Like learning to juggle, learning to cook requires patience, a distraction-free environment, and the ability to handle multiple eggplants at once. Become the ringmaster of your kitchen with today's Groupon: for $50, you get a cooking class with Saga Hill Cooking & Events, held at the Southshore Center in Excelsior (a $120 value).
Saga Hill owner and instructor Marianne Miller is a critically acclaimed, award-winning chef and culinary expert equipped with the gastronomic know-how to get cooks of all levels creating expert edibles. The three hour class packs six courses' skills into one hands-on session, focusing on a specific skill during each course to construct a multifaceted meal. Students sharpen their knife skills by creating thai spring rolls tingling with cilantro-lime sauce before tossing Minnesota wild mushrooms into a risotto with baby english peas to learn about starches and find out how to defang the feral plants. Pupils warm up their pans to practice skilled sauté technique on fresh diver scallops with smoked bacon and garlic pistou and move on to create béarnaise sauce in an exploration of emulsion. The main course is the New York strip steak with pepper crust, which students learn to properly cut, prepare, and interview. Salted-chocolate-grenache truffle cake and hot caramel draw the class to a gooey close with sweet lessons on sugar craft and chocolate tempering.
Saga Hill Cooking & Events
When she’s not hosting radio shows, serving meals at local shelters, or blogging for Minneapolis St. Paul magazine's Foodie File, Le Cordon Bleu–trained chef Marianne Miller helms Saga Hill Cooking & Events. She describes her style as "audacious, yet feminine," adding, "my preparations are often bold, but with a light-handed approach that brings out the natural flavors in each dish." Alongside her staff, she leads culinary classes and parties that shy from incorporating fad kitchen gadgets or diets. Instead, their goal is to teach practical, science-based cooking techniques that can help students prepare simple meals, gourmet treats, or decadent brown-bag lunches.