Who wants to cook?


If you’re a “foodie” in Minneapolis, there are two great places you should know about: Coastal Seafoods and Let’s Cook. These neighborhood gems have been pleasing customers for years, and both are sharing some secrets through regular cooking demonstrations and classes.

“Sushi [class] sells out every time,” said Margaret McDonald, owner and founder of Let’s Cook, located at 330 E. Hennepin Ave. in the East Bank neighborhood since 2004. The store offers cooking equipment and focuses on teaching. The elegant interior has plenty of seating for classes and has hosted commercial shoots in the kitchen, said McDonald.

Upcoming cooking classes

Let’s Cook

Sushi Fundamentals
Sept. 11, 6–8:30 p.m.

Radical Risotto
Sept. 15, 6–9 p.m.

Knife Skills 101
Sept. 23, 6–8 p.m.

Minnesota Slow Food Cooking
Sept. 17, 6–9 p.m.

Coastal Seafoods

Advanced Sushi
Sept.16, 6–8:30 p.m.

Know Your Seafood
Oct. 14 and 21 (two parts), 6–8:30 p.m.

The “Sushi Fundamentals” class teaches how to prepare the Japanese delicacy at home. Guests experiment with making original rolls as well as sushi bar favorites like maki rolls, California rolls, and cone-shaped tempura shrimp hand rolls.

Some Let’s Cook classes are demonstration and some are participatory, but they share one important aspect, according to McDonald — you can make the food once you get home. Let’s Cook provides recipes with all the classes and recruits as teachers local chefs in touch with hot, new trends. Classes

cost $55–$65. Find out more at www.letscook.com or call 612-623-9700.

Coastal Seafoods, located at 2330 Minnehaha Ave., is a wholesale fish market with a love of great seafood and how to prepare it. They’ve been offering classes since 1987.

“We started because we wanted to expose people to cooking techniques that they might not be familiar with,” said Damon Holston, retail manager.
“Most people already knew walleye and various panfish, considering this is a very outdoor-oriented state, but more esoteric items were elusive to the average person.”

Coastal Seafoods holds classes in a commercial kitchen behind its Seward storefront. When not in use for classes, they use it for making cocktail sauces, crabcakes and a host of other items. As at Let’s Cook, sushi is “always filled up no matter what,” said Holston. Favorite sushi dishes are spicy tuna, salmon, avocado and king crab rolls.

Recently, they have added a more advanced course for the daring crowd.

Class instructors are employees of the store or local guest chefs — or in some cases, both. The upcoming, two-part “Know Your Seafood” class is taught by guest chef Jon Blood, owner of Sea Salt restaurant and a former Coastal Seafoods employee.

Holston encourages anyone to participate. “Cooking is something that everyone can enjoy, from pre-teens to octogenarians,” he said. Classes range from $60–$90. Visit www.coastalseafoods.com or call 612-724-7425.

Both Let’s Cook and Coastal Seafoods also offer private classes for parties or corporate teambuilding.