Classes & Activities in Chicago

(70 activities)
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    How to Bake Bread Workshop

    The Chopping Block
    There's nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your kitchen. The only issue: you have no idea how to make it. Never fear! The Chopping Block's got you covered. In this all-levels class, a professional chef will guide you as you learn the basics of bread making. You'll work in small groups to create satisfying recipes like potato rosemary focaccia, cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting, and mini whole wheat baguettes. As you move through the lesson, you'll practice important skills such as mixing yeast dough, understanding ingredient functions, using different flours, kneading, and shaping dough. You'll also discover secrets to knowing when your bread is done. Once your freshly baked treats are out of the oven, you'll sit down with your classmates and raise a baguette to a job well done.
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    Chicken 101 (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    In this class, a professional chef will take you through 3 culinary techniques that will have you looking at chicken in a whole new way. Work alongside classmates as you grill, braise, and roast your way through a variety of dishes. Along with cooking techniques, you'll also learn tips to help you select your meat, pair it with produce, and determine its doneness. Your menu will include delectable dishes such as orange and soy glazed chicken with gingery grilled pineapple, Arabian spiced chicken and rice with yogurt sauce, and ancho chile-roasted whole chicken with winter squash-hominy hash. Once you've finished cooking, you'll take a seat at the table with your classmates and raise a fork to your handmade feast.
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    Sauce Boot Camp

    The Chopping Block
    What is the key difference between a bland sauce and mind-blowing one? The chef who created it. Learn to master the art of sauce in this all-levels class focused on bringing out the best of your culinary skills. A professional chef will take you through the process step by step as you practice techniques such as preparing reductions and emulsions, balancing flavors, sauteing pork, and using roux. You'll work in small groups to create various sauces such as bordelaise, béchamel, veloute, hollandaise, mushroom cognac pan sauce, apple cider gastrique, and truffle cream sauce. An assortment of meats, vegetables, and starches will complement your sauces. As you cook, you'll learn all about the mother sauces and practice important skills like making stock, preparing reductions and emulsions, deglazing, and balancing flavors.
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    Ramen Workshop (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Stop! Step away from the microwave and put down the packet. It's time to learn how to make Ramen for yourself. In this all-levels class, you'll learn how to use all-natural ingredients and Japanese flavors to create an irresistible recipe. Make your own noodles using a pasta roller and practice techniques to create perfectly poached vegetables and eggs. You'll also learn how to work with miso paste and what to look for when selecting beef. Then, reap the rewards of your hard work as you taste the incredible flavor of your homemade Ramen. Get ready for your microwave to be jealous.
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    Ramen Workshop (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Stop! Step away from the microwave and put down the packet. It's time to learn how to make Ramen for yourself. In this all-levels class, you'll learn how to use all-natural ingredients and Japanese flavors to create an irresistible recipe. Make your own noodles using a pasta roller and practice techniques to create perfectly poached vegetables and eggs. You'll also learn how to work with miso paste and what to look for when selecting beef. Then, reap the rewards of your hard work as you taste the incredible flavor of your homemade Ramen. Get ready for your microwave to be jealous.
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    Sauce Boot Camp (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    What is the key difference between a bland sauce and mind-blowing one? The chef who created it. Learn to master the art of sauce in this all-levels class focused on bringing out the best of your culinary skills. A professional chef will take you through the process step by step as you practice techniques such as preparing reductions and emulsions, balancing flavors, sauteing pork, and using roux. You'll work in small groups to create various sauces such as bordelaise, béchamel, veloute, hollandaise, mushroom cognac pan sauce, apple cider gastrique, and truffle cream sauce. An assortment of meats, vegetables, and starches will complement your sauces. As you cook, you'll learn all about the mother sauces and practice important skills like making stock, preparing reductions and emulsions, deglazing, and balancing flavors.
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    A Touch of Seoul (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Discover how to easily incorporate Korean-inspired ingredients into your recipes as a professional chef takes you on a journey through the tantalizing flavors of another culture. Work alongside classmates to create dishes like bulgogi egg rolls with spicy mayo dipping sauce, Korean pork belly tacos with kimchi, honey-sriracha chicken wings with sesame rice, and sweet and spicy cucumber-kohlrabi salad. As you cook, you'll practice culinary skills such as selecting the best ground beef and pork belly, working with egg roll wrappers, deep frying, braising, and fermenting. Once you've finished creating your dishes, you'll take a seat and enjoy the enticing flavors of Korean cuisine.
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    Neapolitan Pizzeria (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    If your idea of an awesome pizza night is opening up the freezer and pulling out a square box covered in frostbite, you'd be wise to read on. Learn to make authentic Neapolitan pizza with your own two hands in this all-levels class perfect for the culinary neophyte. With fellow classmates by your side, you'll cook up such tasty creations as crispy-fried calamari with marinara sauce, prosciutto pizza bianca, and grilled fennel, artichoke, and goat cheese pizza. Master skills like selecting squid, deep frying, making and rolling yeast dough, preparing tomato sauce, and baking on a pizza stone. When the pies are out of the oven, you'll sit down and grab a slice to celebrate your culinary victory.
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    Donut Boot Camp (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Be prepared for your inner Homer Simpson to do a happy dance as you discover the art of making delicious donuts by hand. In this all-levels class, you'll prepare both cake-style and raised-style doughs as your foundation. Next, follow along as a professional chef guides you through techniques such as frying, glazing, dipping and filling. Create such mouthwatering varieties as maple and bacon-glazed long johns, mini pumpkin donut holes with cinnamon sugar, chocolate cake donuts with dulce de leche glaze and coconut flakes, and Bavarian donuts (custard-filled yeast-raised dough with chocolate glaze). When you're done creating your tasty treats, you'll sit down for lunch with your classmates and celebrate a job well done. Afterwards, head home with a box of your crave-worthy creations.
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    Wine and Dine (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Bring out your inner chef and have a great time as you learn to whip up a delicious menu from a professional instructor. In this all-levels class, you'll practice techniques ranging from proper selection of produce and meat to stirring up pan sauces and preparing cake batter from scratch. You'll break off into small groups and make such mouthwatering dishes as sautéed beef tenderloin with crumbled blue cheese and red wine reduction, spinach salad with dried cranberries and candied pecans, smashed potatoes, and chocolate whoopie pies with marshmallow filling. Sip as you learn with 2 complimentary glasses of beer or wine for each student.
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    Street Food (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    No matter where you travel in the world, you're bound to find the most authentic cuisine of a region's culture reflected in the offerings of local street vendors. From the fresh ingredients to the cooking techniques that have been passed down over centuries, their food keeps us coming back for more. Learn the secrets of street food in this unique class where you'll discover how to select the right ingredients and serve up incredible recipes. Create dishes such as lumpia (crispy pork-filled egg rolls), beer-battered fish tacos with chipotle mayo, and beef kofta kebabs (grilled ground beef skewers) with dill yogurt sauce. With so many unique flavors and textures, you'll develop a whole new approach to your weekly dinner menu.
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    Macaron Workshop (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    How can such a tiny treat be so delicious? Discover the answer as a professional pastry chef takes you through the delicate art of creating the macaron. You'll whip up three tantalizing varieties, including chocolate macarons with raspberry jam and coffee buttercream, toasted coconut crunch macarons with salted caramel filling, and lemon macarons with white chocolate lemon ganache. Practice the techniques of the masters, from selecting the best chocolate and whipping egg whites to using a piping bag and making ganache. You'll work in small groups as you build your skills and see your works of art come together, step by step. Then sit back and taste the sweet satisfaction of a job well done.
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    Donut Boot Camp

