Weather Updates

2011 guide to Chicago-area cooking schools, classes

Washburne Culinary Institute students decorate cake. (Jean Lachat~Sun-Times)

Washburne Culinary Institute students decorate a cake. (Jean Lachat~Sun-Times)

storyidforme: 14076419
tmspicid: 5862625
fileheaderid: 2766901
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: November 8, 2011 12:32AM

Chicago is a good place to learn the art of cooking. Whether you're training to become a chef, looking to sharpen your skills for family meals or you just like to experiment in the kitchen, our guide to cooking schools and classes in the Chicago area offers something for all.


Japanese American Service Committee, 4427 N. Clark. Instructor Noriko Okutomi offers instruction for up to 15 students per class. Upcoming: Maki Sushi, Sept. 17, $55 . Classes are from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; discounts for members. (773) 275-0097, ext. 229;


Dream Cakes, 3100 Dundee, Northbrook. Private baking classes. (847) 675-0500;

Lee Mann, director of educational marketing at Wilton School of Decorating, 2240 W. 75th St., Woodridge, teaches Wilton Method of Cake Decorating classes at various craft and specialty stores. Prices range from $10 to $25. (800) 942-8881;

Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Art, 7511 Lemont, Darien. More than 55 classes for professional and amateur decorators. Classes range from $85 to $1,000. (630) 985-6077;


FIG Catering. Hands-on and demo classes for couples, groups or children in your home. Specializes in vegan and vegetarian foods, ethnic foods and hors d'oeuvres. Wine pairing and cocktail-making offered. Classes start at $85. (773) 793-1035;

Monogramme Events and Catering. Melissa Graham offers in-home instruction for groups of six or more. (773) 991-1920;


Common Threads. After-school program for low-income children ages 8 to 12 that incorporates nutrition and cultural lessons in hands-on classes;

Cooking with Kids, Le Titi de Paris, 1015 W. Dundee, Arlington Heights. Susan Maddox teaches kids ages 8 and up how to prepare family meals and treats. Three-course lunch included; $45. (847) 506-0222;

Kids in the Kitchen, Now We're Cookin', 1601 Payne, Evanston. For ages 8 to 16. (847) 570-4140;

The Kids' Table, 2337 W. North. Healthy cooking classes for tots ages 2 and up, teens and families. Hands-on classes presented in four-week sessions for ages 2 to 10; $90 a session ($25 a class). Two-hour sessions for ages 11 to 16 and classes on school holidays also offered (773) 235-2665;

Someone's in the Kitchen, Kids Cooking Classes, 522 N. Milwaukee, Libertyville. Bonnie Bock offers classes for ages 10 to 15. Upcoming: cake decorating, noon Sept. 29, $35 . (847) 816-9511;

Sprouts Academy Preschool, 350 W. Ontario. Early childhood program for children ages 2 to 6 that emphasizes sustainable living. Healthy eating and lifestyle classes for adults and children offered throughout the year. (312) 944-6363;

Sur La Table, 55 S. Main, Naperville. Kids and teen classes and cooking camps. (630) 428-1110 or (866) 328-5412;


Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy, 600 W. Chicago. Consumer classes are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, unless otherwise noted. Classes average between 8 and 12 people. Professional classes also offered. (866) 443-0437;

Chocolate Inspirations, 233 Town Acres, Roselle. Chocolatier Pam Vieau offers half-day, full-day and three-day hands-on classes for all skill levels. (630) 894-0898;

Le Dessert Chicago. In-home private baking, pastry and chocolate lessons. Classes start at $495. (312) 217-0498;


Alliance Francaise de Chicago, 810 N. Dearborn. Food and wine classes for adults and kids; discounts for members. (312) 337-1070;

Chez Madelaine, 425 Woodside, Hinsdale. Madelaine Bullwinkel conducts classes from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays; $75. Fall session begins Oct. 25. (630) 655-0355;


Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe. Garden Chefs series of free demos on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. in the Regenstein Fruit and Vegetable Garden, through Oct. 2. Parking fee applies. Workshops and classes also offered. (847) 835-8261;

