Monday, December 9
Warm up with pot pie and soup at Inspiration Kitchens’ Chef Night Dinner, where Michael Kornick of MK will step into Inspiration’s Garfield Park location (3504 W. Lake St.) He'll cook a four-course meal starting at 7 p.m. with help from students in Inspiration Corporation’s Foodservice Training program. Tickets are still available for the $40 meal—visit inspirationcorp.org, or you might snag one at the door if they aren’t yet sold out.
Tuesday, December 10
You know, you don’t have to make a ham. You could, instead, pick a dish to make for holiday dinners from the “Holiday Traditions of Mexico” demonstration at Double A below Mercadito (108 W. Kinzie St., River North, 312-329-9555) where chef Patricio Sandoval will be cooking five dishes and pairing each with a cocktail. Think roasted pork-leg tacos and pisco sours. This was supposed to be a two-night event, but due to weather concerns, Monday’s class was canceled—you, however, can still get in for Tuesday’s $65 session.
Wednesday, December 11
Champagne toasts are a December inevitability. At least learn a little more about what you're drinking: Ryan Arnold, the wine director at Paris Club (59 W. Hubbard St., River North, 312-595-0800), will lead a tasting of sparkling wines, explaining the fundamentals of how they get made and when to pick cava or prosecco. Call the restaurant or e-mail email@example.com to make a reservation for the $35 class.
Friday, December 13
Bring Yuletide beer (to yourself) at 2 Sparrows (553 W. Diversey Pkwy., Lincoln Park, 773-234-2320), where their Four Beers of Christmas Dinner will pair cult-favorite Midwestern holiday brews from Great Lakes, Revolution, Bells, and Three Floyds with dishes such as mushroom risotto and beer-braised short ribs. Call to make a reservation for this $55 dinner, which starts at 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 14
Afternoon cookie break: Pastry chef Kate Milashus of ZED451 (739 N. Clark St., River North, 312-266-6691) will be leading the next class in her “Confections with Kate” dessert demonstration series at 2 p.m., this time focusing on the beloved Christmas cookie. At-home bakers are invited to submit their recipes beforehand, and Milashus will bake the three best to nibble on between sips of peppermint latte cocktails.