• Stove top Cooking

Questions? The Chopping Block Has Got Answers.

Are your classes for beginners?

We offer cooking classes for all levels of students. Some of our classes are more basic than others (Knife Skills, 101 classes, workshops, etc.) and are designed to provide a solid foundation of cooking techniques. Other classes such as Boot Camps delve deeper into the subject matter and offer an intensive cooking experience. However, all of our classes are suitable for both beginners as well as experienced home cooks. That’s because you will not only learn to make the recipes from that particular menu, you’ll get many more cooking tips and techniques from our chefs.

What is the difference between demonstration and hands-on classes?

In a demonstration class, you observe our chef prepare the meal and get a generous tasting portion of each dish made. This type of class is best for those who like to watch before they do, as you’ll take notes and ask questions throughout the class.

In a hands-on class, each student works in groups of 3 to 5 people to make the meal from start to finish. You’ll enjoy a full meal at the end of class with the other students.

How do I register for a class?

Register online, call Lincoln Square at 773-472-6700 or call the Merchandise Mart at 312-644-6360 to register for classes. We will ask for a credit card number to hold your reservation.

Will my credit card be charged?

No, we use the credit card to secure your spot in the class, but we will not charge your credit card until the day of the class. You also have the option to pay with cash or gift card when you come to class. We will charge your credit card if you do not show up for class or if you cancel within the one-week cancellation period. Please note Culinary Boot Camps have a two-week cancellation policy.

What is your cancellation policy?

All classes have a one-week cancellation policy, except Culinary Boot Camps which have a two-week cancellation policy. You must call our stores to cancel an existing reservation. If you cancel within one week, you are responsible for paying for the class.

Are we fed in class?

During our demonstration classes, you will taste a healthy sampling of everything made in class. In our hands-on classes, you will be fed the equivalent of a full meal. If there are leftovers, you’ll even get to take them home!

How many people are in the classes?

We accommodate between 14 to 25 people in our demonstration classes and between 8 to 20 people in our hands-on classes, depending on location. If a class is full, it's best to sign up for the waitlist as we will notify you if space opens up.

What are my chances of getting in the class if I am on the waitlist?

We always suggest signing up for the waitlist if the class is full because there is a good chance of getting in, and there is no commitment required. If we receive cancellations, we’ll call our waitlist immediately to try to fill the available spots. We can also add another class if there is enough demand for it.

Where are the classes located?

We offer classes in the Merchandise Mart and Lincoln Square neighborhood in Chicago. Explore our kitchens.

Is there parking available?
Do you validate parking?

The Merchandise Mart is conveniently located near several downtown parking facilities, including an indoor garage and an outdoor lot right at the corner of Kinzie and Wells Street. Discounted rates at both facilities are offered after 3pm. Metered street parking can also be found in the area. After 6pm, customers can park at no charge in the "Red Tag Permit Parking" which can be accessed from Orleans Street or the main entrance of the Mart off of Wells Street.

Lincoln Square: Street parking is readily available on Lawrence and on Western.

We do not validate parking.

What should I bring to class?

Nothing! We provide all of the cooking equipment and food, as well as printed recipes. Wine, beer and soda are available for purchase. Your chef will recommend food-friendly wine parings to accompany the dishes prepared in class. If you choose to bring in your own alcohol, keep in mind that a corkage fee will be charged: $10 per bottle of wine and $5 per six-pack of beer.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing and non-skid comfortable shoes. We provide aprons to protect your clothing.

Are beverages served during class?

Intelligentsia "Chopping Block Blend" coffee and still water are served during every class. Wine, beer and soda are available for purchase. If you choose to bring in your own alcohol, keep in mind that a corkage fee will be charged: $10 per bottle of wine and $5 per six-pack of beer. Also, if you buy your wine from us, we can legally package any leftover wine so you can take the bottle home. If you BYOB, we are unable to provide that service.

Is there a student discount for items in the store?

Students receive a 10% discount on all regularly priced merchandise on the day of their class. You will also receive a 15% discount on all “Hot Table” items which include any retail item used in that day's class.

I have a food allergy. Can I still take a cooking class?

Absolutely! We will do whatever we can to accommodate food allergies and sensitivities. We ask that you call well in advance of class to discuss your dietary restrictions with our staff. We will consult with our chefs and review the menu to accommodate your needs. If a particular class is not right for you, we will suggest one that is a better fit. Please note our kitchens are not a gluten-free environment.

Do you ever have to cancel a class?

Unfortunately we do, but we do our best to avoid this. All of our classes may be subject to cancellation or rescheduling. If this happens, we’ll let you know and get you into another class asap.

I have a gift card to pay for my class. How do I redeem it?

Bring your gift card with you on the day of your class and present it as payment. The credit card used to hold your reservation in the class will not be charged.

I’d like to buy a class for a friend. How does that work?

You can register and pay for as many as five people for any of our cooking classes. Groups larger than that would work with an Event Coordinator to book a private event.

You can also purchase a gift card for your friend to choose his or her own class.

How old do you have to be to take a class?

We welcome anyone over the age of 12 to participate in any of our adult classes if accompanied by an adult. You must be 21 years old or older to attend any class in which wine is being served. You will be asked to present a valid ID at the time of check-in. If there is an age requirement for a class, it will be listed in the class description.

Can I schedule a private cooking class?

Yes, we offer private cooking parties for groups from 6 to 300 people. Learn more.

Do you offer teambuilding or corporate classes?

Definitely! Cooking together in a corporate event is a great way to build camaraderie or offer a little friendly competition for your team. Learn more.

I have a suggestion for a class. Can I share it with you?

We love to hear suggestions from our students! Email info@thechoppingblock.com to share your ideas.