Cooking with the Best Chefs. Bill Lavery and local chefs lead cooking and baking classes in northwest and west suburban locations, as well as regional weekend cooking trips. (224) 353-3300;

Cook From Scratch Inc. Bridget Weis-Urban and staff lead classes in their kitchen or your home. New program SNACK (simple, nutritious, alternative, choice and knowledge) focuses on simple and nutritious lunches and on-the-go foods. Single classes range from $25 to $75. (312) 559-0052;

Flavour Cooking School, 7401 W. Madison, Forest Park. Hands-on and demonstration classes for adults and kids. Upcoming: Merci Julia, celebrating Julia Child's birthday, 7 p.m. Aug. 15, $35. Private events available. Classes start at $35. (708) 488-0808;

Nourish Cooking, Batavia. Classes focus on basic techniques and wholesome meals. Classes are held in a private kitchen; details upon registration. Upcoming: Put 'Em Up, preserving food at home, 10 a.m. Aug. 20, $60. (630) 408-9589;

Now We're Cookin', 1601 Payne, Evanston. Hands-on classes cover a variety of topics. (847) 570-4140;

Parties That Cook. National organization hosts local cooking classes and events at various locations. Upcoming: couples cooking class, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at Charlie Baggs in the Belden-Stratford, 2300 N. Lincoln Park West ($170 a couple);

Pina's Culinary Experience. 632 E. Irving Park, Roselle. Covers a variety of topics. Private classes available. (630) 529-1877;

Soigne Culinary Artistry at Calphalon Culinary Center, 1000 W. Washington. Corporate cooking classes, events and private parties. Wine and cheese tastings before sessions. Prices vary per person or per hour. (312) 738-2700;

Someone's in the Kitchen, 522 N. Milwaukee, Libertyville. Bonnie Bock and staff offer classes on a variety of topics. Fall session runs September through November. Most classes are on Wednesday or Friday. Prices range from $35 to $60 and include a meal. (847) 816-9511;

The Wooden Spoon, 5047 N. Clark. Hands-on and demo classes on various topics, plus chef-led outings . Upcoming: Macaroons and Whoopie Pies, 1 p.m. Aug. 21, $65. Outings include a Thai market tour led by chef Rebecca Wheeler, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 20, $85. (773) 293-3190;


The International Kitchen. 330 N. Wabash, Suite 2613. Organizes cooking vacations, classes and tours in Europe, Mexico, Peru and Morocco. (312) 467-0560;


Bloomingdale's, 600 N. Wabash; Oakbrook Center; Old Orchard, Skokie. Free demos by guest chefs in the housewares department;

Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton. Occasional classes and demonstrations. (312) 575-0306;

Fox and Obel, 401 E. Illinois. Occasional cooking and wine classes by guests chefs and sommeliers. (312) 410-3701;

Macy's Culinary Studio, 111 N. State, 7th floor visitor center. Macy's Culinary Council and guest chefs hold demos and classes for all skill levels. (800) 265-2665.

Michaels, all locations. Offers Wilton Method courses covering decorating basics, flowers and cake design and gum paste and fondants in its rotation of craft classes;

Sur La Table, 55 S. Main, Naperville. Hands-on and demo classes for all skill levels with resident and guest chefs, and classes created by Saveur magazine editors for the experienced cook. (630) 428-1110 or (866) 328-5412;

Treasure Island, 2121 N. Clybourn. Local chefs offer demo and hands-on classes. Upcoming: chef John McLean of Burger Bar and Sono Wood Fired, Aug. 23, $18. Classes are from 7 to 9 p.m. (773) 880-8880;

Whole Foods Market. Classes for children and adults. Topics vary;

Williams-Sonoma. Occasional classes at 900 N. Michigan, (312) 587-8080; 9 W. Jackson, Naperville, (630) 369-4167, and Oak Brook, Oakbrook Center, (630) 571-2702;


