Founded in 1956 in Sonoma, California by founder Chuck Williams (hence the name), Williams-Sonoma first started selling a small array of cookware imported from France. Since then, the specialty retailer has come a mighty long way. I have to be honest; my only interactions with Williams-Sonoma have been exclusively for the purpose of buying my mom, who’s in love with the store, presents and gift cards. I always marvel at how nice the store is but I don’t think I really I fit the WS demographic. This is why I was pleasantly surprised to find there actually is something for me at Williams-Sonoma when I was invited to their recently opened Lincoln Park store (1550 North Fremont).
When I walked into the Lincoln Park location it was pretty much just like every Williams-Sonoma store, nicely appointed with all the trappings of a homemakers dream. But this store has something special; a newly designed modern kitchen with state-of-the-art mobile cooking stations for its new cooking classes. The new Cooking School at the Lincoln Park location is a game-changer. The classes are taught by Williams-Sonoma resident chefs (as well as local guest chefs and artisans), good for up to 12 people and caters to all experience levels. It even goes as far as allowing people to customize their own experience with the option of private classes.
Believe me when I say that they have classes for everyone. I was lucky enough to take part in a class and we were taught how to make homemade pasta with pesto. I cannot stress enough my lack of cooking skills, I have zero knowledge of how the kitchen works in any way. I don’t really care much to learn really, but the Williams-Sonoma class had my full attention and was incredibly fun. And an even bigger endorsement is that it actually made me like pesto, which I previously couldn’t stomach, maybe it was the fresh ingredients and experienced hands of the head of culinary programs Vladimir Niza. Whatever it was, I was extremely impressed and if it can have this type of effect on me, who has zero interest in cooking or cookware, then I imagine it’s pretty much a good idea for almost anyone. They have weekday and weekend classes priced between $65-$175, or you can talk to the store about the aforementioned private classes. For the full schedule of classes, click here. If you would like to contact the Lincoln Park location, call 312-255-0643.
Photos: Kasia Jarosz