    The Chopping Block
    Who doesn't love fried dough? You'll make both cake-style and raised-style doughs, and show you how to fry, glaze, dip and fill them to perfection. You'll go home with a boxful of your very own fresh creations! Lunch will be served, and fresh coffee will be flowing.
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    Know Your Gnocchi (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    These tasty little dumplings of Italian descent are ready to make an appearance at your dinner table. Follow along as a professional chef teaches you the secrets to creating such delicious dishes as potato gnocchi with sausage and leek ragu, spinach gnocchi with roasted garlic butter and toasted breadcrumbs, and cauliflower gnocchi au gratin with roasted red peppers and gorgonzola cheese. As you work alongside classmates, you'll practice essential skills like selecting potatoes, shaping and cooking gnocchi, selecting sausage, and working with leeks. When your dishes are ready, you'll grab a fork and reap the rewards of a job well done.
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    Knife Skills (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Get down to basics with an introduction to knife skills that will have you cutting through that cabbage like a pro in no time. Learn how to properly select the right tool for the job as you review the uses for different types of knives. Practice slicing, dicing, and mincing as you use vegetables and herbs to help you develop the proper techniques. You'll also learn how to select and care for your knives, ensuring your safety as well as a better kitchen experience. Whether you're new to the art of cooking or simply want to brush up your skills, this class is perfect for all those looking to harness the power of the blade.
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    Culinary Adventure (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Take a journey to another land as your professional instructor guides you through the flavors of far-off regions. With the destination changing each month, students have the chance to explore the culinary cultures of various cities around the world. Follow along as you learn about native ingredients and traditional techniques. You'll work in small groups to create a full menu of dishes that highlight the flavors and textures commonly found in the food of your selected region. Whether you're looking to discover a new style of cooking or simply want to reconnect with the flavors of your homeland, this class offers a great experience for all.
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    Steakhouse D.I.Y. (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Steak lovers, this one's for you. Bring the classic flavors of your favorite steakhouse into your own home as a professional chef guides you through the perfect D.I.Y. menu. Learn how to properly select your meat and produce to get the best flavor. Then grill, roast, and bake your way through recipes like grilled strip steaks with garlic herb butter, twice-baked potatoes, oven-roasted broccoli, and molten lava cake. You'll also prepare a classic caesar salad with homemade croutons. Work in groups to create each dish and gain new skills as you conquer the menu, step by step. Then, grab a fork and sit down for a true steakhouse feast . . . made by you!
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    Pasta Workshop (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Put down that box of store-bought pasta and don't you dare reach for that jar of preservative-packed sauce. It's time to get back to basics, my friend. In this all-levels workshop, you'll learn how to create your own pasta from scratch and pair it with delicious homemade sauce. Master the art of the pasta roller, assemble manicotti, and discover the key seasonings to making a savory sauce. As you break off into small groups, you'll create such delectable recipes as herb fettuccine with three cheese sauce, ricotta and spinach-filled manicotti with tomato sauce, and pappardelle alla bolognese. Then grab a fork and dig in as you experience the exquisite fruits of your labor. Mangia!
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    Sushi Workshop (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Tuck away that take-out menu and learn to make your favorite sushi rolls in your own kitchen. Follow along as a professional chef teaches you the art of the roll, and practice techniques such as selecting and handling sushi-grade fish, preparing and seasoning sushi rice, using a bamboo rolling mat, and deep frying. Your menu will include spicy tuna rolls, inside-out rolls, shrimp tempura rolls, and salmon and eel nigiri. You'll also have the option to purchase all the essential tools and ingredients for sushi-making at home at a discounted price. Contact the vendor if you're interested in pre-purchasing these items to receive them the day of your class.
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    Sushi Workshop (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Tuck away that take-out menu and learn to make sushi for yourself. Follow along and have a blast as a professional chef teaches you the art of the roll. You'll practice techniques such as selecting and handling sushi-grade fish, preparing and seasoning sushi rice, using a bamboo rolling mat, and deep frying. Your menu will include spicy tuna rolls, inside-out rolls, shrimp tempura rolls, and salmon and eel nigiri. You'll also have the option to purchase all the essential tools and ingredients for sushi-making at home at a discounted price. Contact the vendor if you're interested in pre-purchasing these items to receive them the day of your class.
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    Pasta Workshop (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Put down that box of store-bought pasta and don't you dare reach for that jar of preservative-packed sauce. It's time to get back to basics. In this all-levels workshop, you'll learn how to create fresh pasta from scratch and pair it with delicious homemade sauce. Master the art of the pasta roller, assemble manicotti, and discover the key seasonings to making a savory sauce. As you break off into small groups, you'll create such delectable recipes as herb fettuccine with three cheese sauce, ricotta and spinach-filled manicotti with tomato sauce, and pappardelle alla bolognese. Then grab a fork and dig in as you experience the exquisite fruits of your labor. Mangia!
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    Cuban Surf and Turf (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Learn the secrets to cooking up rich Cuban cuisine that is sure to spice up your weekly dinner menu. In this all-levels class, you'll follow along with a professional chef as you craft tantalizing dishes including enchilado de camarones (deviled shrimp), sautéed pork medallions with cumin-orange mojo sauce, cilantro rice, and tres leches cake. As you prepare dishes with fellow classmates, you'll practice important skills like selecting the best meat and fish, braising shrimp, sautéing pork, cooking rice, and mixing cake batter. When the cooking is complete, you'll take a seat at the table and enjoy the tasty rewards of a job well done.
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    Hot and Spicy (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    If you love to spice things up in the kitchen, this class is for you. Come learn the best ways to utilize hot and spicy ingredients in your recipes with the help of a professional instructor. You'll discover how to select the freshest ingredients, work spices into your food, and create sour-cream based sauces to pair with your spicy creations. Break off into small groups and prepare such mouth-watering dishes as spicy spinach and artichoke dip ,andouille sausage with Nacho Mama sauce, blackened shrimp skewers with cajun dipping sauce. Then take it to the taste buds as you feast on your your fiery creations.
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    Cuban Surf and Turf (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Learn the secrets to cooking up rich Cuban cuisine that is sure to spice up your weekly dinner menu. In this all-levels class, you'll follow along with a professional chef as you craft tantalizing dishes including enchilado de camarones (deviled shrimp), sautéed pork medallions with cumin-orange mojo sauce, cilantro rice, and tres leches cake. As you prepare dishes with fellow classmates, you'll practice important skills like selecting the best meat and fish, braising shrimp, sautéing pork, cooking rice, and mixing cake batter. When the cooking is complete, you'll take a seat at the table and enjoy the tasty rewards of a job well done.
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    Cooking with Caribbean Flavors