Bump Club and Beyond. Social club for new parents partners with Whole Foods Market to offer occasional classes on making nutritious food for babies and toddlers;

Dawn Jackson Blatner. Registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner conducts classes at the Chopping Block, 4747 N. Lincoln and in the Merchandise Mart;

Gilda's Club, 537 N. Wells. Guest chefs offer meal suggestions for cancer patients. (312) 464-9900; Laura Bruzas offers health-minded classes for those who want to eat well but want out of the kitchen fast. (312) 666-9979;

Naturally Nutritious. Dietitian Karen Raden specializes in nutrition education, offering in-home or group presentations by appointment. (847) 559-9737;


Shoba Havalad, Glenview. Private chef offers classes in her home kitchen and at various locations. (847) 657-9226;


ARG Tamale Co. and Cooking School, La Grange. Anthony Garcia teaches tamale-making as well as Italian and Latin cooking for groups of up to 10; $50. (708) 244-5902. E-mail:


Global Organic Designs Lifestyle Services, Bret S. Beall leads classes on quick, easy, Earth-friendly, healthy cooking. Available for group and corporate demos. (773) 508-9208;

Green City Market, in Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton. Local chefs lead demos through Oct. 15. Demos begin at 10:30 a.m.;

Purple Asparagus. Melissa Graham offers classes that feature organic and local products and sustainable cooking methods. (773) 991-1920;


Chicgo Anti-Hunger Federation, Oliver's Kitchen, 4345 W. Division. Culinary training and job placement program for homeless, welfare-to-work, underemployed and unemployed. (773) 252-3663;

Chinese American Service League, 2141 S. Tan Ct. Sixteen-week chef training program for low-income Chicago residents. (312) 791-0418, ext 2215;

The Chopping Block, Merchandise Mart at Kinzie and Wells and 4747 N. Lincoln. Shelley Young and staff offer hands-on and demo classes for all levels. Weeklong boot camps offered. Upcoming: Canning and Preserving, 10 a.m. Aug. 20, $40 (Lincoln Square) . (312) 644-6360; (773) 472-6700;

Country Garden Cuisine Cooking School, 3 N. 369 LaFox, St. Charles. Private classes for groups of 12 or more, using produce and herbs grown on-site. (630) 587-8985;

Greater Chicago Food Depository Chicago's Community Kitchen, 4100 W. Ann Lurie. A 14-week program prepares the unemployed and underemployed for entry-level foodservice jobs. Programs cover food preparation and sanitation plus a two-week internship. Free for those who qualify. (773) 843-5414;

Northwestern University, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston, Norris Center Mini-Course Program. Occasional food-related classes on various topics. (847) 467-7112;

Viking Cooking School and Culinary Shop, 1140 N. Milwaukee, Glenview. Hands-on classes for all skill levels. (847) 350-0705;

World Kitchen, Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph, lower level. Classes for ages 16 and up explore ethnic cuisines and culinary techniques. All skill levels welcome. Registration for fall classes begins Aug. 31. (312) 742-8497;


Anita Brown Culinary Coach. One-on-one, in-home sessions for all levels. Demo sessions available. Fees vary. (847) 341-4623;

Christopher Tong, My Private Chef. Private and corporate lessons and demos at various locations. Upcoming: 2 p.m. Sept. 2 at Bloomingdale's Home & Furniture Store, 600 N. Wabash. (773) 981-8131;

Give Me Some Sugar. Chef Alekka Sweeney offers in-home classes for up to 12 guests. (312) 546-4788;

Karen's Kitchen. In-home classes and corporate team events and other private events. (773) 348-1341.

Let's Cook. Patti Conway offers in-home lessons for individuals and small groups of all levels. Fees start at $35 an hour. (708) 482-9382.

