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  • Culinary Boot Camp 1

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A Look at Culinary Boot Camp 1


Culinary Boot Camp 1

Have you always wondered what it would be like to go to culinary school? The Chopping Block’s Culinary Boot Camp 1 gives you a taste of a professional culinary program without the lengthy time commitment or heavy financial burden. Culinary Boot Camp 1 explores all the fundamental methods of cooking, from basics to advanced techniques. Each day builds on the previous day and on the last day, you’ll tie everything together to plan and produce a menu with your classmates that incorporates all of the techniques you’ve learned throughout the week. After just five sessions, you’ll go home with a foundation of fine-tuned cooking skills.

  • Day 1: Knife Skills, Fish Butchery, Emulsions and Fish Cookery
  • Day 2: Chicken and Beef Butchery, Stocks and Meat Cookery
  • Day 3: Soups and Sauces
  • Day 4: Eggs, Vegetables and Grains
  • Day 5: Flavor Dynamics, Plating and Honing Your Skills

This program is suitable for students of all skill levels. Beginners will learn the basics and come away with the confidence to cook independently. Those with some cooking experience will broaden their culinary knowledge, hone their skills, and acquire valuable tips and insight so they can take their culinary ventures to a new level. It’s a great opportunity to improve upon your skills with an experienced chef at your disposal. You’ll learn from a different chef each day so that you get different perspectives and tips from their professional cooking experience.

Each day's session combines the chef's lecture and demonstration with individual hands-on execution of recipes that feature the essential techniques in modern cooking. At the end of the day, you and your fellow students will serve your finished dishes and enjoy a cooking roundtable, engaging in an informal discussion and review of techniques and culinary topics.

You will learn:

  • Professional knife technique
  • How to select and cook meats, fish and vegetables
  • Sautéing, simmering, grilling, roasting, braising and frying
  • Proper use of cookware and essential kitchen tools
  • Recipes and methods for soups, stocks, sauces, appetizers, entrees, salads and more
  • Use of herbs and spices, understanding basic flavors and complex flavor profiles
  • Menu and time planning
  • Tricks of the trade from seasoned professionals

It's a total immersion experience! You’ll know just what it is like to be a culinary student in our kitchen classrooms.

Culinary Boot Camp 1 is offered several times each year at The Chopping Block at the Mart and once a year at Lincoln Square. The course is five consecutive days, Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. We also a Sunday session from 9am-5pm for five consecutive Sundays. Please see below for all week-long Culinary Boot Camp 1 options in 2019-2020. 

Upon completing Culinary Boot Camp 1, each student will receive a Certificate of Completion from The Chopping Block. Please note this class has a 2-week cancellation policy.

Traveling to Chicago for Culinary Boot Camp? We have secured special hotel rates at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North located adjacent to the Merchandise Mart. Get more information.

Hatmaker TestimonialBestselling author, podcaster, blogger, public speaker, influencer, wife and mother Jen Hatmaker recently attended Culinary Boot Camp in June 2018. She wanted to "invest in my own creativity for no other reason than the love of it is new territory."

Read about her experience in our interview with Jen. 


Location: Merchandise Mart


Monday 1-27-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM


Monday 2-24-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM


Monday 3-30-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM


Monday 4-20-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM


Monday 6-15-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM


Monday 7-20-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM


Monday 8-10-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM


Monday 9-21-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM


Sunday 9-27-20 5 wks 9AM - 5PM


Monday 11-9-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM



Monday 12-7-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM

Location: Lincoln Square


Monday 5-11-20  8:30AM - 4:30PM

*A non-refundable 10% fee is applied for the operational and administrative costs incurred by TCB on all cooking classes.

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Hear From Our Boot Camp Students
“This comprehensive week long class far exceeded my expectations! I signed up for Culinary Boot Camp 1 to improve my cooking techniques as well as to gain a better understanding of the how's and why's behind cooking. By the end of the week, I left feeling more confident in my cooking abilities and am now using the techniques I learned t culinary delights.”

- Lori Wester, Culinary Boot Camp 1 Graduate

“I have always dreamt of going to culinary school, but worried if it would be a mistake to invest the money and years of my life, without ever having set foot in a professional kitchen. What if I didn't like it?" Veronia LaPinske, Culinary Boot Camp 1 Graduate Food blogger Veronica LaPinske was at a crossroads in her life. In order to get a better understanding of what professional culinary school would entail, she enrolled in Culinary Boot Camp 1 and documented her experience in her blog, Culinary Boot Camp 1 Graduate.”

- Read A Cook’s Canvas article.

"They don't baby you at all. It's definitely a supportive environment. Obviously there's no yelling, throwing pots and pans. And it's really cool to see everything come together from the beginning stages." Ellie Graham, Culinary Boot Camp 1 Graduate. Can you really learn to cook in just one week? The Chicago Tribune followed a mother and daughter team through our week-long program as they whisked, butchered and tasted their way to culinary enlightenment. They were looking to pick up a few skills, but what they found was that once you learn a few basics, cooking is easy."

 - Read the Chicago Tribune article.