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What's Cooking at Sunset Foods

Explore your own culinary world with Sunset Foods!

From fine wine to fish and festival fun, Sunset Foods has a year-round lineup of special store offerings and events.

Advance registration required. If you have questions, please contact Thyme in the Kitchen at 847-810-0484 or thyme@sunsetfoods.com.

We’re also happy to accommodate PRIVATE CLASSES in our studios. You provide the students and the topics, and we’ll provide the instructor and great recipes.


Chili Taste-Off

Wednesday October 1 - 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Long Grove Cooking Studio)
Tasting and Demonstration, $30 per person

When temperatures dip, a bowl of fiery chili is a crowd-pleasing dish. The farther you get from Texas – the birthplace of chili – the greater the variations. Chef Mary Kay Gill will recreate the winning recipe from the first chili cook-off in Terlingua, Texas in 1967. Compare New Mexican-style Firestarter Chili and contemporary Chicken Chili Verde to the original, and pick the best darn tootin’ chili around. Fresh Quesadillas and refreshing Craft Beer samples (for guests 21 or older) are perfect partners for these zesty flavors.

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


Fresh Pasta

Saturday October 11 - 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Lake Forest Cooking Studio)
Hands-On Cooking Class, $65 per station*

Christopher Columbus’s Old World birthplace inspires our menu. Each participant will make a batch of Egg Pasta from scratch, which you’ll roll and cut two ways. Everyday classics of jumbo Cheesy Meatballs with Marinara Sauce accompany Fettucine Noodles. You’ll also shape Ravioli with Mixed Fromaggio fillings to take and cook at home. Boxed pasta never tastes as good as the homemade versions you’ll create in this class.

Techniques Covered: Knife cuts, kneading dough, sautéing, cooking pasta properly, and using a food processor.

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


Future Chefs "Snack Attack"

Sunday October 12 - 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm (Lake Forest Cooking Studio)
Hands-On Cooking Class, $65 per station*

Active kids need tasty snacks to keep pace with their high-energy play days or after-school hunger. This class is designed for 10–13 year olds to have fun while learning and practicing basic cooking skills and getting creative in the kitchen under the guidance of a trained Chef. They’ll prepare Morning Glory Muffins, Fruit Smoothies, homemade Chewy Granola Bars, and Dipping Sauces for fresh Veggies.

Techniques Covered: Reading a recipe, organizing and measuring ingredients, following kitchen safety, proper knife use, whisking, mixing, simple pan cooking, and using a blender.

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


Middle East Flavors

Wednesday October 15 - 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Long Grove Cooking Studio)
Tasting and Demonstration, $30 per person

People cook with what they have – flavors and ingredients from their land, and techniques from their history. At this event, Chef Mary Kay Gill will use Mint, Lemon, Parsley, Sumac, Thyme and Pomegranate Molasses to season dishes of Eggplant & Arugula Salad, Beef Meatballs with Fava Beans, and Za’atar Roast Chicken with Green Tahini Sauce. Take home recipes and knowledge to bring the exotic flavors of the Middle East to your table. For guests 21 years or older, a Wine Pairing will accompany this mouthwatering evening.

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


Soup Secrets

Saturday October 18 - 10:30 am – 12:30 pm (Lake Forest Cooking Studio)
Tasting and Demonstration, $25 per person

Paraphrasing cookbook author Michael Ruhlman – “Soups warm us when it’s cold, soups nourish, and soups put many basic cooking skills to good use.” Explore ideas and techniques from “Ruhlman’s Twenty” – to improve your cooking with the power of water, onions, and seasonings. We’ll prepare a Vegetable Stock, then use it as the base for Italian Meatball Soup, Celery Root & Wild Rice Chowder, and Slow-Cooker French Onion Soup. Leave with expertise, a quart of stock, and recipes for these home-cooked comfort dishes.

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


30-Minute Skillet

Saturday October 25 - 10:30 am – 1:00 pm (Long Grove Cooking Studio)
Hands-On Cooking Class, $65 per station*

Active families and hectic schedules need a game plan for dinner. Our recipes use make-ahead steps and simple tasks suitable for kids to help tackle dinner preparation. Learn tips for stocking your pantry and refrigerator for speed. Prepare family-friendly entrées of Herb-breaded Chicken Thighs with Pink Basil-Vodka Sauce & Zucchini Ribbons, plus Ginger Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Simple Spring Rolls. Everyone will be a fan!

Techniques Covered: Knife cuts, sautéing, making a pan sauce, recipe substitutions, and using a mandoline.

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


Food Artisan: Paula Haney

Sunday October 26 - 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Northbrook Cooking Studio)
Book Signing, Tasting and Demonstration, $50 per person (includes book)

Successful Chicago Fine-Dining Pastry Chef Paula Haney opened Hoosier Mama Pie Company in 2009. Her shops specialize in handmade artisanal pies that focus on locally sourced seasonal ingredients. At this event Chef Paula will guide you through the mid-century Golden Age of pie, plus provide tips for creating flaky golden crusts. Each participant will receive a signed copy of The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie. Bring your questions; we’ll provide the fork – Chef Paula has a wealth of information and wisdom to share with home bakers!

