Cooking with friends and family is a tried and true tradition, and cooking parties are all the rage these days as we bring party fun (and attire) to the kitchen. After recently trying a cooking party at The Social Table in Lincoln Park, a group of foodies and friends left with nothing but happy hearts and full bellies.
The Social Table is a small cooking school venue in Lincoln Park, which boasts a great cozy atmosphere, wonderful staff (this party was hosted by Chef Rachel Post) and a great overall social engagement experience. Like many other similar experiences, you can attend scheduled classes or book a private party for a bit of a higher fee. Private parties allow you to choose the menu, and craft it to your party and desired experience. The difference The Social Table brings to light is the BYOB aspect, which allows you to craft a cocktail or wine menu to suit your needs.
This event featured a personalized BYOB mixology bar with specialty cocktails and wine options for the guests. This was a huge hit, as we finished most of what we brought, and everyone got something suited to their tastes! In addition to this, a few personalized decorations added a nice way to customize the already beautiful space.
The party was of course, all about the food, and the menu had a modern Italian-ish flare. Chef Rachel and her team allowed each individual to participate at the level they selected, a lot or a little, and they shared great tips and tricks along the way (like massaging your kale to break down the proteins). The menu selected was all vegetarian to suit the crowd (but they have many great options to the contrary) and was as follows:
- Curried Pumpkin Soup – Creamy and slightly rich, but not overly sweet. A great starter course!
- Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad with Vinaigrette – Massaged kale was the trick to making this salad light and fresh with the hearty meal.
- Roasted Breaded Acorn Squash – a crowd favorite, this was sweet and savory and roasted to perfection. (This was an add on from The Social Table team!)
- Spinach and Ricotta Gnuddis with Spicy Tomato Sauce – Easy and effective, and much less time consuming than making raviolis. This dish was the star of the meal.
- Almond Cake and Vanilla Ice Cream – A fantastic and decadent Italian dessert to end a lovely meal.
Open classes at The Social Table run about $75 a person, with private events running a bit more (~$100/pp) for dinner. It may seem like a higher price tag for dinner, but the personalized touches, hands on training, and wonderful atmosphere make it worth every cent! It is definitely an event which will satisfy any foodie’s palate, and the BYOB aspect allows you to save a few $$while crafting the perfect dining experience. Until the next meal, wishing you all wonderful food and cooking experiences. Bon Appétit!