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Lunch/Baking club in office

  • 10-01-2020 12:08pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,622 ✭✭✭ Patsy167

    Hi Everyone,

    For a long time I have wanted to set up a Lunch/Baking club in my workplace.

    It is a large international office with multiple cultures represented (~35% of the workforce will be non-Irish). My aim with the club would be to promote integration as there is very little at the moment.

    My question for the Food forum is if people have ideas on how I should approach setting this up? We have access to microwaves and plenty of tables in the staff kitchen.

    My initial thought was to have it at lunch time once a month on a Friday. Using the following format:
    1. There would be a voluntary sign-up schedule. Two courses at the lunch club. One person would bring the main course and another would bring the dessert.
    2. Focus would be on making food that means something to the person and there would be a story and discussion of it over the meal.

    I am very keen to hear what peoples thoughts are on the above or if there are any suggestions on what other people have tried. I would love to hear all thoughts/suggestions that others have one this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭ greenttc

    In a previous workplace of mine we held an international lunch day a few times, so it wasnt a regular once a month thing, more of an event. we asked everyone to make or bring in something from their own culture or background or there were some irish people who lived for extended periods in other countries and they brought/made something from there. the only "control" we tried to impose was trying to get a balance of savoury and sweet (desert) so when lots of people said they were making deserts we asked for volunteers to make a savoury dish instead.

    it all worked really well we had all manner of things such as curries from india, pierogis from poland and some polish deserts, some finnish dishes (brown little savoury pastry things from finland, tasted like they had a lot of bran in them, dunno!) one guy who lived in america for years brought in hot dogs and buns, italian tiramisu, polish doughnuts, pavlova from New Zealand.... there was lots of stuff, this is just what stands out in my memory.

    everyone knew about the day and so came with empty bellies, there was plenty of food and something for all tastes and lots of recipe swapping going on. there were leftovers the next day too (pavlova for breakfast, yum!) and it was such a success that we ran it a few times, people really looked forward to it.

    keys to success were not imposing too may rules, anything went (eg someone just brought in smoked salmon and brown bread, there was no shame in it not being something they made, a guy from wexford brought in punnets of strawberries) and everyone was invited. it didnt matter if you hadnt made anything you could still come and eat what was there. I think the first two times we did it we made it a charity event and everyone paid a fiver for lunch, even if you had brought something. everyone was happy to sit around the lunch room and eat and there as no formality about it. everyone helped clean up after so no excess mess was generated for cleaners. it was a real team effort.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,978 ✭✭✭ Mongfinder General

    The voluntary element of the event is key. We used to have a bring and bake once a fortnight but it was compulsory as teams were picked from across the organisation. It just ended up pissing people off.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 20,339 Mod ✭✭✭✭ RacoonQueen

    In an old job we used to have 'pot luck lunches' where different departments would be in charge of providing the lunch each time. So some would bring sweet, others savoury. It only took say 10 people to bring enough to feed all of us (about 50 - though less would actually turn up)
    Good while ago now so don't fully remember it so can't really remember how we reheated stuff as we only had one microwave. I remember a lady from texas brought in her own hotplates to reheat the dish she brought. Perhaps with people coming in dribs and drabs one microwave was enough...

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,120 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    This comes and goes in work, hasn't happened for a while now but two microwaves and a two ring electric hotplate have sufficed for heating it up. I've never taken part because I work in and out of the office and it's guaranteed I'd be called out the day I had to provide!