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MSP - Cooking Classes

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BigE Feb 11, 2009 06:37 AM

Have any of you MSP 'hounds done any classes at the local shops? I was thinking of taking a class at either Kitchen Window in Uptown or Chef's Gallery in Stillwater, and I wanted to see if anyone had any experience with them. What classes did you take, and what were they like?

To be honest, I'm not sure this is on the correct board, but I figured it would get the most MSP traffic.

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    St Paul Susie RE: BigE Feb 11, 2009 06:56 AM

    I've taken a few at Cook's of Crocus Hill on Grand. They were enjoyable and entertaining & I learned a few things.

    I haven't rushed back - I can muddle my way thru any recipe & the schedule (for me) was challenging.

    2 Replies
    1. re: St Paul Susie
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      mncharm RE: St Paul Susie Feb 12, 2009 07:08 AM

      I took a class at Cook's and agree -- very fun and I learned a couple of tricks. Probably not stuff you couldn't learn elsewhere, but the class itself was a blast. Went with a few friends, had a few cocktails and a nice meal...good times.

      That said, the class wasn't particularly challenging (nor was it designed to be) -- it was a scotch and steak class. I would think I would learn a lot more at a class on a subject with which I had no experience -- rolling sushi, say.

      Bottom line: you're probably going to have fun, particularly if you're going with a few folks. If you choose your class wisely, it will probably also be informative.

      1. re: mncharm
        r
        raforce RE: mncharm Feb 18, 2009 08:23 AM

        The food was great at Scotch & Steak class at Crocus and the instructors were very knowledgeable. I was, however, disappointed that we weren't able to get a glass of wine or a beer to sip throughout the class..

    2. drew13000 RE: BigE Feb 11, 2009 07:16 AM

      I've taken several classes at Kitchen Window and was happy with them all. I think it's important to know that there are participation classes and there are classes where the students just watch the instructors prepare the meal. So if you really want to be hands-on, choose a participation class. At the end of all the classes you receive a packet with the recipes that were prepared. I particularly like the classes where they have guest chefs from local restaurants come in and prepare items from their restaurant. The classes where you take a bus to different ethnic markets also sounds pretty cool.

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        Loren3 RE: BigE Feb 11, 2009 01:46 PM

        You might also wish to investigate Mothersauces in Richfield. Quirky little shop with spices, sauces, boxes, and classes, but it's primary objective is the cooking classes, rather than as an afterthought to selling kitchen gear.

        http://www.mothersauces.com/

        Click the "MOST RECENT POST" button to get the April class list.

        -----
        Mothersauces Cooking School
        7630 Lyndale Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN

        5 Replies
        1. re: Loren3
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          puddin head RE: Loren3 Feb 11, 2009 05:10 PM

          I always wondered what that place was about! It is always closed when I am getting my Chipotle. Thanks for the link!

          1. re: Loren3
            AnneInMpls RE: Loren3 Feb 11, 2009 07:04 PM

            Say, I noticed this info on the Mothersauces web site:

            "Now offering prepared fresh Box Lunches served by Kallyste Cafe'"

            Can anyone confirm if "Mr. Kallyste" himself - he of the late, lamented place in South St. Paul - is doing the lunches at Mothersauces? If so, I'm there TOMORROW!!!! Except it's on the "Catering" page, so I suspect that one needs to plan ahead, and order for a group. But still....

            Anne

            1. re: AnneInMpls
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              tex.s.toast RE: AnneInMpls Feb 12, 2009 09:25 AM

              I'd get in on that "group" if you wanted to split a couple sandwiches.

              1. re: AnneInMpls
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                karykat RE: AnneInMpls Feb 14, 2009 10:44 AM

                What was Kallyste? A sandwich place?

                1. re: karykat
                  The Dairy Queen RE: karykat Feb 15, 2009 08:05 AM

                  Yes. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/359398 After a stint in Signal Hills Shopping Center, he was going to move his shop to Woodbury, which, sadly, never happened. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/443229

                  I contacted Mothersauces when I saw Anne's post above. They replied that they are no longer working with Kallyste. It sounded too good to be true. :( And note to anyone trying Mothersauces: they seldom seem to answer their phone. If you want to speak to a live person, they seem to basically require you to leave them a voicemail and then they will return your call at when they can.

