On Friday, December 7th, the biomedical engineering seniors competed in a Kitchen Battle at The Kitchen at Billings Forge. The event, part Dr. Arico’s Biomedical Engineering Senior Design course offered an off-campus opportunity to hone their team work and communication skills. Each student team was tasked with making a dish using ingredients in the ‘mystery basket’. Students then worked with the Kitchen staff to create the dish. Following the judging/eating period, students reflected on the similarities and differences in team dynamics and communication in the different setting.
Mohammed B.: “The kitchen battle was an amazing opportunity for us as senior students. We could see the differences in the group work in two different areas, at the senior design class and at the kitchen. At the senior design class, my group is more confident and can deal with things so easily. The reason behind that is that they are used to this kind of work, which makes them feel confident about it. But at the kitchen, they were not as confident as in the design class. They were so shy since almost no one knew how to cook. I think the reason behind that is that they did not get used to this kind of work, they just need more practice in cooking so they achieve better results in this side.”
Alyssa B: “On Friday, December 7th, our BE460 class gathered at Kitchen at Billings Forge in Hartford to participate in a team building kitchen battle. The class split into our design project teams and we were given a basket of ingredients to cook three dishes out of. Our group discussed possibilities of dishes and decided on three before heading back to the kitchen to start cooking. Once in the kitchen, each member of the group began performing a certain task such as cutting onions or preparing chicken for the grill. In the end, I was surprised by what our group could accomplish by working as a team. Our communication in the kitchen was functional and produced very successful and tasty dishes. I did notice a difference in communication during the Kitchen Battle compared to our normal group work. Our group seemed more respectful of other members of the team and more functional and productive as a whole. I am not sure why we were more productive in the kitchen compared to doing project related things. Maybe it was because we were given a set timeline by the chefs and everyone was completing their own task. There was no set leader and no one was controlling or criticizing another.”
Lydia W: “The Kitchen Battle was a really fun experience that was also a great team building activity. You have to be able to truly trust the people in your class if you are going to eat food that they make. I think that it was good for my group, but it was also something that made our class better friends. Before the kitchen battle, I had never spent anytime outside of class with the majority of the people in BE 460, so it was nice to get to know people on more of a personal, rather than professional, level. I know that a lot of people were not enthusiastic about this event, but it seemed like everyone really enjoyed it. I will admit that I was not looking forward to this event, but I had a great time, and I believe that my group will definitely benefit from participating.”