Chefs Pina and Ed of Pina's Culinary Experience bestow their edible expertise on studious suppersmiths week after week in their elephantine kitchen and Mediterranean-style dining room. This year's third-quarter and fourth-quarter syllabi feature the ever-popular tapas class (Wednesday, July 13 and Friday, July 22), which fills up quickly as pupils crowd to assemble a jigsaw puzzle of small plates such as andalusian shrimp fritters and moules marinara. Chefs learn the secrets of cooking quick meals with ingredients easily at hand on Wednesday, August 24 and Wednesday, August 31, fixing under-30-minute delicacies that far surpass slapping together a sandwich or microwaving some ice cream. Students over age 21 are welcome to bring their own wine or alcohol to complement the feast of munchable masterpieces held at the end of each session, and all will be sent home with doggie bags of any leftovers in the hopes of inspiring pets to finally start cooking for themselves.
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 d?cor. 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 cr?me br?l?e 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.
La Blondina Bakery's confection-crafting owner, Agnieszka Klepacki, pleases palates of all persuasions with café-style lunches and delectable desserts. Tarts tickle tongue buds with a choice of blueberry, pear, or almond filling ($14 for 8”; $16 for 9”; $18 for 10”), and chocolate-chip cookies ($1.50) and cupcakes ($1.50) furnish guests with bite-sized snacks for bribing hyperactive children or bosses. In addition to sweets, the expert bakers handcraft artisan breads from scratch, filling the store with the alluring scent of french bread ($2.49) and beer bread ($2.49). Sandwiches quell more substantial appetites with toothsome toppings such as roasted veggies, turkey, and italian meats ($4.95).
At Two Chefs Cafe & Catering, wait staff carries upscale twists on American traditions past the bar area to an expansive patio that’s surrounded by a picturesque wrought-iron fence. Inside, hosts lead diners to seats amid rustic brick walls and decorative wall pieces that organize bottles of French wine by their region. The kitchen staff makes classic cuisine from scratch for weekly events—such as the Friday fish fry and Sunday brunch—or intimate meals. They coat their six signature pasta dishes with one of five sauces and plate hearty helpings of canadian baby-back ribs. The cozy atmosphere grows more festive on weekends, when live music permeates the space and drowns out the play-by-play announcer in your head.
Andresen's Bakery hasn't budged in more than 50 years. The family-owned shop has stood the test of time at the same Main Street location, serving one generation of customers after the next with original family recipes. Today, those recipes continue to yield pastries, cakes for special occasions, and, most notably, butter cookies. Thought they're not a valid form of currency in Bensenville?yet?Andresen's staff sells these popular treats by the pound. The shop also decorates them throughout the year for approaching holidays, such as Easter and Halloween.