I’m so grateful that my parents came to visit to see my new home and all it has to offer! Surprise, surprise, I got busy planning for their weekend in Chicago about the time I set foot off that plane (only about three weeks prior). Full disclosure – my sisters and I owed Mom a cooking class from about two birthdays ago. In our defense, we tried to find a class in Austin whenever they were visiting, but we had trouble finding a menu that we were enthused about. I consider cooking classes like ordering a prix fixe meal – you know what you’ll be getting – and it just didn’t make sense to take a class that had one of 3 or 4 courses that we wouldn’t make or eat. (We have some dietary restrictions and try to be as heart-healthy as possible. *Dessert always excluded from this rule).
And, so, when I heard about The Chopping Block, a Chicago cooking school and shop with two locations, I immediately scoped out the sched. Bingo! I found: Tuscan Kitchen and it was just calling our names. The class would be a surprise for M + D, both of whom (ha, I think I finally used whom correctly!! Big win.) like to be in the kitchen (or beside the grill). I’ll tell you about the menu, but won’t go into full recipes so you can experience a fabulous class at The Chopping Block if you feel inspired. If you’re interested in a recipe mentioned here, email me and I’ll send it along! I loved that the instructor emailed us the recipes for my digital recipe box after class (aka my Gmail ‘recipes & food’ folder). So, here’s the menu that drew me in:
- Warm farro salad with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, green olives, garlic, olive oil, chopped basil.
- Grilled seabass with salsa verde (a very light herbal dressing made with parsley).
- Flatbread with artichokes, grilled fennel, garlic, and arugula.
- Lemon and vanilla panna cotta.
See photos below of our savory, light, flavorful, and nutritiously interactive meal. We even got popcorn with truffle oil to snack on while cooking and were able to order a bottle of wine to sip on throughout the class too. We also met some great people and got to enjoy our meals with them at the end and learn about our unique journeys that led us all to one table.
Chefs hats off to Chef Trevor and team! Looking for a date night activity, girls night out, family fun night, work team building event? The Chopping Block is a fantastic idea! Thanks, M + D, for cooking up a storm w/ me in The Windy City! Two locations: The Merchandise Mart & Lincoln Square.