                  ~TDQ

            2. m
              midwaygirl RE: BigE Feb 12, 2009 08:08 AM

              I have taken a few classes at Cook's--the best was called something like "Three 30 Minute Meals." It was a demonstration (not participation), but the instructor (Rachel R.) was excellent and I enjoyed learning how to make 3 full meals rather than just one. They have a nice, private instruction area upstairs from the store with wine and beer available for purchase. Of course, you also get to try all of the food (so DO NOT make the mistake of planning to go out to eat directly before or after).

              I have also been to one class at Chef's Gallery in Stillwater. It was "Grilling Pizzas"--very fun. We did most of the prep in the classroom, but then grilled out on the patio behind the store. A great activity for a nice summer night. The only downside was the constant roar of Harleys driving by while we were grilling, but that seems to be a problem with Stillwater's main street in general. My mom and dad have been to two classes there (also grilling) with a guy named Manfred, who they absolutely loved. He is very funny and entertaining apparently, and I can vouch for the deliciousness of his ribs recipe.

              4 Replies
              1. re: midwaygirl
                The Dairy Queen RE: midwaygirl Feb 12, 2009 08:19 AM

                Rachel Ray taught your 30 minute meals class? *The* Rachel Ray? I'd show up for that, just so I could see what all of the fuss is about.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen
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                  KTFoley RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 12, 2009 08:43 AM

                  That's one of the things I've liked most about the classes at Cooks of Crocus Hill: The offerings match several different possible experiences:

                  a. Learn a skill or cuisine (very participatory, like knife skills, mother sauces, thai dishes, making pasta, indian food on the grill).
                  b. Learn about a particular food or beverage (tasting contrasts, like the scotch & steak, pairing white wines)
                  c. Experience dishes from a restaurant or personality whose venue I may never able to visit in person (no participation, but great meals from Marcus Samuelsson, Eric Ripert, Rhagavan Iyer)
                  d. Cook together around a theme, book, occasion (very participatory, though I haven't done them)

                  I've also taken a class at Kitchen Window to make tamales. Highly participatory and enjoyable, too.

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    m
                    midwaygirl RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 14, 2009 08:22 AM

                    Haha. No, I don't think THAT Rachel does much cooking around these parts. I looked it up, and my instructor's name was Rachael Rydbeck.

                    1. re: midwaygirl
                      The Dairy Queen RE: midwaygirl Feb 14, 2009 10:33 AM

                      Oh, hahaha! That's funny. Well, I shall be on the lookout for classes taught by the OTHER Rachael R!

                      ~TDQ

                2. p
                  pgokey RE: BigE Feb 12, 2009 11:54 AM

                  I've taken a couple of classes at Kitchen Window and loved them. In particular, look for classes taught by Carl Antholtz (sp?). He's great and ridiculously knowledgeable.

                  I have also taken cooking classes through Minneapolis Community Ed. They can be hit and miss - it really depends on the instructor. But the upside is that those classes are dirt cheap, unlike the ones offered at the stores. I don't think you need to be a MPLS resident to take them. For the money, they get my recommendation.

                  1. k
                    karykat RE: BigE Feb 14, 2009 10:43 AM

                    I've taken a bunch of classes at Cooks and found them very high quality. Some were with visiting cooks like Claudia Fleming, Nick Maglieri and Odessa from Madison. Some were with local people like Alex Roberts (those were great) and JP and the people from 128 cafe. One was a road trip to an asian market and then lunch at that asian place near the University with Andrew Zimmern. That was superlative. And participation classes like pastry making and decorating with Zoe F. And one on knife skills. Also a series on wine tasting with Lou Spector that was excellent. I think the Cooks classes have been of very high quality. I took a couple things at the place in Stillwater and thought they were a little disorganized which was distracting. That was a while ago so they may have gotten things together since then.

                    I think it's just a matter of matching your interests and level of experience with the class.

                    1. t
                      twincitiesguy RE: BigE Feb 16, 2009 02:56 PM

                      Mother Sauce is a great venue as stated earlier for cooking first.

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