Doing things solo #6

The activity I did by myself this week, as part of the Solo Life, was a cooking class/dining experience at Bespoke Cuisine.

I signed up for one of their Mix it Up Cooking Parties

Bespoke’s Mix it Up Cooking Parties combine a hands-on cooking experience with a pampered seated dinner in our loft-like private dining room. It’s an interactive gourmet experience popular with both beginners and experienced cooks – and it’s the perfect opportunity for singles, couples and small groups to meet fellow foodies, learn to create a fabulous meal, and enjoy a lively communal-style dinner.

I chose last night because the menu was comfort foods.  Mac ‘n cheese, pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, salad (but a good kind of salad, the kind with blue cheese and bacon), goat cheese and mushroom crostini, and cherry cobbler.

It’s located in the West Loop, which as a neighborhoodist, I must admit, was one of the aspects of initial attraction for me.  Upon walking in, I signed up for the dish I wanted to help cook (the pork was the most popular, no one wanted the salad, I chose the cobbler because it had a few sign-ups but didn’t seem to be filled with a group of twelve giggling girlfriends in too much makeup and on the prowl for a husband).  There were two large groups of friends and then a smattering of smaller groups, I was the only soloist.  I grabbed a diet coke (BYOB if you want, I didn’t) and cheese and crackers, chose a table where two girls were sitting, and thus the evening began.

I liked that the group you cook with isn’t necessarily the group you sit with, as it gave me an opportunity to meet more people, and that the cooking groups are smaller (5-7).  The Cobbler group was led by a very nice chef who was a good balance of friend and teacher.  We stirred, whisked, dallopped, and baked, with various interesting and random discussions interspersed throughout.  After about an hour of each group working on their dish, we went back to our tables for dinner.

Food was excellent!!  Every dish I had, I loved, and servings were generous.  I was sitting with a group of two girl-friends, a group of three girl-friends, and a boy and girl friend pairing.  Everyone was friendly and engaging.  Conversation mostly centered around jobs and dating – a girl who met a French guy on New Year’s Eve and has been in a whirlwind romance since, a girl who was given black pleather pants on her second (and final) date, a guy who took a date to Schuba’s only to have her text her ex all night and then ditch him to go out with the ex.  Filled with good food and a good overall experience, I went home very satisfied.

It costs $80.  I bought a Groupon for the class, so paid $40 (plus a tip).  I don’t think I’d pay $80 for it being the frugal person I am, but would definitely go again for the $40 price.  Good way to start 2010!