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


Scary Appetizers and Spirits

Thursday October 30 - 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Lake Forest Cooking Studio)
Tasting and Demonstration, $30 per person

Have a devilishly good time watching and tasting as we prepare appetizers and beverages for easy entertaining. Chef Mary Kay Gill will prepare a sampler of delicious cocktail party nibbles – Pumpkin Empanadas, Steak & Scallion Rolls, Chorizo & Shrimp-stuffed Peppers, and Classic Deviled Eggs. Plus, our friends from North Shore Distillery – the first craft distillery in the Chicago area since Prohibition – will share their “scientific formula” for creating a balanced cocktail, then tweaking ingredients to concoct your own flame-quenching beverages. Take home recipes and knowledge to prepare “small bites” that will leave your friends and family screaming for more!

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


Tamale Workshop

Saturday November 1 - 10:30 am – 1:30 pm (Long Grove Cooking Studio)
Hands-on, $65 per station*

Tamales are a traditional food at many family gatherings. Thyme’s own Teresa Cuesta will begin our class

by demonstrating how to prepare Masa Dough. Each station will then make Pollo en Salsa Verde (spicy green chicken) for individual Husk-wrapped Tamales, and a Vegetarian Tamale Casserole with Salsa Roja (mild tomato filling with Poblanos & Cheese). Classic Refried Beans will accompany our dishes. Bravo!

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


Simple Soup Combos

Wednesday Nov 5Ginger Fennel Soup with Mushroom Wontons, Asian Sloppy Joes, Almond Cookies
Wednesday Nov 19
Minnesota Wild Rice Soup, Hazelnut-Crusted Fish Cakes, Maple Sugar Pie
10:30 am – 12:30 pm (Lake Forest Cooking Studio)

Tasting Demonstration, $25 per person

During chilly months, a delicious bowl of soup and sandwich can provide the warming comfort we crave. Enjoy a scrumptious lunch while you receive step-by-step instructions on preparing this satisfying fare.       

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


"Heart of the Plate"

Saturday November 8 - 10:30 am – 12:30 pm (Lake Forest Cooking Studio)
Tasting Demonstration, $30 per person

Forty years ago, Molly Katzen wrote Moosewood Cookbook, which moved vegetable-based dishes from the side of the plate to the center of the meal. Her newest cookbook, The Heart of the Plate, assembles a broad array of vegetarian recipes for a new generation with a simplified approach… Easier techniques, fewer calories and more interesting seasonings. Watch and sample as Chef Mary Kay Gill prepares Mushroom Stroganoff with Cabbage Noodles & Toasted Barley Dumplings; Risotto with Escarole, Leeks & Dried Figs; and Indian Black Lentils with Kidney Beans and Chickpeas. Techniques you’ll see include making a vegetable stock, using a slow cooker, sautéing, and braising. Take home a quart of stock, plus the knowledge and recipes to try these dishes at home. 

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


Chili Showdown

Sunday November 9 - 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Lake Forest Cooking Studio)
Hands-on, $70 per station*

When a heated football game is on television, a bowl of fiery chili is a crowd-pleasing dish. The farther you get from Texas – the birthplace of chili – the greater the variations. Chef Mary Kay Gill will recreate the winning recipe from the first chili cook-off in Terlingua, Texas in 1967. Then you’ll score big with New Mexican-style Firestarter Chiliand contemporary Chicken Chili Verde that you prepare. Compare your dishes to the original, and pick the best darn tootin’ chili around. Fresh Quesadillas and refreshing Craft Beer samples (for guests 21 or older) are perfect partners for these zesty flavors.  

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


Bone a Chicken/Carve a Turkey

Saturday November 15 - 10:30 am – 1:30 pm (Long Grove Cooking Studio)
Hands-on, $65 per station*  

If you’re like a lot of people, you may feel a bit unsteady when it comes to holiday carving. Practice the steps in the privacy of our cooking studio. Carve two whole chickens into parts using advanced knife skills you’ll learn in class. You can apply the same techniques to your turkeys at home. You’ll also prepare Indonesian Sautéed Chicken Breasts, and Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Thighs with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Plus, take home everything needed to make chicken stock from scratch.

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


"Thanks" and "Giving"

Friday November 21 - 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm (Long Grove Cooking Studio)
Complimentary!  

If you’re a guest at an upcoming gathering, we’ll help you express your gratitude by suggesting ideas for gifts you can make and take. Chef Mary Kay Gill will provide recipes and tastingsof Warm Artichoke-Olive Dip, Spiced Pecans, and non-alcoholic Ginger Apple Sparkler. If you’re a host or hostess, bring all your cooking questions… We’ll provide simply delicious solutions!


Make-Ahead Appetizers

Saturday November 22 - 10:30 am – 1:30 pm (Lake Forest Cooking Studio)
Hands-on, $65 per station*

When company’s coming, we’ll help you entertain with ease. Get ready for guests in advance with elegant delicacies you create in class and freeze for last-minute finishing. Prepare Curried Crab Strudel, Savory Brie En Croute, and Jalapeno Cheddar Crackers. You’ll be cool as a cucumber with these special nibbles ready to grab from your freezer.

Click here to register online for this class via Eventbrite.


*Station accommodates a second person for just $15

All sessions take place at Sunset's cooking studios:

Lake Forest 825 S. Waukegan Rd. ph: (847) 234-8380

Libertyville 1451 W. Peterson Rd. ph: (847) 573-9570

Long Grove 4190 Route 83 (corner of Aptakisic and Route 83) ph: (847) 478-8150

Northbrook 1127 Church St. ph: (847) 272-7700

To register, please call the Thyme office at (847) 810-0484 at least 48 hours before the event. Registration includes advance notice of food allergies and payment. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate walk-ins.