The Chopping Block

I am fortunate enough to work for a company that plans outings for team bonding activities quite frequently. We’ve been to amazing restaurants, walked in 5k’s to raise money for the Chicago Food Depository and even had a boat day out on Lake Michigan! However, my favorite event so far was one we did two nights ago at The Chopping Block. The Chopping Block is located in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. It provides hands-on cooking classes and offers the option for a cooking competition – much like what you see on Iron Chef. Being the competitive spirit that we are, my company decided to split into two teams (vegetarians vs. carnivores) and battle it out for ‘Top Chef!’

We were handed just about every ingredient we needed then tasked with generating ideas for one chicken and one fish dish.Β It was nice to see everyone participating, working together and learning a new set of skills. I learned I’ve been sprinkling salt on my food wrong my whole life. Who knew?!Β Β We had just over an hour to prepare the dishes while we sipped wine, chatted and watched our food take shape. It was a fun and crazy event!

For my team’s chicken course, we made a chicken cordon bleu with grilled asparagus and scalloped potatoes. Our fish dish comprised of pan-seared Corvina and antipasto salad with squash and zucchini. Here are some photos I captured of the whole process:

The Chopping Block's Kitchen
The Chopping Block’s Kitchen
Appetizers that greeted us!
Appetizers that greeted us!
The team ready to work!
The team ready to work!
Chicken cordon bleu's in the making.
Chicken cordon bleu’s in the making.
What's a cooking competition without a selfie in the huge, overhanging mirror?
What’s a cooking competition without a selfie in the huge, overhanging mirror?
Our fish and antipasto. I think we made enough for everyone!
Our fish and antipasto. I think we made enough for everyone!
The potatoes were my favorite. So creamy and cheesy!
The potatoes were my favorite. So creamy and cheesy!
The fish dish prepared properly for the judge.
The fish dish prepared properly for the judge.
Chicken cordon bleu never looked so pretty!
Chicken cordon bleu never looked so pretty!
Both of my team's dishes side by side.
Both of my team’s dishes side by side.

The other team did an amazing job with their two dishes, but in the end, the judge ruled my team victorious! The best part of course was being able to eat the finished products. I enjoyed my experience at The Chopping Block and I can’t wait to go back with my friends to create a delicious meal with them!

I'm Abby - a weekend getawayer, lover of beach volleyball, grilled cheese enthusiast and puppy dog admirer.

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