    The Chopping Block
    Let your senses sail away on a Caribbean Cruise as you smell, touch, and taste the foods of the islands in this all-levels cooking class. A professional chef will be your cruise director as you learn all about the region's favorite fare and how to prepare it in your own home. Practice important skills such as selecting the best meat and produce, grilling shrimp, cutting mangoes and pineapple, roasting pork, cooking rice, and baking custard. You'll work in small groups with your classmates to create delicious menu items like jerk shrimp skewers with mango relish, adobo roasted pork loin, caribbean rice, and pudín de pan (spiced pineapple bread pudding). Then, take a seat at the table and enjoy your handmade island feast.
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    Couples Cooking: Hawaiian Luau

    The Chopping Block
    Bring the tastes of the Hawaiian islands into your home with this all-levels class that's sure to take your senses on an exotic vacation. Cook up delicious dishes like mango and shrimp spring rolls, macadamia nut-crusted mahi mahi with volcano-spiced pineapple relish, coconut rice, and passion fruit chiffon pie. As you work in small groups to create these delectable recipes, you'll also practice important skills such as selecting and cutting mangoes and pineapple, working with rice paper wrappers, selecting and sautéing fish, making nut crusts, and steaming rice. When you're finished cooking, you'll enjoy a Hawaiian feast with your classmates. Aloha! Note: All necessary equipment is provided. Teens 12 and up are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult to participate.
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    Hot and Spicy Dishes (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    If you love to spice things up in the kitchen, this class is for you. Come learn the best ways to utilize hot and spicy ingredients in your recipes with the help of a professional instructor. You'll discover how to select the freshest ingredients, work spices into your food, and create sour-cream based sauces to pair with your spicy creations. Break off into small groups and prepare such mouth-watering dishes as spicy spinach and artichoke dip, jerk chicken wings, blackened shrimp skewers with cajun dipping sauce. Then take it to the taste buds as you feast on your your fiery creations.
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    Culinary Adventure: A Trip to the Caribbean

