Creating a meal together is a metaphor for collaborating on something fun, interesting, appetizing, useful, joyful, active and value oriented. You would not like to eat out of a dirty kitchen or in utensils not washed or veggies or meats not cooked properly. Right? Or may be I am wrong.
The idea behind cooking together is to be energized by the wisdom different people bring to a collaborative process…and they do not all have to be cooks necessarily :). Ideally one cook can deal with cooking and the rest can be facilitators. I never have ego issues if I can just assist the best person in creating the best outcome. I can simply chop, stir, shell something or grind and just hand you over the dishes by drying them, while you stack them away. Collaboration is never about hierarchy but appreciation, and the most secure people never want to be in the driver’s seat constantly- they want to assist many others in becoming expert drivers. That is my approach to life and work.
Chronologically it makes sense that you like someone enough while you discuss ideas with them over tea, that now you invite them to cook a meal with you. A meal could be a workshop, a session, a program, a course in a university, an outreach program, a training module in another organization. We have to be on the same page to create a meal together or at least to understand the simple idea that meals get cooked together when people have complementary needs.