Once a person evolves past fast-food takeout and pizza deliveries, it becomes important to know how to cook. Not only is it far less expensive than eating out, but cooking at home can be a much healthier option as well. One of the no-brainer options for a cuisine to master is Italian. From pizza to pasta and antipasto, Italian food is well-loved all over the globe. So, if you’re looking to prepare a meal that will impress your family or a date, or simply add to your cooking repertoire, Italian cooking is a great place to begin. Here are some of the best places for Italian cooking classes in Chicago.

(Photo: atavolachi.com)

(Photo: atavolachi.com)

A Tavola
2148 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL. 60622
(773) 276-7567

If you’re looking to learn how to cook Italian, one of the best places to learn is at one of the best Italian restaurants in the city. At A Tavola in West Town, Chef Dan Bocik offers classes on select Mondays each month. Generally lasting two to three hours each, depending on the menu, Chef Bocik guides students through a delicious session including an appetizer, pasta, entree and a desert. Enjoy a glass of wine and participate or just sit back and watch, then at the end of the session enjoy sampling the meal you and your class just created.

Eataly Chicago
43 E. Ohio St.
Chicago, IL. 60611
(312) 521-8700

Sometimes grocery shopping for a recipe’s ingredients can be frustrating, but what if you were learning how to cook at an actual marketplace? At Eataly Chicago, they sell what they cook and cook what they sell, and for those looking to brush up on, or master, their own culinary skills, it doesn’t get much more handy than that. Offering classes covering salami tastings, guides to cheeses, wine tastings, cooking with olive oil, hands-on pizza parties and so much more, Eataly Chicago provides a wealth of information and instruction on how to become an Italian chef in your own kitchen. Take part in demonstrations and workshops from simple aspects of Italian cooking to well-loved classic cuisine, and bring the little ones for Eataly’s selection of kid’s classes as well.

The Wooden Spoon
5047 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL. 60640
(773) 293-3190

Located in Chicago’s trendy Andersonville neighborhood is The Wooden Spoon, one of the city’s primary dining and shopping spots and go-to for cooking classes for more than a decade now. With a wide variety of cooking and food-prep classes available monthly, The Wooden Spoon offers several Italian options as well. Workshops include That’s Italian, a hands-on session where students learn to make items like flatbreads, antipasto salads, desserts and more. There’s also a fresh pasta class as well as an Italian dream session focusing on items like polenta puffs, tiramisu and more. Classes at The Wooden Spoon are also BYOB with no corkage fee, so bring a bottle of wine and get ready to learn all about this popular European cuisine.

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The Chopping Block
The Merchandise Mart Plaza
222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 107
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 644-6360

Having taught Chicagoans how to cook for almost 20 years now, The Chopping Block takes recreational cooking to an all new level. Offering classes that teach and entertain, they offer intimate hands-on sessions that will not only teach you how to prepare a great dish but also give you the framework to understand what it takes to prepare Italian meals from scratch. With a variety of cuisines from around the world, The Chopping Block offers several Italian cooking courses: Know Your Gnocchi, the Food and Wind of Italy, Neapolitan Pizzeria, the Family Night Pasta Party and more. There are even “boot camps” available for intensive learning about pastas, wines and even sauces.

Affresco Pizzeria And Lounge
11 N. Northwest Highway
Park Ridge, IL. 60068
(847) 292-0233

Specializing in old-country Italian and Sicilian dishes is Affresco Pizzeria And Lounge in nearby Park Ridge. It is not only a favorite dining establishment in the Chicagoland area offering a wide selection of amazing pastas, sauces and other Italian favorites, but they can also teach you a thing or two about Italian cooking aside from just eating it. With an array of lessons available, Affresco Pizzeria And Lounge can teach you the basics about Sicily’s famous appetizers, all the different types of olive oils and how to master them in your cooking, pizza making, ravioli cooking and more. For those of you who are always on the run but still want to learn how to make a great Italian meal, one of Affresco’s most popular classes is their 20-minute meals cooking class, featuring an appetizer and a main and side dish each that can be made in 20 minutes or less.

Related: Ask A Chicago Chef: Top Mouth-Watering Meatloaf Recipes

Soon after earning her BA in journalism, Melanie Falina began writing about one of the loves of her life – music. Since then, she’s covered some of the biggest names in music, in addition to writing on an array of other topics as well. She has written for Black Belt magazine, KISS: The Official Authorized Quarterly Magazine, Examiner, AXS.com, Yahoo Voices, and more, and was editor for Don Lemmon’s KNOW HOW Book Three, Refuse To Fail. Melanie is also a poet with six published collections of poetry available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and various establishments.