    The Chopping Block
    Let your senses sail away on a Caribbean Cruise as you smell, touch, and taste the foods of the islands in this all-levels cooking class. A professional chef will be your cruise director as you learn all about the region's favorite fare and how to prepare it in your own home. Practice important skills such as selecting the best meat and produce, grilling shrimp, cutting mangoes and pineapple, roasting pork, cooking rice, and baking custard. You'll work in small groups with your classmates to create delicious menu items like jerk shrimp skewers with mango relish, adobo roasted pork loin, caribbean rice, and pudín de pan (spiced pineapple bread pudding). Then, take a seat at the table and enjoy your handmade island feast.
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    Date Night: Jamaica Me Crazy

    The Chopping Block
    Spice up the night as you learn the secrets to making mouthwatering Jamaican cuisine. In this all-levels class, you'll work in small groups to cook up such satisfying dishes as coconut-crusted shrimp with sweet chili dipping sauce, Jamaican braised chicken with macadamia rice, and caramelized pineapple crêpes. As you cook, you'll practice culinary skills like selecting and deep frying shrimp, braising chicken, working with spices, cooking rice, making crêpe batter, and working with pineapple. When the meal is complete, you'll sit down at the table with your fellow classmates for a sweet and savory taste of Jamaica.
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    Use Your Noodle

    The Chopping Block
    Noodles serve as the foundation for a variety of incredible Asian dishes. Learn the secrets to preparing these regional staples with an all-levels class that will take you on a fascinating trip through Asian cuisine. Follow along as a professional instructor gets you familiar with Asian ingredients and demonstrates the proper techniques for making your noodles. You'll then work in small groups to create noodle-based dishes like spicy ginger soba noodle salad with carrots and snow peas, Singapore mai fun noodles with tofu, beef chow fun with black bean and scallion sauce, and udon noodle soup with shrimp, mushrooms, and sweet chili lime broth. When you've finished creating your dishes, you'll take a seat with your classmates and experience the mouthwatering power of the noodle.
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    Fresh Start (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Learn the secrets to creating healthy and appetizing entrees from a professional chef in this all-levels class focused on fit fare. You'll work in small groups to create delectable dishes like miso-ginger poached halibut with leeks, spinach and soba noodles, grilled chicken kebabs with carrot slaw and mint yogurt sauce, and minestrone with chickpeas and kale. As you cook, you'll practice proper techniques such as how to select and poach fish, prepare soup, and cook grains. You'll also make yogurt sauces and discover the best ways to check your meat's doneness. When you've finished, you'll take a seat at the table with your classmates for a healthy feast that you'll be proud to have prepared.
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    Gluten Free Pasta (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Have you missed the taste of fresh, handmade pasta ever since that pesky gluten allergy showed up on your dietary doorstep? Then you're going to love this. Let a professional chef lead the way to culinary satisfaction as you learn to make delicious gluten-free pasta from scratch. You'll create dishes like three-cheese and spinach lasagna with tomato sauce, fresh fettuccine primavera with pesto, and quinoa mac 'n' cheese with mushrooms, bacon, and gruyere cheese. You'll also practice pasta-making techniques like working with gluten-free flours, rolling and cutting fresh pasta, sautéing vegetables, and making béchamel sauce and pesto. When you're finished, you'll join your fellow classmates for a handmade pasta feast that will have you saying good riddance to gluten.
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    Culinary Adventure: A Trip to Rome

    The Chopping Block
    Let your senses escape to Rome as you smell, touch, and taste the foods of Italy in this all-levels cooking class. A professional chef will be your tour guide as you learn all about the region's favorite fare and how to prepare it in your own home. Practice important skills such as rolling fresh pasta dough, preparing egg-based sauces, sauteing green vegetables and more! You'll work in small groups with your classmates to create delicious menu items like roasted broccolini with garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Then, take a seat at the table and enjoy your handmade Italian feast.
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    Cupcake Boot Camp

    The Chopping Block
    Pack your bags, kitchen soldier, because you're going to boot camp. Cupcake boot camp, that is. Follow along as a professional pastry chef shows you the ropes to baking a perfect petite cake every time. You'll work in small groups to create such tasty treats as Boston cream cupcakes with chocolate ganache and vanilla pastry cream filling, chocolate stout cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting, ginger lime cupcakes with seven-minute frosting, and carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. You'll practice important baking skills like making custard, mixing batters, whipping egg whites and cream, working with chocolate, and spreading and piping frostings. When you've finished, sit down with your classmates for a celebratory lunch and then pack up your handiwork to take home to your family and friends.
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    Breakfast Breads and Pastries

    The Chopping Block
    Imagine the smell of freshly baked scones and danishes wafting through the air. Now imagine that smell come from your own kitchen. Yes, it's totally possible. Learn the art of creating fresh-baked treats at home with this all-levels class guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. A professional pastry chef will guide you through the process as you make delicious goodies like sticky buns, lemon cream-filled danishes with raspberry jam, spiced apple cranberry turnovers, and bacon, chive, and cheddar scones. As you bake, you'll develop the proper skills to work with yeast dough and puff pastry as well as learn how to make your own pie dough and fresh fruit fillings.
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    Homemade Meals in a Hurry

