Our Services: Cooking Classes

Cooking Classes

Cooking Classes

Garlic Press Cooking Classes have been offered for over 30 years and are one of our most popular features. We love to share our passion for good food and exploring new cuisines from around the world. We offer a wide range of styles from elegant menus for entertaining to familiar comfort food.

Due to class popularity and limited space, they fill up quickly, so plan ahead. Please call us to check class availability at 309.452.8841.

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Private Cooking Classes

We’re also happy to work with you to provide custom Private Cooking Classes for groups (friends, bridal showers, co-workers…), call or email the store for detail!

Current Cooking Class Schedule

CLASS REGISTRATION POLICIES: WALK-IN REGISTRATION ONLY on Saturday, Nov. 22nd at 9:30am in the retail store. NOTE: the Garlic Press Cafe will OPEN EARLY at 8:30am before registration starts! General Registration accepted starting Monday Nov 24th @10am. Class Limitations: Maximum of 2 Classes, 2 People per Class Nov 22— Dec 6th. After Dec 6th, you may register for as many classes and people as you wish. CLASS PAYMENT DUE UPON REGISTRATION. 3 Hour evening classes are $40.  2 Hour classes are $35. The 90 minute classes are $30. Students are given a 10% storewide discount during class, some exceptions apply. Refunds: Only given if cancellations received 3 days before class date. If you cancel at other times class recipes will be issued. 

Chocolate Truffle Love—with Maria Kemp. Professionally trained Pastry Chef and former owner of the local business Decadence Bakery & Pastries, Maria will show you how to make easy and dreamy Chocolate Truffles for the ones you love this Valentine’s Day. Learn the secrets that will guarantee success as you dip strawberries and more. See how easy it is to make elegant chocolate dessert cups filled with real chocolate whipped cream and you will always win hearts! $35 (2 hour class) 6:00-8:00 pm Wednesday, February 4

Valentine Dinner for Two—with Sandi Knapp. It may be chilly outside, but things will be heating up inside for this perfectly sumptuous dinner for two.  A savory entree with an Italian addition of garlic and herbs, Tuscan Porterhouse Steak with Peppercorns & Red Wine,  Fontina Cheese Risotto Cakes, a lettuce salad with Green Goddess Dressing and not to be left out, rich and gooey Fallen Chocolate Cake! $30  1:00-2:30 pm  Saturday, February 7

The Way to Cook, Part I—with Sarah McVicker-Waters. If you’re not familiar with Sarah yet, she is the head Chef at our Cafe. Tonight, enjoy a full menu of Roasted Chicken, Oven Fried Chicken, Sauted Vegetables and a savory Soup. A quote from a student in her last class, "I should have taken this class a long time ago!". A natural teacher in the kitchen with a deep understanding of all the elements of great cooking. Join her as she covers the essentials you need in your pantry; the proper way to handle chicken from cleaning, roasting and using a Buttermilk Brine to healthy oven frying; how to use your sauté pan for searing meat, & fish and sautéing vegetables; learn the essentials of efficient knife skills dicing onions and other veggies that will go into making a great soup with homemade stock. Guaranteed to inspire you to start cooking or start again! $40   6:00-9:00pm Tuesday, February 10

Winter Weekend Pleasures—with Chefs Colin & Sara Riley. Join this talented team for a stunning menu that will make anyone forget it might still be cold outside. To start the evening, Warm Fig Compote and Gorgonzola Crostini with Balsamic Reduction; for the main event, Pistachio Encrusted Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce & Wilted Winter Greens and for dessert, Roasted Butternut and Sweet Potato Pie with Maple & Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream.$30 11:00 am-12:30 pm Saturday, February 28

Hearty Dinners to Warm the Hearth—with Sandi Knapp. We’re not out of the woods yet with the blustery winds of March, join us for these terrific dinner ideas. Calling on her Italian heritage Sandi makes a hearty Chicken Pot Pie using Italian Polenta; Pasta cooked perfectly with the flavors of Pumpkin & Sage; and Beef and Butternut Squash Stew to warm your toes. $30 1:00-2:30 pm Saturday, March 7

The Way to Cook, Part II—with Sarah McVicker-Waters. Jump right in with a full menu including Macaroni & Cheese, Roast Beef, grilled Flank Steak, roasted Veggies and homemade Vinaigrette with local Greens. Learn the essential skills of great cooking, (no need to have taken Part I) starting with a list of basics you need to get started; learn how easy it can be to make White Sauce, Bechamel, Roux and Cheese sauce for homemade Macaroni & Cheese; learn how to handle Beef Roast with a dry rub, stovetop grilled Flank Steak and the basic proportions of versatile marinades; Sarah will cover knife skills while preparing mixed vegetables for roasting and creamed for a luxurious meal; make a true vinaigrette with an emulsion served on local greens. Bon Appetite! $40 6:00-9:00pm  Tuesday, March 10

Desserts for Every Occasion—with Sandi Knapp. Whether you need a sure fire hit for birthdays, Easter dinner with family or a pie to impress at a potluck Sandi’s got it covered in this class: Golden Layer Cake with Chocolate Walnut Frosting, Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake; and ultimate Lemon Meringue Pie, oh my! $30 1:00-2:30 pm  Saturday, March 21

One Dough, Many Meals—with Chef Chad Sanders. Back to teach for us again, Chad is the master Bread Baker for the Garlic Press Cafe. He’s the man behind the crisp baguettes, chewy bagels, fluffy ciabatta, artisan boules and breakfast Enpanadas you find next door.  Always willing to share what he knows with others, Chad will be teaching you the Master Dough recipe that you can use to make many great dishes for your family at home in no time. Join Chad to make a "Biga" or "Poolish" starter to make Pizza dough, quick Foccacia, loaded meat and cheese Strombolli (Calzone) and even homemade Hoagie Rolls! $35 (2 hour class) 11:00am-1:00pm  Saturday, March 28

Let’s Have a Party!—with Sarah Bushnell McManus. Life gets hectic, but you need to make time for a little fun! Join Sarah as she highlights the tastes of the Garlic Press Cafe and her experience being a host to large family gatherings. Dishes that are easy to make ahead so you can join your own party; Julienned Carrot Salad with fresh Ginger & Orange Vinaigrette; fresh Kale Salad with real Parmigiano Reggiano; Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms; Rosemary Mixed Nuts: How to construct a cheese tray that will "wow" your guests with discussions about creating a landscape of color, textures and heights on the party Buffet; and always something sweet to finish! $40 6:00-9:00pm Wednesday, April 8

Entertaining in a Snap—with Sandi Knapp. Here is another great menu from Sandi, she taught this in a private class and they loved it, so she thought it was worth repeating for everyone! Start off with creamy Broccoli Soup; Mushroom Dusted Chicken Scaloppini made with both dry and fresh assorted mushrooms; Hasselback Sweet Potatoes served with a scallion yogurt sauce, and finish with Black Forest Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits! $30 1:00-2:30pm  Saturday, April 11

IN THE CAFÉ—Don’t forget we can do your holiday baking for Thanksgiving, office parties, gift giving, and Christmas! We’re ready to bake Pies, Fruit Cakes, specialty Breads and assorted Cookie Trays by the pound. Just give us a call or come in and talk with us. We’ll have some goodies all boxed up with a bow ready to go anytime or place larger orders ahead. Ho, ho, ho…here we go!