Before they were moms with six children between them, Simply Homemade owners Cindy and Stephanie were food-industry professionals, studying nutrition and food-product development. Now, they've combined both experiences to create a company that supplies healthy, handcrafted meals to busy families. Working off of a monthly menu of 22 entrees, the duo whips up mouthwatering pastas, burgers, and kebabs chock-full of whole grains, hand-trimmed chicken, and natural beef from Heartland Meats. Then, they either preassemble meals for customers to pick up or set up ingredients for customers to assemble themselves onsite. The latter option, which takes about two hours, makes it easier for customers to tailor dinners to a child's love of mushrooms or a dog's disdain for cilantro.
Classically trained in the culinary arts, the friendly chefs at A Kid's Kitchen help tykes tap their foodie instincts during hands-on classes in a peanut- and nut-free environment. One-time sessions and class series feature topics from twisting soft pretzels to adorning cakes with fondant to crafting perfectly aerodynamic food-fighting weapons, with topics geared to please different age ranges. Summer camps keep kids engaged during school's off-season, and birthday parties entertain groups with edible festivity. Additionally, parents can order custom cakes and pastries from the kitchen, which also dishes its desserts from a space free of peanuts, tree nuts, or allergy-inducing political discourse.
Within a show room at Naperville’s Liam Brex, fresh, seasonal ingredients mix in the air amid equally stimulating home-entertaining instruction. The chefs and home-entertainment experts spice students’ creativity with menu ideas and hands-on training in preparation for hosting dinner parties, brunches, or social gatherings. During cooking classes, chefs reveal their expert techniques before allowing students to sit down to a full meal of their creation, paired with a wine from Peterson Spirits & Fine Wines.
The Chef Du Jour provides catering/event planning, cooking classes, and personal chef services. A Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Chef Rita will provide you with mouth-watering food, or teach you the skills to do it yourself through interactive classes.
Cooking Skills Academy's four resident chefs oversee hands-on cooking classes in a custom-designed gourmet kitchen. During the 15-Minute Meals class, students learn to prepare healthy, flavorful meals in 15 minutes each and hone an arsenal of cooking techniques more efficient than trying to convince raw asparagus to walk across hot coals. Other classes include Sushi class, Asian noodles workshops, and Grandma's meatballs and Sunday gravy. Like sculptors constructing busts of Martin Luther from limburger cheese, amateur food artists can snack on their masterpieces as they go, and take home a copy of each recipe used in the session. Check Cooking Skills Academy?s online calendar for a full list of class times and dates for such sessions as hands-on pasta making, Knife Skills 101, and Date Night Sushi 101.
Atmosphere is an essential part of fine dining. Crowds frequent five-star restaurants not only for their food, but also for the mood created by their décor. That's why in-home chef service Cooks For Your Kitchen brings a posh atmosphere to their patrons' homes in addition to their cooking utensils and groceries. Linens, china, silverware, and stemware decorate tabletops, where candles flicker and fresh flowers waft fragrances that please loved ones or pet bumblebees. Four-course dinners revolve around entrees such as chicken lemonata or lobster in creamy champagne sauce, and finish with rich desserts such as crème brûlée or tiramisu. All aspects of each meal are made fresh on the spot and can be altered to accommodate vegetarian diets or food allergies. Alternatively, chefs can entertain groups with a dinner party, cooking lessons, and movie nights, where chefs show up to homes with a DVD and movie-night snacks, such as flatbread pizzas and root-beer floats.