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, June 28th 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 June 30th @ 10am Class Limitations: Maximum of 2 Classes, 2 People per Class June 28-July 19. After July 19th, you may register for as many classes and people as you wish. CLASS PAYMENT DUE UPON REGISTRATION. 3 Hour evening classes are $40. 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. No alcohol is allowed.

Summer Entertaining—with Sandi Knapp. Stay cool with Tomato Gazpacho with Avocado Salsa, Grilled Chicken with Curried Couscous, Spinach & Mango, Parmesan-Panko Crusted Steaks with Summer Tomatoes, Pork Souvlaki Salad with Tzatziki Sauce and there is always room for dessert…Key Lime Cheesecake Flans, oh my! $40 6:00—9:00pm, Monday, August 4

Summer Main Dish Salads—with Carol Hiebert. The heat of summer can be a little daunting when it’s time to cook dinner, but Carol has you covered with these warm weather dishes. Asian Spinach Salad with Grilled Pork, Carol’s Summer Desperation Dinner Salad, Soba Noodle Salad with Smoked Chicken and Vegetables, Italian Shepherd’s Salad and finish with Fresh Fruit Salad with cool Yogurt-Lime Dressing. $40 6:00—9:00pm, Tuesday, August 5

Farmers Market—with Carol Hiebert. The Farmer’s Market is in full swing, enjoy the bounty with meals for your family. Join Carol for a Garlic Press favorite as you shop our Uptown Normal Market with her, meet local farmer’s, then return to our classroom for a meal made from the fresh produce you help select. We never know the dishes, but we promise a full menu—salad through dessert. This class showcases what we love about a Midwest Summer: fresh locally grown produce! $40 Meet at the store at 3:30pm to shop the market. Tuesday, August 12

GREEN TOP GROCERY BENEFIT—with Mike Sebald, Bill Davison and Chef Chad Sanders. Join us for this first ever class featuring the Foodie, the Farmer and the Chef (no candlestick makers) as they cook the locally sourced bounty of the season! The emphasis is on creating great tasting meals with locally grown fruits, vegetables, grains and meats that are always changing with the timing of the seasons and the farmers success in the fields! Find out more about Green Top Groceries mission to connect farmers with local foodies, taste wonderful food and learn a few things from a professional Chef & Bread Baker. ALL the money (100%) collected for this class will go directly to developing this valuable local resource! $50 9:00pm, Thursday, August 14

It’s Time for a Picnic—with Sandi Knapp. Wether you grab a basket, a backpack or simply sit on your patio, Sandi will show you how to cook up a gourmet picnic fit for any occasion. This warm weather menu includes homemade Hummus with garlic and cumin, Grilled Portobello Sandwiches with Tomatoes & Basil, Toasted Corn, Tomato & Edamame Salad and for a portable dessert, Potato Chip Pecan Sandie Cookies! $30 6:00—7:30pm, Monday, August 18

What to do with Chicken—with Sandi Knapp. What’s for dinner? Probably chicken, but how should you cook it this time? Sandi has a few fresh ideas for your dinner table including Braised Chicken with Carrot Juice and mixed spices, Roasted Chicken, Chickpea & Cauliflower Salad, Chicken with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions and Sun Dried Tomatoes. $40 6:00—9:00pm, Monday, August 25

Fall Fare—with Colin & Sara Riley. Once again the dynamic duo husband and wife team, Chef’s Colin & Sara have put together a lovely menu as we get closer to the fall season, but are still enjoying the last of the summer garden. Learn how to make your own fresh Mozzarella to serve on a Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomato and Fresh Basil, Pan Roasted Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon with Lemon Pepper Sauce and Parsley Potatoes and you can’t leave without having dessert, Hazelnut Brownies so good you’ll turn them into your own family recipe. $30 11:00-12:30, Saturday, September 6

What We Really Eat At Home—with Carol Hiebert. With all the wonderful recipes we collect and grand culinary projects we may tackle, it’s good to have those "go to" dinners that feed us on a daily basis. Carol has put some of these together: Stir-fried Chicken with Broccoli, Penne Pasta with Fennel & Goat Cheese, "Next Day" Stacked Enchiladas with Pork Tenderloin, Chicken Provencal with Tomatoes and Olives and her famously good Focaccia with Rosemary & Grapes! $40 6:00—9:00pm, Monday, September 8

Quick Cooking Organics—with Mathew Clark. We’ve been enjoying Mathew’s healthy and flavorful dishes so he’s agreed to teach again this session. Join him for this afternoon class of Curried Haddock with a Chili Honey Glaze, Tangy Chickpea & Veggie Salad and his twist on dessert, Coconut Cream Fruit Pie! Mathew knows a lot about cooking with organic & whole foods and is great at answering questions so come prepared! $30 1:00-2:30pm, Saturday, September 13

Dinner with Friends—with Carol Hiebert. If you think you need an excuse to make this tasty menu call a few friends over and cook it together! From appetizer to dessert Carol’s full menu will give you a lot of great dishes to share. Start out with crunchy crostini with "Green" Hummus, Broccoli Salad with Avocado & Pistachio, Roast Chicken with Black Pepper-Maple glaze, Three-Cheese Potato Gratin, make ahead Dinner Rolls and a Ginger Pear Tart, so good. $40 6:00-9:00pm, Monday, September 15

Cooking Techniques 101—with Chef Sarah McVicker-Waters. This will be Chef Sarah’s debut cooking class at the Garlic Press! Some of you may not know her yet, but she’s been the force behind all the great food and the on-going menu changes in our Cafe! Deeply devoted to cooking with local and seasonal ingredients, Sarah will lead you through some of the techniques that every good cook should know for the basics of cooking. She will demonstrate and discuss how to make sauces, homemade stocks and soups, the proper techniques to preparing vegetables and the knife skills to do it right, how to run a more efficient kitchen with little or no waste giving you the skills to get started! Sarah has lots of experience and knowledge so ask lots of questions! $40 6:00—9:00pm, Wednesday, September 17

Rustic Delights—with Mathew Clark. Right in line with Mathew’s devotion to cooking with natural organic foods he’s created a menu full of flavor that’s good for you and the earth! Join him for grass fed Bison Stroganoff on Rice Pasta with Sautéed Kale, Sweet Potato Dill Salad and room for dessert, Spiced Creme Brule. $40 6:00—9:00pm, Tuesday, September 23

Just Stuff It!—with Sandi Knapp. Every class needs a theme, here’s Sandi’s new twist, everything gets stuffed! Make one dish every Sunday and call it "Sunday Stuffing" and get the your family involved with planning more meals! There’s something for everyone here: Pasta Shells with Turkey & Artichoke, Bell Peppers with Couscous and Basil Cream Sauce (oh my!), Stuffed Chicken Marsala, Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes, and Italian Eggplant Stuffed with Meat & Veggies! $40 6:00—9:00pm, Monday, September 29