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Ditch The Fancy Date And Learn To Cook Together On Valentine's Day

By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 2, 2012 6:45PM

Photo by fotomatic.
We've complained before about how much we hate dining out on Valentine's Day. It's always crowded, often annoying and usually over-priced. Sometimes, unique dinners come up that we could imagine going to, but most of the time, we'd rather not. Unless we're going to a cooking class. Cooking classes are great Valentine presents—you can do them together as a couple and they are limited in size, so they stay intimate. You also won't have to worry getting run out of a restaurant in under an hour. Here are some of our favorites this year.

Katherine Anne Confections is running a truffle making class on Feb. 12. What better way to show your sweetie you love them than by making them chocolate? We've done one of these classes before, and you end up with a ton of chocolate - plus, you can design whatever truffle you want! The class is $50/person and includes wine, light appetizers and the chance to grill Katherine about all of her truffle-making secrets. Go here to sign up.

Butcher & the Burger is hosting a special Valentine's day "Surf and Turf" cooking class. Molly was a big fan of the shop, and now they're hosting a series of classes. For this one on Valentine's Day, participants will get to chop and cook their way through beef tenderloins and Maine lobsters. You'll learn how to buy, prepare and cook a great surf-and-turf meal. For Valentine's Day, they're going all out - the class includes champagne, chocolates and a romantic follow-up meal (featuring your triumphs) at the end. It's not cheap ($225/couple!) but it will definitely be a night to remember. If you can't get reservations, do Valentine's a bit late - a similar class is running on Feb. 20. Call 773-697-3735 for details.

Markethouse is hosting a class on Feb. 8 that is a perfect early Valentine's present. Chef Scott Walton (who we gushed over last year for using produce from his rooftop garden in his menu) will be teaching guests how to make a 5-course meal featuring savory chocolate dishes. The class is only $45/person, which is a total steal for Valentine's Day. Call 312-224-2200 for details and reservations.

If you haven't been to one of Patricio Sandoval's demo nights at Mercadito, now's the time. He's hosting one for Valentine's Day on the night of Feb. 13. The event, which is a cross between a cooking class and a demonstration, is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about cooking but doesn't want to have to perform in front of their date. It's as hands on as you want it to be, as Chef Sandoval comes to each table to show off bits of each course, and the mixologists teach you how to make the paired cocktails. The dinner is $75/person for four courses and four cocktails, and the menu includes seared diver scallops, butter-poached lobster and mexican chocolate fondue. Call 312-329-9555 for reservations.