Chef Joel offers fun and effective classes focused on acquiring culinary skills for adults of all levels of expertise, interest and ability.   Whether you are a beginning cook or an experienced “foodie,” Chef Joel has great classes to meet your needs.

Chef Joel offers classes at several different venues in Madison.   Please note the location and registration information for each class.

Chef Joel also offers private classes, in-home classes and other fun culinary classes and events.   He can make your holiday gathering or special event a delicious and memorable one!   Please contact him for more information:

Chef Joel teaching fun, hands-on Cooking Classes for Adults


NEW!!!   Valentine Wine Dinner – 2/10/19 (Sun) — 5:30-8:00PM

This cooking class offers an amazing chance to “go behind the scenes” at Smoky’s, learn some great culinary skills, and enjoy an incredible meal that you helped to prepare under the guidance of nationally-known culinary instructor/professional chef Joel Olson of Hemmachef.   Celebrate Valentine’s Day in style with this decadent 4-course menu specially-chosen for you and your Valentine to enjoy.  Come prepared to participate and once you’re ready to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor, you will get to sip wines specially chosen for each course.   Location: Smoky’s Club.  Class Cost: $95 per person.

Starter:  Honey Roasted Spiced Chickpeas  (Champagne Kir Imperial Pairing)

Crisp Champagne with Crème de Cassis and wonderfully crunchy tasty toasted chickpeas

1st Course:  Silky Mushroom, Red Wine, and Brie Soup  (Merlot Pairing)

Wonderfully velvety mushroom soup redolent with red wine and smooth creamy Brie

2nd Course:  Baby Greens Salad with Crab Croquettes and Chardonnay Vinaigrette  (Chardonnay Pairing)

Delicately Fried Crab Cakes served on a bed of baby greens with a light crisp Chardonnay Vinaigrette

3rd Course:  Cabernet Glazed Lamb Chops with Roasted Lamb Jus; Creamed Spinach with Caramelized Tomatoes; Mashed Sweet and Russet Potatoes; Green Beans with Roasted Red Peppers  (Merlot Pairing)

Pan Seared Lamb Chops glazed with a Cabernet and Balsamic Reduction served with a dollop of creamed spinach and roasted tomatoes. Buttery mashed sweet and russet potatoes and blanched green beans with roasted red peppers compliment the lamb

4th Course:   Tiramisu  (Mini Espresso Martinis Pairing)

Decadent adult dessert of ladyfingers soaked in Espresso and Brandy, then layered with Marscapone and finely ground dark chocolate


1/21 (Mon) — 6:00-8:30pm –Adult Knife Skills Class

Take this very popular and informative class to learn and practice the techniques that help take the chore out of cooking. Techniques include: boning a chicken, dicing onions, carrots and other vegetables, pasting garlic, plus peeling and cutting fruit and chiffonade of leafy herbs and greens. Knife selection, sharpening and care will also be covered. Bring your own knives or use ours. A light meal will be served at the end of class. Location: St. Mark’s. Class Cost: $65.

2/5 (Tues) — 6:00-9:00pm – Adult Learn to Cook Series—Session 1: Chop, Mince, Dice and Sweat: Stocks, Soups, and Salads

Learn culinary fundamentals that will establish your culinary foundation in this intensive four week series. Under the guidance of Chef Joel, each participant will work on their own skills, learning classic techniques as we prepare a variety of recipes that are sure to become part of your cooking repertoire. Each class will culminate in a meal of the food prepared. Session 1: Chop, Mince, Dice and Sweat: Stocks, Soups, and Salads. Hone up on your knife skills and learn great techniques for preparing delicious soups and salads. You will prepare Israeli Chopped Salad; Greek Marinated Vegetable Salad; Chicken and Vegetable Stocks; Tuscan Onion Soup; Roasted Tomato Bisque; and also Cheese Biscuits. Location: St. Mark’s. Class cost: $75 per session (or $250 for all 4 sessions).

2/11 (Mon) — 6:30-9:00pm – Adult Make and Take Valentine Pasta

Make something your Valentine will really appreciate—Homemade Pasta! Learn the techniques to make fresh pasta from scratch. Participants will make egg pasta dough for several different types of pasta, including Valentine Red (Tomato) pasta. Then learn to use a pasta machine to roll the dough out and cut it to make Angel Hair and Fettuccine and then make pasta sheets for variety of flat pastas, including Farfalle and Maltagliati. Alfredo Sauce and Marinara Sauce will also be prepared in class to taste with the pasta. Participants will be able to bring home the uncooked pasta they have made. Location: St. Mark’s. Class Cost: $65.

