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Bond At A Distance With The Remote Team Cooking Challenge

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All companies have one—the special token office-chef. You know, the one you can always count on to bring in a delicious dish of enchiladas (with all the toppings!). 

If you happen to be that token chef but work remotely, it’s a real tragedy that your coworkers miss out on the deliciousness of your talents, but secondly, you might be yearning to somehow share that passion with others. Or your team may be distributed and is looking for a fun way to connect that doesn’t involve project updates and status reports.

We may not share your baking, basting, or blending abilities, but we do have a few ideas on how to create a remote cooking experience with your coworkers. 

Learn how the Trello team connects over its shared love of food and feast your eyes on a new way to bond with your team–no matter where your kitchen is located! 

Eat, Cook, Love

As a remote company, we are faced with a persistent yet ever-evolving challenge: how can we connect with our coworkers and get to know them beyond work?

The options seem endless, until you take into account parameters such as different time zones, cultural diversity, and other limitations.

Of course, many teams connect daily on Slack and often chat via non-work related channels to get to know each other beyond shipping timelines and project deadlines. We have all sorts of channels from #off-topic (where you have the liberty to talk about absolutely anything), to #small-humans (babies and more!), and #dog-for-days (roo!)— it’s truly an amazing way to connect with coworkers without bombarding the entire company with pictures of your pooch or weekend trips. 

The #cooking-trello channel is no exception to this rule, it's a place where microwave lovers and chefs alike can meet to share recipes, tips, and tricks to improve their cooking skills.

cooking tips

It All Started With A Board (Of Trello Cards… Not Cheese)

To spice up the team bonding, the Trello team took it a step further by launching the Remote Cooking Challenge and it *obviously* started with a Trello board. 

The challenge starts by randomly picking one ingredient per month and then incentivizing people to share recipes or dishes they cooked that month using that specific ingredient. Anyone can add an ingredient to be picked and let’s just say, some very interesting ingredients have been added the past few months. We’re all still wondering what the heck finger limes are. In other words, anyone can easily share their recipes and dishes thanks through Trello cards. 

After 6 months of the remote cooking challenge, we’ve concocted a secret sauce to create a successful Trello board. Feel free to copy the Template board and use it to create your own Remote Cooking Challenge board with your fellow foodies! 

remote cookng challenge board

Create Board From Template

Step 1: Put In Some Context

As this board can be shared with anyone interested in joining the challenge, make sure that it is self explanatory by giving as much context as possible.

About This Board Section
Thanks to this feature, you can explain what the board is about to newcomers by sharing a succinct description of the goal of the board and remote cooking challenge.

About Board - Remote Cooking Challenge
"General" List

The first list can be set as a General list where you can create as many cards as you wish to explain the process of the challenge, state clear instructions, introduce specific features you set on the board, and even list  participants. 

Step 2: Add A Heavy Pour Of Automation

Since a side project such as a cooking challenge can easily become a side burden, it is important to automate as much as possible within the board.

Card Template
Create a Card Template people can easily copy. You will standardize the process in a click, making the experience more consistent no matter how familiar participants are with Trello.

Template Card in Remote Cooking Challenge

Random Ingredient Selection
To add some spice to the process we wanted to make sure that ingredients were randomly selected. To do this, we created a list where anyone on the board could add an ingredient of their choice. Then we established a Board Button thanks to Butler, which means when this button is clicked, Butler will automatically (and randomly) select one card from the ‘Ingredients’ list and move it over the ‘Current Month’ list

Butler board button automations

Due Dates
Add due dates with minimal effort. We set a Butler rule that would automatically add a due date to a card as soon as it is created in a specific list. It is a nice way to remind participants that their recipe is due by the end of the month, without having to manually do it. 


Step 3: Sprinkle In Some Collaboration

Over the past 6 months, this board has become not only a meeting point for all participants of the cooking challenge but also an incredible repository of *very* varied recipes. Making sure our virtual collaborative cookbook is easily readable and searchable over time has contributed to its success. 

Let your cooking pals know what you think of their recipes or add your own experience of trying  the same recipe by commenting on the card— add some flair to your back and forth conversation with emoji reactions.

Move List items
Thanks to the "Move all items in this list" feature, we are able every month to add new recipes every month to the board. It helps us create a collaborative recipe book in only a couple of clicks. 

Move Cards In list for remote cooking challenge

Send out that invite to get that virtual dinner party on the books! Easily invite new members thanks to our “Invite” feature. You can either enter someone's email address and they will directly receive an email invite to your board or just copy the invite link and share it with all the aspiring chefs you know!

Dig Into Remote Cooking And Team Bonding! 

May our Remote Cooking Challenge Board be a source of inspiration to help channel your inner Guy Fieri. Until then, get your fellow remote coworkers on board (literally) by using this Remote Cooking Challenge Template board to kick-off your first cooking challenge. 

Create Board From Template

Good or bad, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Twitter (@trello)!

Next: Working From Home? 12 Guides To Help Navigate The Remote Life

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