Move over The Chopping Block, there is a new cooking school in town, with a better atmosphere, and much better food. The Social Table opened in a charming vintage home on Armitage Avenue in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in late 2014, and has since been teaching small groups of friends, co-workers, and even strangers how to make some tasty meals. In essence, The Social Table is a BYOB dinner party-style cooking class. Attendees cook, drink, and eat, and The Social Table takes care of all the rest.
I recently attended one of these cooking classes with a group of friends, and not only was it an absolutely fun evening, but the quality and taste of the food was exceptional, and the ambiance simply lovely. State of the art kitchens are located on both the first and second floors, and beautiful dining rooms are set right off the kitchen for easy enjoyment of the delicious meals made by the guests. Both floors are clean, bright, and spacious, and immediately made me want to revamp my kitchen.
Rachel was our instructor and executive chef for the evening, and she was amazing! She was personable, fun, friendly, and a great multi-tasker and teacher. Our menu was pre-selected by the organizer of our dinner, and everything was ready for us when we arrived, in addition to some tasty butternut squash crostinis that we snacked on while making dinner.
Our menu for the evening consisted of Goat Cheese Souffles, Shaved Kale + Brussels Sprouts Salad, Roasted Split Game Hens, and Individual Chocolate Cakes. Oh my gosh, everything was amazing! The whole group started by preparing the ingredients for the Shaved Kale + Brussels Sprouts Salad, including the dressing.
We then split into groups and focused on preparing the rest of the dishes. I learned how to properly break down and stuff hens with citrus-herb butter, as well as how to properly crack and separate eggs.
We all had such a fun time laughing and learning how to make these great recipes. And, when it was time to dine, we basked in the fruits of our culinary glory – the food was amazing!
I have since made the kale and Brussels sprouts salad, including the dressing, at home, and will soon tackle both the goat cheese souffles and individual chocolate cakes. While the recipes appeared to be advanced at first glance, Rachel did an excellent job breaking everything down and helping us every step of the way.
During dinner, Rachel and her assistant cleaned up and then joined us for part of the dinner. We all enjoyed the wines that we brought and had a wonderful evening together.
The Social Table offers both private classes for groups of up to 12, as well as public classes where the menu is pre-selected and people sign up for open spots to meet, cook, and eat with the other guests.
I look forward to taking another cooking class at The Social Table very soon!
819 West Armitage Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614