The most popular events at Emilio’s Tapas are its monthly cooking classes, which take place fall through spring at its Hillside location. Chef Emilio Gervilla, a fixture in the Chicago dining scene for decades, rarely repeats recipes, keeping his instruction fresh like his food.

These Saturday morning demonstrations feature unlimited food and wine, along with tips from Chicago’s “Tapas King,” whose food philosophy includes sharing. The next open classes take place on Saturday, February 18; Sunday, March 18; and Saturday, April 29. Each session starts at 11 a.m.

Three recipes are created at each class. Participants get a copy of the recipes, a pencil to jot down notes, and a seat at the table facing Chef Emilio, up front with his portable stove and all ingredients. After Emilio makes each recipes, class members can enjoy the dish and wine to pair with it.

Because Emilio stays seasonal and takes requests, he may not know until close to class time which recipes he’s making, which means guests don’t necessarily know beforehand – but they’re sure to be delicious! And Emilio’s charm, as well as his deep knowledge of Spanish cuisine, is worth your time.

In addition to offering food, wine, and the demonstration, Emilio’s will sell premium Spanish ingredients and the wine being served. It’s a great way to pick up authentic and organic items, and a few special things, like Garvey’s Caramel Vodka. Emilio’s is the exclusive U.S. purveyor of this alcoholic beverage.

Each class costs $50. You must pre-pay to reserve a spot, and seating is limited. The cooking classes sell out fairly quickly, so if you’re interested, you should call Emilio’s Tapas now. Go to for the number (reservations are currently not accepted online).

Need more? Check out this video:

Emilio’s Tapas // Cooking Classes from Mirar Productions on Vimeo.

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