It’s hard to resist the temptations of cast-iron pots, shiny new gadgets and gourmet ingredients on display in this long-standing kitchen store, but the real action is up the stairs. That’s where skillets sizzle, pots simmer and—in most cases—participants don aprons and jump right in to learn new cooking techniques.
Easy starter classes include mini sessions, lunchtime demonstrations and laid-back Sunday suppers, which make a fun alternative to dining out. During the two-hour dinners, chefs prepare fragrant themed feasts (such as Brazilian or Puerto Rican), providing tips, demonstrations and recipes for each course as guests sip wine, catch up with friends and enjoy the food. The menu during our visit consisted of fresh rustic bread with herbed olive oil and a wonderful sun-dried tomato tapenade; a watermelon, tomato and feta salad; paella; and churros with chocolate sauce.
There are more than 100 classes on the schedule every two months, tapping all corners of the globe and spaced between three Cooks’ locations: Grand Avenue, Edina’s 50th and France, and downtown Stillwater. Chefs cover basic skills and advanced techniques, or focus on specialties like sauces, sushi, drink pairings, healthy eating, dumplings and seasonal desserts. The DIY Kitchen series includes zipped-up condiments, pickling and canning, homemade yogurt and granola, and other topics.
The best part—besides the kitchen confidence, camaraderie and clutch of new recipes you’ll come away with—is sitting down to enjoy the tasty accomplishments. Most classes run between two and three hours long and range $30 to $75.