How To Recreate Chicago Restaurant Recipes

Learn how to make some of Chicago's favorite restaurant dishes at home

By Wendy Wollenberg
|  Friday, Aug 14, 2009  |  Updated 9:37 AM CDT
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Exclusive Look Inside Michael Carlson's Schwa

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That's not the same-old, same-old on the stove.

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Exclusive Look Inside Michael Carlson's Schwa

For the first time ever, cameras go inside Schwa restaurant to talk to chef/owner Michael Carlson, a man who's mysterious personality is often talked about as much as the outstanding food.
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Get in the kitchen, CSI-style.

The secrets behind some of Chicago's most buzzed-about restaurant dishes are about to be exposed, thanks to new creative cooking classes from The Chopping Block.

The school, which has locations in Lincoln Square and in the Merchandise Mart, has introduced "Restaurant Recipes Revealed," a series of monthly classes that will walk guests step-by-step through the making of those entrees you find yourself thinking about long after the meal has ended.

The two-and-a-half-hour courses will feature the goods on making four dishes, which this month include monkey bread with dill butter from The Bristol and Birchwood Kitchen's speck sandwich stuffed with smoked prosciutto, celery root cream, celery and truffle oil on ciabatta.

Also appetizing: quail egg ravioli from Schwa and the Macho Salad with roasted chicken, avocado, dates, almonds and goat cheese from Bandera.

The Chopping Block's food-obsessed staff select the dishes to be dissected, sometimes with the help of the restaurant chefs, sometimes not. But, each is easy to make, you'll get lots of samples during the class, and you'll get to take the recipe home.

The Chopping Block will next offer the "Restaurant Recipes Revealed" class from 7-9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14 and Thursday, Aug. 27 at its Lincoln Square outpost and from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24 at its Merchandise Mart venue.

The class is $40 a pop -- a good deal considering how much you would blow going directly to the source.

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