    The Chopping Block
    You've said it before and you'll say it again: Who's got the time to cook? Put an end to this question and get your dinner routine under control with some simple preparation and a little practice in culinary techniques. Follow along as a professional instructor teaches you how to make simple sauces that you can prepare ahead, freeze, and then add to a myriad of dishes for quick and easy meals that won't hold back on taste or nutrition. Your sauces will include such varieties as ginger teriyaki, wild mushroom cream, ranchero, and garlic-herb butter. Work in small groups to create quick meals like roasted teriyaki salmon and zucchini, creamy pesto rigatoni, and chicken poblano chili. As you cook, you'll develop new culinary skills and understand how easy making delicious homemade meals can be with a little preparation. You'll leave with samples of your sauces and over 20 quick-fix meal recipes.
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    Gluten-Free Pasta Workshop (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Have you missed the taste of fresh, handmade pasta ever since that pesky gluten allergy showed up on your dietary doorstep? Then you're going to love this. Let a professional chef lead the way to culinary satisfaction as you learn to make gluten-free pasta from scratch. You'll create delicious dishes like three-cheese and spinach lasagna with tomato sauce, fresh fettuccine primavera with pesto, and quinoa mac 'n' cheese with mushrooms, bacon, and gruyere cheese. You'll also practices pasta-making techniques like working with gluten-free flours, rolling and cutting fresh pasta, sautéing vegetable, and making béchamel sauce and pesto. When you're finished, you'll join your fellow classmates for a handmade pasta feast that will have you saying good riddance to gluten.
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    German Comfort Food

    The Chopping Block
    Comfort food is all about satisfying the senses by reconnecting to the traditional cuisine of a region. Come discover the comfort food of Germany in this uniquely satisfying class where a professional chef will take you on an exploration of Germany's favorite foods and provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to recreate them in your own home. Learn important techniques such as how to select and braise beef, prepare a traditional roulade, work the griddle, and make potato dough. Breaking into small groups, you'll creates such delicious dishes as German rouladen (rolled flank steak), braised red cabbage, schupfnudeln (potato noodles), and kaiserschmarrn dessert (sweet Austrian rum-raisin pancake). Exploring another culture has never tasted so good.
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    Date Night: Brazilian Carnival

    The Chopping Block
    Work alongside classmates to create delicious dishes like hearts of palm, crab and avocado salad with cilantro vinaigrette, Feijoada (Brazil's National Dish: Black Bean and Pork Stew), and lime cupcakes with dulce de leche frosting. A professional chef will guide you as you practice proper techniques such as selecting crab, cutting avocado, preparing vinaigrette and balancing flavors. When you've finished, you'll take your seat at the table and enjoy an explosion of Brazilian flavor sure to get a standing ovation.
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    Couples Cooking: Taste of Spring

    The Chopping Block
    It's a bit of a trek to try the scrumptious cuisines of the Middle East in their places of origin. Why not try this instead? Learn how to prepare delicious Middle Eastern fare from a professional chef in an all-levels class sure to elevate your kitchen game. Work alongside classmates to create tasty dishes like hummus with pita chips, Arabian chicken with spiced rice and yogurt sauce, oven-roasted cauliflower with harissa, garlic, and cilantro, and cardamom and pistachio shortbread cookies. As you cook, you'll practice new skills such as preparing bean dip, cooking rice, braising chicken, making savory yogurt sauces, working with spices, and preparing short dough. When you've finished cooking, you'll take a seat at the table and enjoy the taste of success.
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    Wisconsin Fish Fry

    The Chopping Block
    Break out the frying pan and get ready to learn the culinary secrets of the Midwest. In this all-levels class, a professional chef will take you through the fine art of Wisconsin fish frying as you create a complete menu that will bring the whole family to the table. You'll work in small groups to create such mouthwatering dishes as beer cheddar soup with rye croutons, beer-battered walleye with lemony tartar sauce, malt vinegar roasted potatoes, and cabbage, celery, and apple slaw. For dessert, there's brownies a la mode. When you're done cooking, you'll take a seat at the table with your classmates and enjoy the fruits of your labor, fried up to perfection.
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    Mediterranean Cruise Cooking

    The Chopping Block
    You'll discover fresh, exotic flavors at every port of call on this sensory trip around the Mediterranean. Let a professional chef be your cruise director as you learn to whip up delicious dishes like fattoush (mediterranean salad with toasted pita), Moroccan braised chicken with apricots, warm couscous salad with orange zest and fresh herbs, and baklava pastries. You'll work in groups as you create your dishes and practice important skills such as working with phyllo dough, cutting tomatoes, braising chicken, steaming couscous, and making nut fillings. Then, cast your sails as you set out on the feast of a lifetime (that just happened to be made by your own two hands).
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    Tater Tots Kids Cooking (age 3-7)

    The Chopping Block
    Calling all pint-sized chefs! This is a culinary experience not to be missed. Get your little one excited about helping out in the kitchen as he/she learns to complete recipes with the help of a professional chef. Each month, the theme changes and a new menu is created to keep things fresh. Look on as your little one learns about ingredients, practices cooking techniques, and completes culinary masterpieces. Whether this is the first time your tot has picked up a spatula or is known to pull up a stool in the kitchen, this class is a perfect way to encourage confidence and culinary exploration.
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    Sweet and Savory Crêpes

