The Chopping Block. I had heard great things about the experience but was a little bit nervous going into it given my overall lack of skills in the kitchen. Not to mention, once I had my apron on, we found out we'd be braising chicken, cooking corn fritters from scratch, and chopping vegetables in all sorts of fancy ways (chiffonade, anyone?). The class was called From Beer to Eternity, so we'd be using beer in all of the recipes. Needless to say, the nerves grew. How are we supposed to do this?
Enter the most talented and helpful chefs around. There were twelve of us in the class and three chefs overseeing all of our progress. They taught us so many useful techniques throughout the process (did you know when cooking bacon, both the skillet and the meat should start out cold and heat up simultaneously?) and fancy cooking words like emulsion (Yeah. It's a thing.) Not to mention, after two hours of class, I'm pretty much a certified professional with both a chef's and Santoku knife. *Insider Tip: Do not take the Knife Skills class because you can learn many of the same techniques in the on-hands cooking classes.
The cherry on top was that the other two folks sharing our chopping block were both talented and super fun. The four of us pretty much became bff's by the end of the evening. They informed us that's not always the case and the last couple they were teamed up with took the class way too seriously and barely spoke at all. I mean... that would have sucked. Which brings me to *Insider Tip #2: If you are less gregarious or simply want to keep the experience more intimate, I recommend going in a group of four so that you can have a block and meal to yourselves.
Long story short, I highly recommend these classes for any special occasion or date night. The price point is a bit high, but it's a wonderful 2.5 hour experience. And if you're not in Chicago, I encourage you to seek out similar classes in your area. It was an encouraging learning experience and easily one of the best dates I've ever been on. I can't wait to go back! : )
Happy weekend, all!