Tom Wasabi In-Home Cooking. Tom Craner provides private, in-home lessons for groups of eight or more. (847) 395-5768;


Bin 36. 339 N. Dearborn. Wine classes focus on the basics of wine tasting and food pairings. Upcoming: Taste Like a Pro, Aug. 24, $15. Classes start at 6:30 p.m. (312) 755-9463;

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!, 2024 N. Halsted. Chef Tim Cottini conducts paella cooking demos. Upcoming: 10 a.m. Oct. 15, $30 includes lunch, wine and recipes. (773) 935-9000;

Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton. Monthly classes alternate between food and cocktails; $25. (312) 850-5005;

Chens Chinese and Sushi, 3506 N. Clark. Chef and owner Bing Zhou and wife Sandy Chen hold cooking and beverage classes at Chens and at Koi, 624 Davis, Evanston. (773) 549-9100;

Cityscape Bar, Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 N. Orleans. Free wine classes, including the monthly Vino with a View series. (312) 836-5000;

Delightful Pastries. Pastry chef and owner Dobra Bielinski offers pastry/cooking classes for up to 12 people at 1710 N. Wells (Old Town) and 5927 W. Lawrence. (773) 545-7215;

Duke's Alehouse and Kitchen, 110 N. Main, Crystal Lake. Beer School 101 is the second Wednesday of the month. (815) 356-9980;

InterContinental Chicago, Eno-Versity, 505 N. Michigan. Monthly wine classes cover various topics. (312) 321-8738;

La Madia, 59 W. Grand. Jonathan Fox offers occasional pizza-making classes that incorporate wine pairings. (312) 329-0400;

Le Titi de Paris, 1015 W. Dundee, Arlington Heights. Michael and Susan Maddox offers classes on a variety of subjects. (847) 506-0222;

Markethouse, 611 N. Fairbanks. Occasional garden-themed classes. Upcoming: Carrots, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 30. Classes are $45 and include cocktail pairings. (312) 224-2200;

Mercadito, 108 W. Kinzie. Chef Patricio Sandoval highlights Mexican fare in monthly classes. Upcoming: Mexican Independence Day, Sept. 12. Classes are $55 and begin at 6 p.m. (312) 329-9555;

Nacional 27, 325 W. Huron. Mixologist Adam Seger offers occasional classes highlighting his farm-to-bar philosophy at the restaurant as well as off-site. (312) 664-2727;

Quince at the Homestead, 1625 Hinman, Evanston. Occasional classes. (847) 570-8419;

Shaw's Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard; 1900 E. Higgins, Schaumburg. Occasional classes. (312) 527-2722; (847) 517-2722;

SushiSamba Rio, 504 N. Wells. Occasional sushi and sake classes. (312) 595-2300;

Wave, 644 N. Lake Shore. Chef Kristine Subido leads cooking classes. Upcoming: Cooking Out the Clean Way, healthy seasonal recipes, 2 p.m. Aug. 27, $65. (312) 255-4460;

Zocalo, 358 W. Ontario. Occasional classes on making margaritas and other tequila-based cocktails. (312) 302-9977;


College of DuPage, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn. One-year certificates and two-year associate degrees in culinary/pastry arts. Fall classes start Aug. 22. (630) 942-2800;

College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington, Grayslake. Hospitality and culinary management program includes new certificates, including Hospitality Manager and Baking and Pastry Assistant . New courses include Patissiere II (pastry art), Garde Manger (cold food preparation), Hospitality Supervisor. Fall classes start Aug. 22. (847) 543-2041;

Dominican University, 7900 W. Division, River Forest. Bachelor's degrees in food science and nutrition, nutrition and dietetics and foodservice management. Fall classes start Aug. 29. (708) 366-2490;

Eastern Illinois University, Charleston. College of Business and Applied Sciences, Hospitality Management. Fall classes start Aug. 22. (217) 581-5000;

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan, Elgin. Associate degrees in culinary arts, restaurant management and pastry arts, as well as vocational specialist certificate. (847) 697-1000;

Fox College, 4201 W. 93rd, Oak Lawn. Travel and hospitality management program. Fall classes start Aug. 29. (708) 636-7700;

