The Chopping Block

Boot Camps

If you want to take your cooking to the next level, The Chopping Block's Boot Camps provide thorough, concise cram sessions on a wide range of topics. From a week-long experience that mirrors professional culinary school to international cuisine to outdoor grilling to a single technique such as braising, we give you an intense curriculum of cooking in these camps.

Culinary Boot Camp 1

BBQ SauceHave you always wondered what it would be like to go to culinary school? Our Culinary Boot Camp 1 gives you a taste of a professional culinary program without the lengthy time commitment or heavy financial burden. Boot Camp explorers all the fundamentals of cooking, working from the basics to advanced techniques.

Watch our Culinary Boot Camp 1 video, which provides an insider's view of the program, along with commentary from students.

Learn more about Culinary Boot Camp 1, including a day-by-day breakdown of the program which boils down a professional culinary education to home cook terms.

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 article.

Culinary Boot Camp 2

BreadingWhy stop there? Our Culinary Boot Camp 2 picks up where Culinary Boot Camp 1 left off with even more advanced cooking techniques and recipes. New subjects, including baking and seafood, will be covered in this next step in your culinary education, plus you will delve deeper into topics and ingredients. This is a necessary "kitchen essentials" course for the home cook!

Watch our Culinary Boot Camp 2 video for another behind the scenes look into this week-long program and hear from graduates about how the program changed their cooking.

International Boot Camp

Global SilverwareThis new hands-on culinary program will take you on a global journey of exotic ingredients and bold flavors. Our chefs will guide you on an in-depth culinary tour of international cuisine, providing a solid understanding of each country's characteristic flavors and core ingredients. This foundation will enable you to create a well-rounded repertoire of authentic dishes. As a bonus, you'll sample wines and spirits that pair with each country's cuisine.

International Boot Camp comes in two formats to fit your schedule: a comprehensive four-day course featuring the cuisines of Spain, Mexico, India, Thailand as well as separate two day courses that focus on these same cuisines, covering a different country each day. These courses are offered throughout the year, so please search our Class Calendar for our upcoming International Boot Camps.

American Airlines recently featured our International Boot Camp in its in-flight magazine, American Way. Read the writer’s hilarious journey through Spain and Mexico during boot camp.

Grilling EggplantGrilling Boot Camp

Our Grilling Boot Camp is a two-day hands-on immersion class where you will learn grilling, smoking, slow cooking, marinating, brining, rubs and much more. We offer this class during warmer months in our outdoor kitchen at Lincoln Square. Get a sneak preview in our Grilling Boot Camp Video.

More Boot Camps

Sushi MakingThe Chopping Block has developed Boot Camp programs so you can become an expert on a specific subject matter, cooking technique or even a specific dish. Spend one to three days immersed in these hands-on, educational and fun classes:

Baking Boot Camp: Roll up your sleeves and spend a dough-filled weekend in our pastry kitchen.

Vegetarian Boot Camp: Broaden your palette of cooking techniques and flavors in this immersion into vegetarian cuisine.

Sauce Boot Camp: Master the art of stock, roux and reductions in this comprehensive sauce class focusing on classic to contemporary techniques.

Cupcake Boot Camp: Make several varieties of delicious cupcakes, and learn fun, easy ways to decorate them. Menu changes seasonally.

Braising Boot Camp: Focus on low and slow cooking to create über-tender meats and vegetables and walk away with a slew of new recipes for one-pot meals.

Donut Boot Camp: Learn how to make both cake-style and raised-style donuts, and finish by frying, glazing, dipping and filling them to perfection.

Sushi Boot Camp: Why go out for sushi when you can make it at home? You'll learn how to perfectly cook and season rice, how to select and properly cut tuna, salmon, yellowtail (hamachi), eel (unagi), soft shell crab and shrimp for creating basic and more intricate maki rolls, hand rolls and nigiri.

All of these Boot Camps vary in length and price and are offered at both Chopping Block locations at various times throughout the year. Please search our Class Calendar for our upcoming Boot Camps.

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