We're On Trend for Fun  

A private cooking party can achieve many goals, from letting loose to building bonds. A new report from Chicago Business Journal lists the top five corporate entertainment trends for 2014.  


Here's how The Chopping Block is on trend:


1. Ethnic Excellence: Have you seen our Global Journeys menus? There's every ethnicity from Italian to Thai.  


2. Stay-cation Entertainment: Who wants to leave Chicago?


3. Bigger, Better Digs: We built our kitchens to function as unusual, one-of-a-kind group party spaces.


4. A Bolder Event Experience:

Cooking is the ultimate experience to engage attendees.


5. Shorter Lead Times: Need to make your event happen in 3 to 5 weeks? No problem. Our experienced team can make your event a reality in a short time, without a lot of work on your part. Get more info.   


Great hosts know the party always starts in the kitchen! 




Art of Food Presentation  

Some chefs would say the visual impact of a dish is just as important as its flavor. As we enter the holiday entertaining season, it's a great time to revisit the basics of plate presentation.

By following a few simple rules, you'll impress your guests with your food's look as well its taste.

Owner/Chef Shelley Young shows how to make your plates pretty in her latest blog.


Get Hostess Gifts Galore  

Now is the time to stock up on all of the hostess gifts you'll need this season at the One of a Kind Show and Sale at the Merchandise Mart.

The Chopping Block's new Brining Blend, Seasoning Blend and Hot Cocoa Mix will be available for the first time!

Thursday, December 5, 11am-8pm
Friday, December 6, 11am-8pm
Saturday, December 7, 10am-7pm
Sunday, December 8, 10am-5pm

Click here to purchase multi-day tickets for $12, which allow return visits throughout the four days of the show. A portion of all ticket sales benefits the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

Visit us at booth #1005 in the Northwest corner by the Main Cafe's seating.

Get a floor plan of the show to take with you. Happy shopping!

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Extend the Holiday Season into January      


December is here, and the calendar is full of social engagements. If your company is like ours, we're so busy this month, we can't even think about celebrating the holidays until they are over. So, we always plan our annual company holiday party in January. As our Event Team shares, there are lots of reasons to delay the celebration. 


"The beauty of planning any event in January - and particularly a belated holiday party - is that it's a bit of excitement for people at a time that can otherwise feel wintery and not as festive. December is such a busy month for everyone between work functions and family events that sometimes postponing a holiday party or other gathering until January will allow you and your guests to more fully enjoy the event!" ~Claire DePalma 


"The only thing that's disappointing about the holidays is that they are over so quickly. We love planning January events because it extends the season we love so much and gives us something to look forward to after that month-long indulgence sadly ends." ~Megan Fassnacht 


"Time is a valuable resource around the holidays so hosting your event in January alleviates the challenge of trying to squeeze the celebration into everyone's busy schedules." ~Mike Lintal 

Still have a holiday party to plan? Contact Claire, Megan or Mike today.

The Chopping Block
A Swapping Success              

We love creating a community around cooking. So, when we heard about Chicago Food Swap, we knew we had to invite those cooks, bakers, canners, gardeners and foragers to trade their homemade and homegrown foods in our kitchens.

What's a food swap? It's a gathering of food lovers to exchange homemade creations. No cash is exchanged, and no goods are sold. Instead, goods are traded in a silent auction format. Here's a look at our swap in November.

There was such a great response to this event that we're planning on hosting another swap in 2014. Sign up for newsletters from Chicago Food Swap to stay in the know. The swaps always fill up!

We've compiled a list of all of the blog recaps of the November swap at The Chopping Block. Check them out here.  

Pinterest See more pictures from our Chicago Food Swap event on our  Pinterest board.     

Photo Courtesy of Rosie Discovers

One of the coolest stories from our swap came from Jim and Cheryl from Ready Jam Farms in Marengo, IL who brought a huge assortment of pumpkins, gourds and winter squash. Check out the size of this Blue Hubbard Squash! 


Farmer Jim was kind enough to leave behind approximately 150 pounds of pumpkin for our team to enjoy. We also used their product in The Great Pumpkin class in November. Our chefs were so excited to have a selection of quality, unique pumpkins for the class.


And while Thanksgiving may be over, we're certainly not done with pumpkin yet! Try some of our favorite pumpkin recipes:


Pumpkin Pie 


Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares with Cinnamon Whipped Cream 


Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce 



The Chopping Block
Cooking Up Big Business   
Out of sight can often mean out of mind if you work for a large organization. As an event planner for CDW shares with us, it's key to plan events that establish camaraderie between team members.


"On the way to The Chopping Block, our group had a great time getting to know each other. Once there, we were given libations, aprons, knives (in that order, but knife training skills were included!) and put to work in small groups cooking a molto bene Italian feast, complete with Bruschetta, Bacon & Basil Wrapped Shrimp, fresh greens, homemade pasta and sauces. We topped the meal off with our homemade Tiramisu. This was absolutely one of my most favorite Chicago experiences EVER." ~Marty Jacobs, CDW Corporation 

Put your group in the hands of our capable event planners and
request more info for a private event.       
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