5 To Know – Reasons to Take a Cooking Class

Take a Cooking Class at the Chopping Block

At Chicago’s largest recreational cooking school, we hear a lot of reasons why people don’t enjoy cooking. From inexperience to time to budget to lack of space or equipment to even a hatred of doing dishes, there are many ways someone can feel intimidated in the kitchen.

The Chopping Block has been teaching people how to cook for over 21 years. We do that by making cooking fun while educational. If you’ve never experienced a hands-on cooking class before, it’s time to dig in!

Here are 5 reasons you should take a cooking class:

1. Learn New Skills

Whether you are cooking for one, two or an entire family, it can be easy to get stuck in a recipe rut. Home cooks tend to cook dishes that are familiar, easy or quick over and over. Going to a cooking class will give you inspiration and new skills to change up your recipe repertoire. You’ll learn how to use different ingredients, tools and techniques such as knife skills that will give you confidence to try different foods at home.

2. Travel Without a Passport

By taking a cooking class that focuses on ethnic cuisine, you can go global without ever leaving your hometown. You’ll be exposed to new ingredients that may seem foreign to you at first, but with a professional chef guiding you through the process, you’ll soon get comfortable with flavors from all over the world that you can recreate in your kitchen. Japan, Morocco, Italy, and Spain are all within reach of your palate!

3. Save Some Cash

No doubt, a cooking class is an expense, but consider the value of the information and curriculum provided in the class. What techniques are covered? How many dishes will you make? Some schools even let you take leftovers home!

It can be easy to justify the cost of a cooking class when you factor in the fundamentals you’ll learn. From kitchen safety to sanitation to organization (ever heard of mise en place?), you’ll learn a new appreciation for food and the courage to experiment at home. Not to mention, the more you cook at home will have a direct relation to the amount of money you spend on eating out and ordering delivery or takeout. We all know how quickly that can add up!

4. Get Healthier Options

When you prepare your food at home, you know exactly what’s going in it from the quality of the ingredients to the amount of salt you added. You don’t get that guarantee when eating out. Whether you have a dietary restriction or just want to cut some calories consumed, there’s no better way to know what you are putting in your body than preparing it yourself.

5. Meet New People

Whether you take a class with a friend or on your own, you are guaranteed to meet like-minded people. The setup for cooking classes usually includes a lot of teamwork, which is perfect for making friends, striking up conversations and getting help and advice from other home cooks. You’ll also have a chef at your disposal for a few hours, so it’s the perfect time to get all of your burning cooking questions answered!

If any of these reasons appeal to you, turn to Chicago’s leader in cooking: The Chopping Block. We offer hands-on and demonstration classes for any skill level, from the very basics to more intensive classes like our week-long Culinary Boot Camp, which mirrors professional culinary school. We also offer wine classes, private cooking parties for any occasion and corporate events.

Our two retail stores in the Merchandise Mart and Lincoln Square feature professional-quality cookware and kitchen tools, plus an array of gourmet and ethnic ingredients and hand-selected food-friendly wines and craft spirits.

About the Author

Andrea Miller has been with The Chopping Block for over 15 years in every role from class assistant to general manager to private event coordinator and now marketing manager. Her journalism background and culinary school education from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago give her the know-how to spread the word about The Chopping Block’s mission to get people to cook.

She’ll never shy away from a music festival, opportunity to paddle board, hot yoga class, beach read, dinner out with friends or a good glass of Rosé, especially when cuddling on the couch with her terrier mix, Bosworth.

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