From the Frying Pan to the Fire - What it's like for Home Cooks in a Commercial Kitchen

Everett Doner, Executive Chef Events

As Executive Chef Events is able to resume our in-person culinary events, we thought it would be a great opportunity to share one of the more fun aspects of our Cooking Classes and Iron Chef Competitions - the chance for home cooks to experience what it’s like to cook in a commercial kitchen.


While we’re not always able to offer our events in such settings, many of the venues we work with, particularly for corporate events or team-building events, is the chance to take over a large restaurant or catering kitchen. Here are some of the differences your group - large or small - might encounter if you join us for such an activity.

  1. Heat Horsepower - the burners and ovens in commercial kitchens get HOT and stay that way. This means that, during your large-group event, you can cook a lot more food much more quickly than at home. It also means you have to watch what you’re doing, as burning items is much easier, too!

  2. Breathing Room - Commercial kitchens can often have a lot more space than the average home kitchen. This is natural, as your group cooking class might have 4-8 times the number of chefs compared to the number of home cooks the average kitchen can accommodate. This means bigger refrigerators, freezers, more work surfaces, etc. When running our competitive culinary events we love to spread teams around a commercial kitchen and let our teams get used to having more room to create.

  3. Sometimes you need a traffic cop! Groups can get moving and cooking quickly in a big kitchen space, and the dangers from burns, knife accidents, and food-borne illness increase. In addition to strict COVID safety protocols we’ve implemented for our live culinary events, we teach the fundamentals of talking to each other in a commercial kitchen so that you’re not backing into someone who is holding a knife or bumping into a work colleague holding a hot pot of soup waiting to be spilled. We also teach our cooking classes the basics of knife work, so that you’ll know the difference between an oblique cut and a chiffonade.

  4. Lots of Dishes Mean a Big Dishwasher! Nearly every commercial kitchen we hold our team building events in has giant dishwashers designed to make quick work of the barrage of pots, pans, plates and utensils used during our culinary events. Best of all, your group will never have to worry about washing a single dish after our cooking classes or culinary challenges!

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