    The Chopping Block
    Whether simple and sweet or sophisticated and savory, crêpes are the talk of the town. Develop the skills to make these irresistible bad boys at home with an all-levels class perfect for the culinary neophyte. You'll work in small groups to whip up such tasty recipes as egg, spinach, and goat cheese-stuffed crêpes, sautéed mushroom crêpes with tarragon and brie, and crêpes suzette. As you cook, you'll practice valuable skills like preparing crêpe batter, scrambling eggs, sautéing mushrooms, and flambéing. When your creations are complete, grab a fork and feast on the delectable fruits of your labor.
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    It's Greek to Me (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Take a journey to another land as your professional instructor guides you through the flavors of far-off regions. With the destination changing each month, students have the chance to explore the culinary cultures of various cities around the world. Follow along as you learn about native ingredients and traditional techniques. You'll work in small groups to create a full menu of dishes that highlight the flavors and textures commonly found in the food of your selected region. Whether you're looking to discover a new style of cooking or simply want to reconnect with the flavors of your homeland, this class offers a great experience for all.
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    Cooking with Beer (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Before you go and drink that last bottle of beer in the fridge, you might want to check this out. Did you know beer is actually an excellent ingredient for a number of delicious recipes? The flavors and layers of complexity can complement and enhance some of your favorite foods. In this class, you'll learn how to wield the power of the pint as you make savory and sweet dishes such as nachos with Dos Equis cheese sauce, beer-braised pork tacos with cumin crema, borracho bean, and a roasted pineapple sundae with beer-caramel sauce. Discover the arts of selecting and braising meat, cooking with different types of beer, cutting pineapple, and preparing homemade caramel sauce. Finally, you'll taste the fruits of your labor as you and your classmates sit down to a satisfying meal.
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    Vegan Voyage: Italian Trattoria

    The Chopping Block
    Who says vegans can't mangia? In this one-of-a-kind Italian cooking class, you'll discover how to bring the rich flavors of Italy into your vegetarian feasts. With a professional chef ready to guide you along the way, you'll learn about the region's cuisine and discover the secrets to preparing dishes like a pro. Working in groups, you'll cook up satisfying recipes like arugula and pine nut salad with lemon vinaigrette, porcini mushroom and herb risotto, eggplant parmesan, and fresh ricotta and chocolate filled cannoli. Practice important techniques such as making vinaigrettes, sauteing eggplant, and balancing flavors. When your creations are complete, you'll sit down and savor the fruits of your labor in true Italian fashion.
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    Vegetarian Thai (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Experience the enticing dishes of a foreign land as you journey through the culinary Thai culture. In this all-levels class, you'll follow along as a professional chef teaches you the basics of vegetarian Thai cuisine. You'll practice techniques such as properly selecting produce, preparing and baking flatbread, steaming and roasting vegetables, and incorporating spices into your recipes. Join up with other classmates as you prepare menu items like Vegetarian Pad Thai and Sweet Potato and Eggplant Yellow Coconut Curry with Steamed Jasmine Rice. When you've completed your cooking, you'll sit down and enjoy a Thai feast prepared by your own hands. What could be more satisfying than that?
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    Gluten-Free Gourmet

    The Chopping Block
    Anyone who's ever told you that gluten-free food can't taste good definitely hasn't taken this class. Come learn the secrets to great-tasting gluten-free dishes from a professional chef. You'll work alongside classmates to create delectable dishes such as herbed flatbread with roasted vegetables and goat cheese, fried chicken with apple and kohlrabi slaw, and dark chocolate toffee brownies. As you prepare your food, you'll discover essential techniques for gluten-free cooking like working with grain and nut flours as well as preparing gluten-free dough, batter, and breading. Once you've finished creating your dishes, you'll sit down to a sampling of your freshly made gluten-free fare.
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    Tapas Party (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Who doesn't love tapas? Those small, savory bites of authentic Spanish cuisine have a way of making mouths water and friends come together. Learn how to create the same tasty experience in your own home as your professional instructor uncovers the secrets to stellar Spanish cooking. In this class, you'll discover how to select the best ingredients and prepare them with proper techniques. From creating your own bean filling to perfectly roasting peppers and preparing empanada dough, you'll create a strong foundation of skills on which to build your culinary prowess. Break off into small groups to create recipes such as bacon-wrapped chorizo stuffed dates, black bean and cilantro empanadas, and baked goat cheese in tomato sauce. Then celebrate your success by feasting on your handiwork with fellow classmates.
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    Marrakesh Express

    The Chopping Block
    Ditch the takeout menu and learn to make delicious Moroccan food with your own two hands. In this all-levels class, a professional chef will guide you along as you work with classmates to create a true Moroccan feast. You'll prepare such satisfying dishes as Marrakesh pizza with chickpeas and cilantro, grilled chicken tagine with roasted red peppers and kalamata olive, roasted cherry tomatoes and fingerling potatoes with mint yogurt sauce, and honey and almond shortbread with citrus. As you make your way through recipes, you'll practice vital culinary skills like rolling and shaping pizza dough, selecting and grilling chicken, determining meat doneness, making yogurt sauces, and preparing shortbread dough. When the food is out of the oven, you'll pick up a fork and feast on the fruits of your labor.
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    Simple French Food

