Salsa or Gumbo Cook-Off

Our Salsa or Gumbo Cook-Off is a delicious way to encourage teamwork and increase camaraderie within a group. This “gastronomical challenge” combines creativity with culinary skill. The tone of your Challenge will be set as teams come into the ballroom, or meeting site, to the beat of high energy music.

Group Size: 30 to 600+
Team Size: 6 to 10
Program Length: 1.5 to 2.5 hours

Within the allotted amount of time, each team must create a recipe, prepare their dish, develop a team name, design a team logo and market their creation. Salsa challenges can also include creating a Vegetable Car to be run in a Veggie Derby. All of these tasks will require organization, so a team captain should be designated from the start.

It will be the captain’s responsibility to delegate assignments to the rest of the team. While each team member will have a specific assignment, they must all work together, if they are to win over the judge’s taste buds.

Your group will divide into teams whose goal will be to create an award winning Salsa or Gumbo from scratch! Ingredients will be supplied, but the recipe will be totally up to the team.

While some team members are making the main appetizer other team members will create team chants/commercials and decorate signs that will enhance their marketing presentation.

This fun hands-on program is designed to keep everyone involved from the cutting, slicing and dicing to the creative marketing crew. The teams create their own, logo and fantastic table presentation.

Each team will perform their “chant/commercial” and present their dish to the judges. Teams will be judged on creativity, presentation and taste. Judges can either be members of the participating company or event staff.

The room is decorated with Southwestern banners and tables. Each team member receives a bandana for identification. The table decorations are up to the teams to create.

The teams go to the marketplace to choose their ingredients/spices (24 different spices and flavorings) and then the salsa challenge begins.

Veggie Car Derby – While some team members are making the salsa other team members will create vegetable cars to be run in the Salsa Derby. Whether you’re racing a bell pepper on cucumber wheels or just racing to the water fountain, your group will love the flavor of this spicy Salsa Challenge.

Team Building Elements:

  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Competition
  • Communication Skills
  • Trust and Relationships
  • Planning and Accountability
  • Goal Setting
  • Collaborative Idea Sharing
  • Physicality


  • Event facilitators and master of ceremonies
  • Sound and Music
  • Spices, Knives, Spoons, Bowls, Cutting Boards
  • Team packets
  • Award medals for Culinary Champion, Best Taste and Best Presentation

Client covers the cost of the ingredients for the Gumbo as provided by the venue.