2/12 (Tues) — 6:00-9:00pm – Adult Learn to Cook Series—Session 2: Meat, Poultry, Vegetables, and Pasta

Meat, Poultry, Vegetables, and Pasta. Learn how to trim meat of silver skin and fat, break down a chicken, and create three complete meals pairing vegetables with meat. Egg pasta basics will also be covered. Vegetarian options for all recipes will also be discussed. On the menu: Persian Zucchini and Tomato Stew with Chicken and Cardamom Rice; Cream Braised Winter Vegetables with Pan Seared Pork and Crushed Potatoes; Roasted Garlic and Dijon Crusted Beef with mixed Mushroom Fricassee and Home-Made Pasta. Location: St. Mark’s. Class cost: $75 per session (or $250 for all 4 sessions).

2/19 (Tues) — 6:00-9:00pm – Adult Learn to Cook Series—Session 3: Fish and Shellfish

Fish and Shellfish: This class will cover many different techniques for cooking fish and shellfish, including marinating and grilling. Participants will gain a repertoire of recipes and techniques that will help them approach the fish counter with confidence. On the menu: Shrimp and Fish Meatballs with Linguini and Plum Tomato Sauce; Salt Grilled Catfish with Hot Sweet Dipping Sauce and Rice Noodles; Classic Mussels Meuniere; and Slow Roasted Salmon with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce with Heavenly Mashed Potatoes with Carrots and Leeks. Location: St. Mark’s. Class cost: $75 per session (or $250 for all 4 sessions).

2/26 (Tues) — 6:00-9:00pm – Adult Learn to Cook Series—Session 4: Grains, Beans, & Legumes with Classic French Sauces

Learn how to cook and include beans and legumes in your everyday menus and add these delicious recipes to your repertoire.  You will also learn five fundamental classic French sauces.  On the menu: Smoky Quinoa and Bacon Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette; Velouté Braised Beluga Lentils with Pearl Onions and Chard; Steamed Farro with Tomato Sauce; Black Bean Cakes with Spinach, Poached Eggs and Balsamic Hollandaise; Pearl Barley with Parmesan Cheese Mornay (Cheesy White Sauce).  Location: St. Mark’s.  Class cost: $75 per session (or $250 for all 4 sessions).

3/18 (Mon) — 6:00-8:30pm –Adult French Stovetop Dinners Class



Coming Soon!  Please check their website for additional information and to register.


1/9 – Spanish Paella  – Wed, January 9, 2019 – 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

1/17 – Date Night: Winter Tiki Party  – Thu, January 17, 2019 – 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM CST

1/25 – Date Night: Cuban Surf and Turf  – Fri, January 25, 2019 – 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM CST

1/29 – Adding Flavor to Low FODMAP Diets – Tue, January 29, 2019 – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM CST

2/1 – Date Night: Tacos and Tequila – Fri, February 1, 2019 – 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM CST

2/13 – Date Night: Valentine’s Eve – Wed, February 13, 2019 – 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM CST

2/21 – The Sauce Workshop – Thu, February 21, 2019 – 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM CST

2/27 – The Lobster Class – Wed, February 27, 2019 – 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM CST

Please check their website for additional information and to register.


Adult classes are generally for individuals ages 18 and over.  Adult classes involving wine or alcohol may be restricted to those ages 21 and over.  If you have questions about any classes, please contact Chef Joel.


For adult classes not held at Union South, please register by emailing Chef Joel at: to reserve a spot.  Class sizes are limited.  Once you receive confirmation that space is available, please send a check made payable to Chef Joel Olson to PO Box 5643, Madison, WI, 53705-5643.

For classes held at UW’s Union South, please register at:  Wheelhouse Mini-Course Registration


Class costs are listed.  Class costs include recipe packets to take home and all foods, equipment, and materials necessary to complete the recipes.


Adult classes are held at two locations:

St. Mark’s:  Some Adult classes will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 605 Spruce St., Madison, 53715.

Union South:  Some Adult classes are held at the through the University of Wisconsin’s Wheelhouse Studios at Union South, 1308 W Dayton Street.   For these classes, please register at:  Wheelhouse Mini-Course Registration


For more information about Chef Joel click here or email:

Also check us out – and Like us – on Facebook: Hemmachef.

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