French Pastry School, 226 W. Jackson. L'Art de la Patisserie program offers 24 weeks of instruction; next session starts Jan. 2, 2012. L'art du Gateau 16-week cake decorating program starts Aug. 29. The new L'Art de la Boulangerie is an eight-week artisan bread course; next session begins June 17, 2012. Tuition ranges from $10,600 to $22,500. Continuing education classes offered. (312) 726-2419;

Harper College, 1200 W. Algonquin, Palatine. Hospitality program includes food safety, food standard preparation, bartender training. Fall classes begin Aug. 22. (847) 925-6707;

Illinois Institute of Art Chicago, 180 N. Wabash. Associate and bachelor's degrees in culinary arts. Certificate programs in cooking, baking and catering. Fall classes start Oct. 3. (312) 280-3500; (800) 351-3450;

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt, Joliet. Associate degrees in culinary arts or hospitality and foodservice management. One-year certificates in food prep, hospitality management and baking/pastry. (815) 744-2200;

Kendall College, 900 N. North Branch. Four-year bachelor's degree in culinary arts or two-year associate degree in culinary arts (accelerated program available) or bakery/pastry arts; concentration in culinary nutrition offered. Also: certificates in baking and pastry arts, personal chef and catering, professional cookery. A new part-time bachelor's program combines online and campus classes for those who have completed the associate degree program. Fall classes start Oct. 5. (312) 752-2020;

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, 361 W. Chestnut. Associate degree in culinary arts or patisserie and baking. Twelve-month program and 4-month externship. Fall classes start Aug. 15. (877) 828-7772;

Lexington College, 310 S. Peoria. Program for women leads to an associate or bachelor's degree in hospitality management. Fall classes start Aug. 29. (312) 226-6294;

Moraine Valley Community College, 10900 S. 88th Ave., Palos Hills. Programs include foodservice sanitation. Fall classes begin Aug. 22. (708) 974-4300;

Robert Morris College Institute of Culinary Arts, 401 S. State. Associate and bachelor's degrees in culinary arts, hospitality management. Fall classes begin Sept. 26. (800) 762-5960;

Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan. Graduate and undergraduate degrees in hospitality and tourism. Fall classes start Aug. 29. (312) 281-3181;

St. Augustine College, 1345 W. Argyle. Bilingual (English-Spanish) program; basic and advanced certificates and associate degree in culinary arts. Preparation for city and state food sanitation license exams included. Fall classes begin Aug. 22. (773) 878-8756;

Washburne Culinary Institute. Classes are at Kennedy-King College, 740 W. 63rd, and South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive. Certificate and degree programs in culinary arts and baking and pastry. Fall classes start Aug. 22. (773) 602-5466;


Burhops at Plaza Del Lago, 1515 N. Sheridan, Wilmette. Free demos from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays. (847) 256-6400;


Karyn's Culinary Institute at Karyn's Fresh Corner, 1901 N. Halsted. Karyn Calabrese offers an all-vegan cooking school. Upcoming: Autumn in Italy, 3 p.m. Sept. 17. Classes are two hours or less and cost $55 in advance, $75 at door. (312) 255-1590;

Science of Spi rituality Center, 4S175 Naperville-Wheaton Rd., Naperville. Free vegetarian cooking classes twice a month on Saturdays. (630) 955-1200;


American Professional Bartending Schools of Illinois. Classes in Chicago (634 S. Wabash) and suburbs. Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes. Instructors and curriculum are certified by the Illinois State Board of Education. (773) 427-6606;

Chicago Wine School, 1942 S. Halsted. Patrick Fegan and staff offer five-week wine courses and seminars in Chicago and the suburbs, as well as single sessions. (312) 491-0284;

House of Glunz, 1206 N. Wells. Monthly wine, beer and spirits classes include food pairings; classes are $25 to $35. (312) 642-3000;

Vino 100, 2711 N. Elston. Free wine tastings and discussions from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays. (773) 489-9463;

Vintages, 12 S. Dunton, Arlington Heights. Tastings and seminars. Upcoming: Wines from Down Under, 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 20 . (847) 590-8655;

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.