“Kitchens are made to bring families together” – the bold painted words on the center wall of a new Crown Point business, The Culinary Masterpiece Cooking School at 710 Merrillville Road in Crown Point read. By the time some of the Latitude Commercial team visited and learned how to properly prepare, cook, and master a meal of their choice, a family they were.
The two businesses crossed paths late last year when Director of Office Group of Latitude Commercial Antony Miocic helped soon-to-be owners Tina Lopez and Jenn Linko find a space for their new culinary school to put down roots.
“We knew Crown Point was the perfect place for this business. There’s so much going on and this is just another unique experience for community members to try out," said Lopez, who is a current real estate agent.
She and Chef Jenn Linko have known each other since high school, making for a strong business partnership bond. They began working on the project in September of 2019.
“We leased the space in December with Latitude and opened our doors to the public fully certified two weeks later,” Linko said. “Business has been so great; We’ve had classes and groups in every single weekend.”
The Latitude Commercial team began chopping and mincing the ingredients needed to make egg rolls and chicken fried rice–a meal they decided on as a team.
“If you want to make it, we’ll teach it. We cook and bake everything from cupcakes to tamales from scratch,” Lopez said.
For the Latitude crew, a visit to The Culinary Masterpiece was just the Friday afternoon team building experience they were looking for.
“I like the cooking concept and how it acts as a team-building activity,” Miocic said. “We really wanted to get the team together to try out and support this new local business, and see how the space had come along since it was leased.”
As the chopping, simmering and mixing carried on throughout the day, laughter and teamwork were center stage and the Latitude team turned out to be quite the chefs.
“I feel like I could definitely go home and make this dish after today,” said Brett McDermott, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President at Latitude Commercial Real Estate.
Part of the reason was because of the format of the class. Each participant works in a team within their own station while only having to focus on one dish, rather than a full course meal.
“You’re cooking in a very spacious area, which helps, and you also get to focus on one plate,” said Meghan Delacruz, Director of Finance and master of the day at rolling egg rolls. “I would definitely recommend this to other businesses as a great team-building activity and fun day or night out of the office.”
When the dish was complete, the Latitude crew, Chef Lopez, and Chef Linko shared a table to enjoy their masterpieces –an experience that the entire culinary schools is about.
“Everyone really resides in their kitchens; It’s a place that brings people together,” said Linko. “We love welcoming everyone to our kitchen, and at the end of the experience when we sit down to eat together, it’s like we’re family. We’ve gotten to know so many people in the area and we’re excited to continue to do so.”
If you are interested in booking an event at The Culinary Masterpiece Cooking School, contact Chef Jenn Linko at (708) 878-1907 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours vary by class schedule.
To learn more about Latitude Commercial, visit https://latitudeco.com/.