it was a golden one 😀).

2nd Place: The indigo team came in second place, but the judges noted that although their decoration was excellent, their muffins were dry, which prevented them from winning the top prize. They received a free meal day and a silver spoon as a consolation.

3rd Place: Finally, the announcement for the third-place winner was made. The orange team was awarded a recipe book and a bronze spoon for their impressive gingerbread house. Despite the elaborate design and delicious taste, the judges didn't award them a higher position because they felt deceived by the snow on the cake, which was clearly made of icing sugar.

The judges had a tough time choosing the winners because each team put in their best effort, but ultimately, they felt that the blue, indigo, and orange teams had won their hearts.

The Ultimate Battle of Best Dessert

After claiming the winners of the competition, we were all invited to try out the desserts and drink some wine that the teams bought with their desserts and some soft drinks and snacks for our young judges who got tired from the competition because it was exhaustive and hard to decide. While trying the desserts, everyone was invited to vote for the best dessert, excluding their own team.

After counting the votes, we declared the green team the Best Dessert Award winner and awarded them a Michelin Star. Their chocolate snowmen were incredibly delicious, and we couldn't resist having more of them in the following days.

Catching Snowballs

The competition ended with a silly game where the participants had to gather cotton balls from a table using a spatula while their eyes were sealed. The winner was the one who gathered the most cotton balls. However, the interest in the game could have been higher, as people were more curious to find out who their Santa was and what gift they had received.

Nevertheless, the organizer forgave the lack of enthusiasm, as the event was already long enough without this part. After the game, some crew members stayed behind, and the night continued with karaoke and music.

Final Touch

Long story short, regardless of who won, you proved again that you are all amazing. Creating a dessert as a team, with a limited budget, that is both impressive and visually appealing enough to capture a child's imagination is exceptionally challenging. So congratulations on your hard work and creativity and for showing respect and participating in this event. Keep nurturing these values; combined with your work, you will someday conquer the world! 💕👏🏻

As this is our final blog post for this year, we are extremely optimistic as we set our sights on 2024. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and we are certainly spreading the joy! 🎄 We can't wait to see what the future holds! 🌟

See you next year!