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Best Corporate Field Trip 

Sur La Table

77 Maiden Lane (at Grant), 732-7900, www.surlatable.com

Most corporate field trips in the city are a bore. A bay cruise? Too cold. Motorized cable car ride? Too phony. But one store wisely appeals to the perennial fascinations of the corporate set: cooking shows and wine. After hours, Sur La Table opens its deluxe kitchen to business groups, letting clients learn the art of fine cooking under the tutelage of a chef. At least that's how it starts. After a lesson in safety and cutting skills, groups branch off to separate stations and attack their own recipes, armed with ingredients and wine bottles. You can imagine what happens next: "A sprig of tarragon, a little wine, a pinch of salt, a little more wine ...." Soon everyone is having a rollicking good time, no longer concerned that the seared ahi became blackened tuna a few glasses ago. The events are billed as "team-building activities," but after Sur La Table hands out 10-percent-off coupons, it's everybody for himself.

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