    The Chopping Block
    Preparing French food does not need to be complicated! You'll learn how to make beautiful and elegant food, keeping "less is more" in mind. Dishes include: Frisee, hazelnut and goat cheese salad with dijon vinaigrette, sea bass en papillote with leeks and herbed compound butter, profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce and more!
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    Sauce Odyssey (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Let's face it: everything tastes better slathered in sauce. Whether savory or sweet, these delicious creations can elevate a meal from drab to delectable. Learn the art of preparing sauces in this all-levels course that's sure to have you licking the spoon. A professional chef will take you through the process step-by-step as you practice techniques such as preparing reductions and emulsions, balancing flavors, sauteing pork, and using roux. You'll work in small groups to create dishes like dried fruit and port reduction with sautéed pork medallions, cheddary béchamel with baked penne, and romesco sauce with oven-roasted potatoes. When you've finished, you'll take a seat with your classmates to feast on the fruits of your labor.
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    Meat 101 (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Discover the secrets to cooking up a perfect cut of meat in this all-levels class sure to elevate your culinary game. A professional chef will teach you how to select, handle, and cook meat for mouthwatering results. You'll work alongside classmates to prepare satisfying dishes like sautéed strip steak with miso butter and roasted broccolini, grilled pork tenderloin kebabs with romesco sauce and grilled scallions, and braised lamb and spring vegetable tagine with steamed couscous. As you cook, you'll practice skills such as searing, grilling and braising meat, determining meat doneness, making compound butter, and roasting vegetables. When you've completed your recipes, you'll take a seat and enjoy the tender taste of a perfectly cooked dinner.
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    Vegetarian Thai (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Experience the enticing dishes of a foreign land as you journey through the culinary Thai culture. In this all-levels class, you'll follow along as a professional chef teaches you the basics of vegetarian Thai cuisine. You'll practice techniques such as properly selecting produce, preparing and baking flatbread, steaming and roasting vegetables, and incorporating spices into your recipes. Join up with other classmates as you prepare menu items like Vegetarian Pad Thai and Sweet Potato and Eggplant Yellow Coconut Curry with Steamed Jasmine Rice. When you've completed your cooking, you'll sit down and enjoy a Thai feast prepared by your own hands. What could be more satisfying than that?
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    Tapas Party (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Who doesn't love tapas? Those small, savory bites of authentic Spanish cuisine have a way of making mouths water and friends come together. Learn how to create the same tasty experience in your own home as your professional instructor unlocks the secrets of Spanish cooking. In this class, you'll discover how to select the best ingredients and cook them using proper techniques. From creating your own bean filling to perfectly roasting peppers and preparing empanada dough, you'll create a strong foundation of skills on which to build your culinary prowess. Break off into small groups to create recipes like bacon-wrapped chorizo stuffed dates, black bean and cilantro empanadas, and baked goat cheese in tomato sauce. Then celebrate your success by feasting on your handiwork with fellow classmates.
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    Lemon Lovers

    The Chopping Block
    When life hands you lemons, skip the lemonade and make these delicious dishes instead. Learn to wield the power of the lemon from a professional chef in this all-levels course that elevates this our citrus to a whole new level. Work alongside classmates to create dishes like grilled shrimp with preserved lemon and parsley pesto, lemon linguine with parmesan cheese and basil, and lemon pudding cake with raspberries. As you cook, you'll practice culinary skills such as grilling bread and shrimp, frying, working with preserved lemons, making pesto, preparing cream sauces, and mixing cake batter. When you've finished with your recipes, you'll sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
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    Meat 101 (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Discover the secrets to cooking up a perfect cut of meat in this all-levels class sure to elevate your culinary game. A professional chef will teach you how to select, handle, and cook meat for mouthwatering results. You'll work alongside classmates to prepare satisfying dishes like sautéed strip steak with miso butter and roasted broccolini, grilled pork tenderloin kebabs with romesco sauce and grilled scallions, and braised lamb and spring vegetable tagine with steamed couscous. As you cook, you'll practice skills such as searing, grilling and braising meat, determining meat doneness, making compound butter, and roasting vegetables. When you've completed your recipes, you'll take a seat and enjoy the tender taste of a perfectly cooked dinner.
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    How to Bake Bread

