Have you ever wanted to learn how to cook or bake something specific? Perhaps you were inspired by The Great British Bake Off so you watched some how-to videos on YouTube then experimented with some recipes you found online. Maybe you had success on your first try, but more than likely, you made a list of "lessons learned" for the next time. This trial and error method can be difficult for a home cook attempting new techniques or dishes on their own. After all, who has hours and hours to dedicate to finding the perfect consistency in a custard?
Enter The Chopping Block's brand new one-on-one, virtual private lessons.
In this new virtual offering, you work one-on-one with a professional chef to create a lesson that's completely customizable to what techniques or dishes you want to learn. Whether that's a cake, knife skills, perfect pie crust or sauce mastery like you've seen in restaurants, our chefs can guide you through the process. You'll learn tips and tricks for success in the kitchen so you leave your lesson knowing exactly how to master what you came for the next time around. And you do all of this in the comfort of your own kitchen!
Learn How to Cook Wherever You Are
The benefit of hosting these one-on-one private lessons through Zoom is that you can be literally located anywhere in the world and learn how to cook from The Chopping Block. We've been teaching people in Chicagoland how to cook for over 23 years and now we can bring that education and fun outside of the Midwest to wherever you may be!
Learn to Cook Whatever You Want
Another huge perk of these new lessons is that you get a say in the curriculum for your class. Here's how it works:
- Peruse our virtual private lesson offerings.
- Choose your desired skills.
- Work with our chef to develop a menu and curriculum that features the techniques you want to hone in on in the kitchen.
- Purchase the necessary ingredients for your class.
- Login to Zoom on the day of your class, and be ready to learn a ton!
- You and the chef cook together in real-time as you get feedback and guidance throughout each step of the process.
- You gain confidence in the kitchen and master new skills!
Hear from a Happy Student
Eleni Koufos loves to bake. She always makes cakes for her nieces and nephews' birthdays and has experimented with cookies, frostings and lots of baking techniques before. But she had never attempted to bake a showstopper cake.
So when her brother and sister-in-law gifted her a private virtual one-on-one lesson from The Chopping Block for her 30th birthday, she knew she wanted to take the opportunity to learn how to build a two-tiered cake with multiple components that could help celebrate her sister's engagement at a party.
Eleni had never taken a cooking class before and wasn't familiar with The Chopping Block since she lives in Ohio, so she didn't really know what to expect, especially in our new virtual world. "When you are a home baker, it can be hard to get the confidence to try new techniques without a little help. I consider myself a good direction follower, not an advanced baker by any means," said Eleni.
"So, I asked Executive Chef Lisa Counts a million questions before we even got started. She adjusted the recipes to what I was looking for and to fit my skill level. She was flexible and patient and was a joy to talk to for three hours straight. I could have talked to her for even longer! I asked as many questions as I could before, during and after the experience and having the chance to visibly see what consistency the elements were supposed to be made all the difference," said Eleni.
With three different cameras in her kitchen, Lisa was able to demonstrate to her student what each component of the cake should look like at different stages as it was being made. The preparation our team does before the class even begins also sets up students for success.
"By communicating with the student before their class and getting an understanding of their skill level, kitchen layout and equipment they have at home, our team is able to customize a lesson so that every student feels accomplishment at the end," said Chef Lisa. "We are able to scale dishes and/or techniques up or down based on the level of the person. This was an ambitious cake to make in one lesson, but Eleni stayed right with me the entire time. It felt like two friends baking together virtually!"
So how did Eleni's cake come out? Well, you decide:
Can you believe that cake? It's magazine worthy! Eleni said everyone at the party was very impressed that she was able to pull off such a beautiful and delicious cake in just three hours. To add another element of beauty, she sourced seasonal flowers from a local farmer.
The time management and multitasking skills she learned were a big benefit of the lesson that Eleni wasn't necessarily expecting. "To be able to make custard, jam, cake and frosting in three hours was a lot for me. I usually span out my baking tasks over more time. But Chef Lisa kept me calm and focused as we completed each task," she said.
Eleni didn't stop at the engagement cake. She recently practiced her new-found skills on a birthday cake for a family member who loves Oreos.
Eleni is excited to book another private class with The Chopping Block soon. "I have so many things I want to learn! I'm trying to figure out macarons right now. I want to take more classes having to do with pastry and pie crusts. I can also see the one-on-one lessons being essential for knife skills, butchery and sauces. I'm the type of person who wants to understand the science behind cooking so the one-on-one lessons are great for that reason. You wouldn't have time to go in as much depth in a regular cooking or baking class," said Eleni.
Want to learn more about our private virtual one-on-one lessons either for yourself or to give to a foodie in your life for the holidays? Click here to get started!