Nutrition has always been a big part of wellness, not only do we want the food to taste good, but we also want it to help accomplish our wellness goals. When we decided to come together as a team, after many months away from each other (vacations, covid), we knew we wanted to “break bread” with each other again. In this case, we took it literally.

On a Friday afternoon, under the instruction of Chef Pierre, we all left our homes and office and descended to The Chef Upstairs where we all donned aprons, divided each other into teams and cooked different courses. In one corner, the salad team. In the other the main course team and we can’t forget the dessert team. Like a great maestro, Chef Pierre taught us little tricks of the trade, moving between stations, making sure we didn’t burn or cut ourselves in the process. And like tenacious sous students, we stirred, chopped, seasoned and fried the food with purpose.

We see many similarities when it comes to cooking and architecture. It’s a process and a cycle, all part of a fragile and delicate ecosystem. We nurture the earth to farm local and organic ingredients. We change its chemistry or cook them to make desired materials, or meals. The food we eat or buildings we create nourishes our bodies, so we can live a healthy lifestyle. We can then use the waste as compost to nourish the earth to give us more food in the future or recycle the materials to use in future projects. It was important for us to make these connections as a team. As Wellness Architects, understanding the concepts of farm to table or more specifically from cradle to cradle allows us to see the bigger picture in all the actions that we do.

As we all laugh and eat around the table, it’s shocking to think that doing this a year ago would have been impossible. When we wrote “re-imaging the workplace” at the beginning of the pandemic we had concepts and ideas of what the future (now) would look like. Ultimately, it would mean a huge shift in culture for the workplace. The old concepts and ideas would not thrive in this new ecosystem where everything is connected. Culture is the heart of an organization and building a strong one means taking the time to cultivate those relationships. Just like how a farmer nurtures the environment for their crops to grow and thrive so must employers with their team.

The outcome from our team bonding event was a meal cooked with local ingredients, served with local wine all made together as a team. As architects we know it takes many people and materials to compete and build a project successfully. It was satisfying to see the fruits of our labour and eat them at the end of the day.