Socially Savvy: Polishing Your Skills

Cooks of Crocus Hill. Photo Courtesy of Cooks of Crocus Hill

Prepare for Spring with a Midwinter Cooking Class

Winter’s cold dark nights can leave us feeling as if we’re locked in and hibernating. If your post- holiday, pre-spring entertaining schedule is lagging and you haven’t yet found that perfect caterer, it’s a great time to brush up your cooking skills. Knowing how to hold a knife and boil an egg are basics that make preparing meals and entertaining a snap. Even a well-trained housekeeper usually needs a hand in the kitchen to make your party go smoothly.

The Twin Cities offers a wide range of ways to get your culinary techniques in order. Trial and error is the beast that whips a novice cook into a kitchen wizard. How many times did you scramble eggs before making the perfect béarnaise?

By far the easiest way to learn is to find a friend; the person in our lives (mothers are good candidates) who seem to breeze through, no matter the task. Not only is learning from a friend fun, it offers a different kind of entertaining opportunity—preparing and sharing a meal together. If you remember a great dish your friend prepared in the past, why not give them a call and see if they can show you how to make that same magic happen.

If there are not any neighborly chefs to lend a hand, turn to your local kitchen supply store. Between Cooks of Crocus Hill in Saint Paul and Kitchen Window in Minneapolis, there are plenty of classes to choose from. From basic knife handling, to the flavors of Latin America, these informative classes are a great way to polish your skills (and maybe meet a dinner date!). Classes also give you the chance to learn from real experts and, often, award-winning local culinary notables. Upcoming instruction ranges from preparing a romantic meal, outdoor grilling, sushi-making, to decadent truffles and vegan cuisine. The culinary store also has the benefit of oodles of kitchen gadgets that you get to try your hand with. Even if you can’t afford that three thousand dollar grill, you can play on one for a few hours.

Culinary lessons can also be found at locations such as the Kitchen in the Market at Midtown, several Byerly’s locations and Whole Foods on Lake Street. The benefit to taking instruction at these locations is all the fresh ingredients that are available at your fingertips. Byerly’s has one more advantage; the fifteen dollar cost of their classes is partly reimbursed with a $10 gift card to use in store after the class. The natural food coops also come highly recommended. The new Seward Coop on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis and the two Mississippi Market locations in St. Paul offer a wide variety of classes, from simple cooking instruction to healthy eating and shopping on a budget. Some classes are even offered for free to the public.

We all need excuses to avoid the cold; executing a meal with newly found culinary skills just might be the way to leave this winter inspired. Gain some education and confidence in the kitchen from your local gastronomic resources. We hope to see you there!

To find out more information about cooking classes and demonstrations, phone or visit the websites of these notable shops:

Kitchen Window
Mpls- 612-824-4417
www.kitchenwindow.com

Cooks of Crocus Hill
St. Paul 651-228-1333/ Edina 952-285-1903
www.cooksofcrocushill.com

Byerly’s
St. Louis Park- 952-253-3409
www.lundsandbyerlys.com

Kitchen in the Market
Midtown Mpls-612-568-5486
www.kitcheninthemarket.com

Whole Foods
Mpls-612-927-8141
www.wholefoodsmarket.com

Seward Co-op
Mpls-612-338-2465
www.seward.coop

Mississippi Market
Selby St.Paul-651-310-9499
W. 7th St. Paul- 651-690-0507
www.msmarket.coop

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