We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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Author Katarina Todorovic
Katarina Todorovic
Updated on Jan 23rd, 2024
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Asheville Mountain Kitchen 2024: Boutique Cooking School in Asheville, NC!

In the dynamic world of culinary arts, where flavors and creativity intertwine, the journey of Ofri Hirsch, Chef and Founder of Asheville Mountain Kitchen, is nothing short of remarkable. A decade ago, Ofri's narrative began in the prestigious halls of Harvard University, where she earned a Master's Degree in Urban Design. However, life took an unexpected turn, and after a decade of immersing herself in the realms of design and architecture, Ofri found herself drawn to a different passion that transcended conventional boundaries - the world of food and nutrition. Transforming a personal quest into a dedicated profession, Ofri Hirsch is on a mission to guide individuals towards more mindful eating practices. Join Delivery Rank as we delve into the unique and inspiring culinary journey of Ofri Hirsch, a master of both design and the delectable.

How did you first get involved in culinary team building, and what inspired you to become a facilitator at Asheville Mountain Kitchen?

Eight years ago, when I moved here, my kitchen and my house had a really great setup. I have always enjoyed cooking throughout my life, even somewhat professionally, but I have never attended culinary school. I began by teaching some cooking classes here, and it evolved into team building activities. As companies approached me, I learned more about it. Consequently, I started offering culinary team-building competitions, cooking classes, and workshops around design thinking using food for corporate clients.

Asheville Mountain Kitchen promotes a hands-on approach to cooking classes. How do you ensure that participants, regardless of their skill levels, actively engage in preparing all the dishes on the menu?

First of all, our goal is to teach home cooking, so we keep things very simple. Another goal of mine is to have everyone experience older dishes, so I don't divide people into groups; we do everything together. For example, we work with dough. We start by doing that first, letting it prove, and then letting it rest. Afterward, we move on to something else. This way, everyone is involved in each step together. This approach allows me to supervise what people are doing, correct them if they need help, and show them how to do it. That's how I conduct the sessions.

What role do local ingredients play in your cooking classes, and how do you incorporate the flavors of the Smoky Mountains into the culinary team building experience?

We offer foraging classes in which we gather edibles from the woods, including mushrooms, trees, and roots. We incorporate these foraged items into our classes. Additionally, we use locally sourced food from farms. As much as possible, we provide Appalachian cuisine classes and other local Southern classes too.

Team building is a crucial aspect of your events. Can you share a specific activity or challenge that you find particularly effective in fostering collaboration and communication among participants?

I think almost every event I organize, including public cooking classes that bring strangers together for three hours, is amazing in terms of how people connect. It's the best way to connect with others, even if you don't initially intend to. You just become close to other people, strangers, and they become your friends. People often exchange numbers and contacts, creating a real sense of community.

I actively promote this concept with corporate groups, particularly in the context of design thinking. We use food to generate new ideas and innovate, usually in ways that are related to the company's culture. This approach encourages a lot of collaboration and communication.

Can you share a success story where a corporate team, after participating in one of your team building events, reported tangible improvements in their workplace dynamics or productivity?

I believe I have quite a few examples. Primarily, I had a group that had hired several new people straight out of college. They faced challenges in managing this group of young employees who seemed to be still figuring themselves out, struggling to function within the company framework. To address this, we conducted a team-building exercise through cooking. I think the activity highlighted some of the difficulties they were facing, which they later took back to the office and worked on further. It genuinely demonstrated to the young employees how they presented themselves and identified the issues they were experiencing.

If you would like to find out more about Asheville Mountain Kitchen, visit https://ashevillemountainkitchen.com/


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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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