    The Chopping Block
    There's nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your kitchen. The only issue: you have no idea how to make it. Never fear! The Chopping Block's got you covered. In this all-levels class, a professional chef will guide you as you learn the basics of bread making. You'll work in small groups to create satisfying recipes like potato rosemary focaccia, cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting, and mini whole wheat baguettes. As you move through the lesson, you'll practice important skills such as mixing yeast dough, understanding ingredient functions, using different flours, kneading, and shaping dough. You'll also discover secrets to knowing when your bread is done. Once your freshly baked treats are out of the oven, you'll sit down with your classmates and raise a baguette to a job well done.
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    Simple French Food (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Let your senses wander through the French countryside as you explore the rich cuisine of the region. In this all-levels class, you'll try your hand at such delectable French dishes as steak au poivre with pomme de terre puree and profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce. As you work in small groups to prepare your meal, you'll practice important skills like balancing flavors, selecting and searing beef, working with spices, selecting potatoes, and blanching green vegetables. When you've finished, you'll take a seat at the table and enjoy a delightful taste of France prepared by your own two hands.
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    Knife Skills Plus (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Take your knife skills to the next level with this advanced group class that combines both cutting and cooking to get the most out of your culinary exploration. With your professional instructor leading the way, you'll learn the proper techniques to cut challenging foods like potatoes, mangoes, pineapples, squash, leeks, oranges, and avocados. Enjoy the fruits of your labor (literally) as you transform your handiwork into delicious recipes including pineapple, mango, and tomato salsa with tortilla chips and Fregola pasta with caramelized butternut squash, apples, and walnuts. You'll also learn the art of selecting produce and how to properly balance flavors in your cooking.
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    Chicken 101 (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    In this class, a professional chef will take you through 3 culinary techniques that will have you looking at chicken in a whole new way. Work alongside classmates as you grill, braise, and roast your way through a variety of dishes. Along with cooking techniques, you'll also learn tips to help you select your meat, pair it with produce, and determine its doneness. Your menu will include delectable dishes such as orange and soy glazed chicken with gingery grilled pineapple, Arabian spiced chicken and rice with yogurt sauce, and ancho chile-roasted whole chicken with winter squash-hominy hash. Once you've finished cooking, you'll take a seat at the table with your classmates and raise a fork to your handmade feast.
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    Neapolitan Pizzeria (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    If your idea of an awesome pizza night is opening up the freezer and pulling out a square box covered in frostbite, you'd be wise to read on. Learn to make authentic Neapolitan pizza with your own two hands in this all-levels class perfect for the culinary neophyte. With fellow classmates by your side, you'll cook up such tasty creations as crispy-fried calamari with marinara sauce, prosciutto pizza bianca, and grilled fennel, artichoke, and goat cheese pizza. Master skills like selecting squid, deep frying, making and rolling yeast dough, preparing tomato sauce, and baking on a pizza stone. When the pies are out of the oven, you'll sit down and grab a slice to celebrate your culinary victory.
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    Seafood 101 (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    From the sea to your plate, learn the skills necessary to make seafood a safe and satisfying addition to your dinner menu. A professional chef will teach you the tricks of the trade as you prepare delicious dishes like sautéed salmon with sesame asparagus and saffron hollandaise, Spanish braised cod with chorizo, and grilled shrimp with fregola, peas, and chili gremolata. As you cook alongside classmates, you'll practice essential skills such as proper selection and handling of fish and shellfish, grilling and braising, blanching and sautéing green vegetables, and preparing warm emulsion sauces. When you've finished cooking, you'll take a seat at the table for a satisfying sampling of your handiwork.
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    Seafood 101 (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    From the sea to your plate, learn the skills necessary to make seafood a safe and satisfying addition to your dinner menu. A professional chef will teach you the tricks of the trade as you prepare delicious dishes like sautéed salmon with sesame asparagus and saffron hollandaise, Spanish braised cod with chorizo, and grilled shrimp with fregola, peas, and chili gremolata. As you cook alongside classmates, you'll practice essential skills such as proper selection and handling of fish and shellfish, grilling and braising, blanching and sautéing green vegetables, and preparing warm emulsion sauces. When you've finished cooking, you'll take a seat at the table for a satisfying sampling of your handiwork.
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    Wine and Dine (Lincoln Square)

    The Chopping Block
    Bring out your inner chef and have a great time with fellow cooking enthusiasts as you learn to whip up a delicious menu from a professional instructor. In this all-levels class, you'll practice techniques ranging from proper selection of produce and meat to cooking up pan sauce and preparing cake batter from scratch. You'll break off into small groups and make such delectable dishes as sautéed beef tenderloin with crumbled blue cheese and red wine reduction, spinach salad with dried cranberries and candied pecans, smashed potatoes, and chocolate whoopie pies with marshmallow filling. Sip as you learn with 2 complimentary glasses of beer or wine for each student.
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    Bloody Mary Brunch

    The Chopping Block
    The best part of any weekend is undoubtedly brunch. From the sweet and savory dishes to the Bloody Marys, it's the perfect way to kick back and enjoy an escape from the work week. Learn to bring the joy of brunch into your own home with this all-levels class featuring a full celebratory feast. With a professional chef ready to guide you, you'll learn to make classic favorites like Bloody Marys, fried chicken and waffles, spinach salad with apples and bacon, and bananas foster with vanilla bean ice cream. As you cook along with classmates, you'll practice important culinary techniques like selecting and frying chicken, dredging, preparing batter, using a waffle iron, flambéing and sautéing bananas. Once the food is prepared and the drinks are poured, take your seat at the table for a brunch feast sure to be remembered.
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    Steakhouse D.I.Y. (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Steak lovers, this is your lucky day. Bring the classic flavors of your favorite steakhouse into your own home as a professional chef guides you through the perfect D.I.Y. menu. Learn how to properly select your meat and produce to get the best flavor. Then grill, roast, and bake your way through recipes like grilled strip steaks with garlic herb butter, twice-baked potatoes, oven-roasted broccoli, and molten lava cake. You'll also prepare a classic caesar salad with homemade croutons. Work in groups to create each dish and gain new skills as you conquer the menu, step by step. Then, grab a fork and sit down for a true steakhouse feast . . . made by you!
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    Knife Skills (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    Get down to basics with an introductory knife skills class that will have you slicing up a storm in no time. Learn how to properly select the right tool for the job as you review the uses for different types of knives. Practice dicing, chopping, and mincing as you use vegetables and herbs to help you develop the proper techniques. You'll also learn how to select and care for your knives, ensuring your safety as well as a better kitchen experience. Whether you're new to the art of cooking or simply want to brush up your skills, this class is perfect for all those looking to harness the power of the blade.
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    Know Your Gnocchi (Merchandise Mart)

    The Chopping Block
    These tasty little dumplings of Italian descent are ready to make an appearance at your dinner table. Follow along as a professional chef teaches you the secrets to creating such delicious dishes as potato gnocchi with sausage and leek ragu, spinach gnocchi with roasted garlic butter and toasted breadcrumbs, and cauliflower gnocchi au gratin with roasted red peppers and gorgonzola cheese. As you work alongside classmates, you'll practice essential skills like selecting potatoes, shaping and cooking gnocchi, selecting sausage, and working with leeks. When your dishes are ready, you'll grab a fork and reap the rewards of a job well done.
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