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Shelley

Shelley
Shelley has been teaching people to cook since she opened The Chopping Block in 1997. She spent 17 years as a professional chef, working in busy restaurants and private homes but realized her calling was to get other people to cook. Shelley’s unique concept of a recreational cooking school, gourmet kitchen store and private event business provides Chicago with over 300 cooking classes and private events each month. Shelley loves to garden and entertain for family and friends in her Lincoln Square home.

Recent Posts

How to Make English Muffins

    My favorite style of English muffins is the sourdough kind, but that method is a bit involved. This is the recipe that you can use when you wake up in the morning, decide you want a fresh-baked ...

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Aromatics from around the World: Mire Poix, Soffritto, Refogado, Holy Trinity

  Growing up homesteading in Iowa in the 60’s and 70’s gave me tremendous exposure to fresh food. We didn’t really eat frozen or packaged food, in part because we couldn’t afford it but also because ...

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10 Tips for Sauce Making Part 3: Tomato Sauce

    In part 3 of this series, we will focus on the third Mother Sauce: tomato sauce. Tomato sauce is one of the Mother Sauces that many people actually do make at home, and it's also one of the few ...

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How to Properly Heat your Pan so Food Won't Stick

  Let me tell you a story that may sound familiar. There was once a man who cooked a boneless skinless chicken breast. He put his skillet on the stove and turned the heat on. He added some oil and ...

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10 Tips for Making Sauces Part 2: Espagnole

In this series, we are exploring the classic French Sauces known as the “Mother Sauces:” Velouté, Bechamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise and Tomato. These base sauces are truly the fundamental sauces in ...

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10 Tips for Making Sauces Part 1: Velouté

  Leave it to the French to assert that there are really only five sauces, the Mother Sauces. The idea is that the five Mother Sauces are base sauces, and by adding additional flavorings or modifying ...

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The Recipe for Real Chicago Style Giardiniera

Even if you are a Chicago native, you may not realize that Chicago has its own version of Giardiniera. My father-in-law who was born and raised in Chicago recently moved out west and went into shock ...

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Canning Boot Camp: The Next Step of Preservation

  We did a lot of canning growing up. All four of us kids helped out: pitting cherries, snapping beans and shucking corn. My dad did the planting, and we all helped tend the gardens while my mom did ...

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Homemade Corn Tortillas

  When I go to a Mexican restaurant and they ask me “Corn or flour tortillas,” I am always going to choose corn. I think they are so much more flavorful! In Chicago, you can go to just about any ...

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The Right Salt for the Right Job

  I have come to realize throughout all these years of teaching and cooking that something as simple as using the right salt, in the right amount, and at the right time, can make a huge difference in ...

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