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David Lissner
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Six Chicago restaurants teach you their secrets

Yes, you can cook! Learn from local chefs how to make their specialties at these cooking classes and eat the results.

Marc Bernard

  1. Mon Ami Gabi in Oak Brook’s cooking class offers instruction from Chef Bruce Williams, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, in seasonal dishes including gazpacho, seared salmon with leek quinoa and citron butter and warm berry crumble. After class, students will enjoy the three-course lunch with paired wines. Cost is $50.
  2. Wildfire in Lincolnshire offers an “Early Risers Brunch Cocktail Class” at noon Saturday, Sept. 15. Mixologist Joann Simonson teaches how to make a bacon infused bloody mary, jalapeno cucumber chill, vanilla joe and more while students munch on mini brunch dishes. The class is $35, plus tax and tip.


  1. FoodEase Market on the Magnificent Mile hosts a free cooking demonstration at noon Saturday, Sept. 22, with with Big Bowl Chef Marc Bernard, who’ll prepare a seasonal harvest soup using produce from his new Rustic Roads Farm. Samples and recipe cards will be provided.
  2. Waterleaf Restaurant in Glen Ellyn continues its monthly cooking classes with Chef Jean-Louis Clerc at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sep. 29, with “Fear of Fish.” The seafood-oriented class covers salmon tartare, hot-smoked salmon, Mediterranean crispy fried fish, and more, plus fish purchasing and storing techniques. Afterwards, pupils will eat their creations with paired wines at a communal table, and take home a Waterleaf apron and printed recipes. The class is $85.

Jonathan Fox

  1. La Madia in River North hosts its monthly seasonal cooking class at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, with Chef Jonathan Fox, who will demonstrate how to prepare starters, seasonal salads, Neapolitan-inspired pizza and more. As each course completes, participants will enjoy the cuisine along with selected wines. The cost is $40.
  2. Gioco in the South Loop launches a monthly cooking class series at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, with a session on the cuisine of Tuscany. Chef Gaetano Ascione leads the day-long cooking experience in which students learn to create a three-course meal, working in an open kitchen setting, experimenting at the stovetop, grill and oven, as well as visiting the pastry station and assisting during lunch service. After class, pupils join the chef in Gioco’s private room for group discussion and to enjoy the meal with wine pairings from San Felice Winery in Tuscany . Participants will take home a congratulatory diploma, signed menu and apron. The day costs $80.

Call for reservations.