May 27, 2021 | By Joyce DiMascio

The master of corporate team building cooking programs, Victor Pisapia of VictorsFood, says team building classes are on the way back.

Pisapia, who founded VictorsFood in 2007 and co-founded Cheeky Food with Leona Watson in 2003, says corporates are bringing their people together again around cooking.

And according to Pisapia, there’s a growing demand for programs to be run in western Sydney.

Pisapia says he’s been on the lookout for suitable venues where he can create the special events for clients wanting to rebuild their teams.

He says that clients’ objectives have changed as companies seek to have their staff bond around a simple shared cooking experience.

“It’s now less focussed on “serious objectives” and outcomes, and more about getting teams together again after being apart through the COVID periods of social distancing and working remotely,” says Pisapia.

Chef Victor Pisapia of VictorsFood

This week VictorsFood delivered a team building program for Jungheinrich Australia, the logistics and forklifts operator, and prior to that, the British American Tobacco Company. Recent locations have included Rydges Parramatta and Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour.

Pisapia says that enquiries for team building events recommenced about two months ago and while there is a steady growth, organisers have smaller budgets.

For the charismatic Pisapia, doing live events again has been a major morale boost.

“It’s been really exciting to be back with clients again – it makes us feel valued.

“It’s also great to see people smiling again. At last night’s event, the participants said it was really good to be back with their colleagues again. They were all smiles,” he says.

VictorsFood engages around 15 chefs for its events which, pre-COVID were run around Australia.

Corporate team building is another dimension of the business events market that is not often mentioned, but it is important in many incentive initiatives.

Pisapia says that in the past clients have had a wide range of strategic objectives for team building events.

“Our job as presenter chefs could be to facilitate problem-solving skills or development of creativity in the workplace.”

But at present Pisapia says his clients’ priorities have been quite simple and really focussed on the importance of creating a sense of connection and belonging again.