If the sight of cookware, kitchen gadgets and high-end ingredients makes you break out into a sweat, consider your options at Marcel's Culinary Experience in downtown Glen Ellyn.
"Marcel's is a retail store, cookware, kitchenware, tableware, specialty food and we also have a cooking school for adults and children," said Jill Foucre, the owner of Marcel's. "The majority of our classes are adult classes; we have demonstration and hands-on classes, and we also do the kid's classes."
On the day we visited, the kids spent a couple of hours prepping - and then eating - a four-course feast. Potato leek soup with truffle cr?me fraiche; Caesar salad with Parmigiano Reggiano and cheese toasts; bacon-wrapped pork and baked apples. It's a world away from do-it-yourself pizzas.
"They teach you knife skills and techniques and how to prepare food," said Ally Klancnik, one of the students. "I didn't think I'd like the soup, but I really liked it."
In essence, they're teaching the next generation of food lovers, who will ultimately become the store's future customers. They won't need to go anywhere else, as the store carries pretty much everything a home cook needs, with an emphasis on local products.
"And we try really hard to find things that are unique. We carry a lot of local vendors, local products, especially in our food and some of our tableware, tabletop and we're just constantly searching for the best-in-class of every product line," Foucre said.
The kid's classes are always held during school vacations, as well as on some weekends. Small class size keeps the instruction hands-on.
"We've done contests with them, cookie baking contests and our kid's camps are there, and they really get excited," she said.
The kids' classes are offered both as one-offs, or as multi-day camps, depending on the vacation schedule. They're always an hour-and-a-half long and they always have a maximum limit of 16 kids. One thing is for certain, they're definitely expanding their culinary horizons.
Find a cooking class at marcelsculinaryexperience.com
Marcel's Culinary Experience
490 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn