The holidays are over, and many of us are setting goals and New Year's resolutions for 2022: eating healthier, exercising more, or improving our cooking skills. The first step in doing being a better home cook is by stepping up your knife skills with a class with The Chopping Block.
If you take a Knife Skills class, you will learn from a professional chef the fundamental rules of slicing, dicing and chopping, and the guidelines around the essential knives you should have and how to use them in your kitchen.
Taking a Knife Skills class will totally change your experience in the kitchen. Even if you are an experienced home cook, you will learn about the different types of knives, and what job they are built for. You will learn the technique of how to work with the knife, from how you hold it, to how you cut different vegetables. You'll learn how professional chefs properly chop an onion, how to work with delicate herbs and how to mince garlic. Cleaning and caring for your knives and cutting boards is also a part of this essential class.
When you take an in-person class, we have a variety of different knives set up in our kitchen, so you are able to test drive different knives to see which fits you best. A knife is a very personal choice and what may work for your wife or husband may not be the same knife that you prefer.
The lecture start of the class is pretty important, as you will learn the difference between honing and sharpening, and there really is a big difference! You have probably heard the phrase “A sharp knife is a safe knife“ and that couldn't be more true.
There is also a big difference between how to slice versus chop with your knife. You'll learn both in Knife Skills. You'll also learn when to use different knives for different jobs, for example, when you should use a serrated knife. We will have a variety of vegetables available for you, and the best part is you can take the goodies home with you. Practice some more at home and use your chopped veggies to cook something delicious, like a seasonal soup. It is January, and if you are in Chicago, a good bowl of soup sounds great right now!
You will also learn about the different types of cutting boards available today and the best way to secure your cutting board from moving on your countertop. A lot of home cooks don't think about this, but the size of your cutting board should be comparable to the knife you are using.
I look at my knives like owning a car: you want to take good care of them and I don't hand them out to everybody to use. Good quality knives are expensive, but they will last you a lifetime. They will also bring you joy and make your life much easier in the kitchen.
Knife Skills is our most popular class here at The Chopping Block, and has been since we opened our doors almost 25 years ago. You will learn why once you join us! I've heard over the years while teaching this class how much students have learned from this class, from complete novices to home cooks who have been cooking for 30+ years. I hope this will make you curious to see for yourself and that you will join us for a session!
We offer Knife Skills in-person and virtually from your own home. Here are our upcoming sessions:
- Virtual Saturday, January 8 12:30pm CST
- In-person at the Merchandise Mart Thursday, January 13 6:30pm
- In-person at the Merchandise Mart Saturday, February 5 11am
- Virtual Saturday, February 19 2pm CST