Dine with a Chef
Classes & Workshops

Meet Twin Cities critically acclaimed chefs and fellow enthusiasts of seasonal, local dining during a delicious dinner or lunch! In addition to getting cooking tips from top professional chefs, you'll receive recipes, notes and recommendations. You can just sit back, watch the meal unfold, make new friends and dine.

 


 

FireLake: Dinner with Executive Chef Dinesh Jayawardena

Thursday, April 23
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Dinesh Jayawardena, Executive Chef, FireLake Grillhouse

Back by popular demand! Located on the skyway level of Radisson Blu Mall of America, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar serves regional, farm-to-table fare that gives visitors a true taste of what our region has to offer. Dinesh has trained and worked as a chef from Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom to Minnesota, and has plenty of cooking experiences and stories to share.
  • Be inspired as you watch Dinesh prepare the menu below (coming soon!)
  • Chat and learn with your table friends as you dine together on each course
  • Enjoy wine pairing samples that will be served with a helping of science and wine grape research, compliments of the University's Horticulture Research Center.
At the end of the evening, you will leave with a full belly, a handout with recipes, and a new appreciation for our local cuisine!
Notes
  • The Chef will be creating a customized seasonal menu for this program. We regret that we are unable to accommodate individualized changes to the menu.
  • Per University of Minnesota Policy, wine sampled is for educational tasting/pairing purposes and will be limited to small 2-oz pours per course. The maximum wine that can be served is 8 oz total throughout dinner service.
Limit 30, Marion Andrus Learning Center - Harvest Kitchen
Register

$65 member/$80 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and multiple course watch-learn-dine experience - plus recipes!


Mediterranean Diet: Lunch with the Chefs to Eat Seasonally & Healthily

Saturday, May 2
noon-2 p.m.

Joan Donatelle, Chef and Cooking Instructor
David Donatelle, Chef, Beekeeper and Nutrition Coach


The Mediterranean diet is a great way to eat healthily and seasonally. Get inspired as you sample delicious dishes while learning valuable tips, strategies and information during this class: 
  • Learn how to create delicious menus that feature whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, heart healthy oil and fish
  • Enjoy a soup, salad and entree prepared before your eyes and featuring seasonal ingredients typical of the Mediterranean diet
You will leave with a comprehensive handout plus recipes, and the motivation to incorporate the Mediterranean diet into your lifestyle! 
Notes
This class is demonstration-only; there is no hands-on portion to this class. The Chefs will be creating a customized seasonal menu for this program. We regret that we are unable to accommodate individualized changes to the menu.

Limit 30, Marion Andrus Learning Center - Harvest Kitchen
Register

$45 member/$60 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and multiple course watch-learn-dine experience - plus recipes!


Coalition: Dinner with Executive Chef Eli Wollenzien

Thursday, May 21
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Eli Wollenzien, Executive Chef and co-owner, Coalition Restaurant

Spring is a time for growth, and boy has Coalition been growing- from a second Coalition location in Edina to the new Red Sauce Rebellion in Excelsior! Join Chef Eli for a beautiful seasonal menu as he shares more about the inspiration behind his restaurants and food.
  • Enjoy a multi-course meal (menu coming soon!) while learning cooking tips and tricks from Eli
  • Chat and learn with your table friends as you dine together on each course
  • Wine pairing samples will be served with a helping of science and wine grape research.
At the end of the evening, you will leave with a full belly, handout with recipes, and a new appreciation for our local cuisine!
Notes
  • The Chef will be creating a customized seasonal menu for this program. We regret that we are unable to accommodate individualized changes to the menu.
  • Per University of Minnesota Policy, wine sampled is for educational tasting/pairing purposes and will be limited to small 2-oz pours per course. The maximum wine that can be served is 8 oz total throughout dinner service.
Limit 30, Marion Andrus Learning Center - Harvest Kitchen
Register

$65 member/$80 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and multiple course watch-learn-dine experience - plus recipes!



 

Grilling Fish: Spring Recipes & Inspiration

Saturday, May 23, 5:30-8 p.m.
Richie Mann, MN Community Manager and Salmon Steward with Sitka Salmon Shares

In the Midwest we tend to be most comfortable grilling beef, but fish is one of the oldest proteins we have cooked over a fire! Fish is also the most carbon friendly protein sources in the world, it's time to dive in. Enjoy a multi-course tasting meal as you learn what's in season this spring while you taste and learn about new, delicious ways use your grill:
  • Using a cast iron dutch oven to prepare a Yelloweye chowder
  • How to prepare a show-stopping full fire salt cast bake with an Alaskan fish favorite
  • The best techniques for a simple, yet elegant baste and heat technique with Salmon fillets

You'll leave with recipes, and more confidence in choosing and preparing sustainable seafood for your spring al fresco dinners!
Notes
This experience does not include alcohol. 

Limit 20, Red Barn Farm - Summer Kitchen

Register $45 member/$60 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and watch-learn-taste- experience - plus recipes!

 

Summer in Spain: Alfresco Paella Dinner with a Chef

Select a session
Thursday, July 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
OR
Thursday, August 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Joan Donatelle, Chef and Cooking Instructor
David Donatelle, Chef, Beekeeper and Nutrition Coach


Bring a friend or date as you dive into the history and flavors of paella! Considered the "national dish of Spain," paella is a beautiful dish with Calaspara rice, saffron, seafood and meat. Joan and David will prepare the paella in a traditional pan outside as you watch, and then it's back to the kitchen for some tapas demonstration and sampling, along with sangria! This experiential class will leave you with a full belly, and a great appreciation for the traditional food and flavors of spain- as well as the plants that make them possible.
Menu
  • Assorted Tapas Marcona almonds, membrillo and manchego banderillas, assorted olives
  • Romaine and Orange Salad with sherry vinaigrette
  • Paella- Valencia Style The national one pot meal of Spain, featuring assorted meats, seafood, rice, saffron and smoked paprika
  • Bananas with Honey and Pine Nuts served over ice cream
Notes
  • The Chefs will be creating a customized seasonal menu for this program. We regret that we are unable to accommodate individualized changes to the menu.
  • Per University of Minnesota Policy, alcoholic beverages sampled is for educational tasting/pairing purposes and will be limited to small 2-oz pours per course. The maximum wine that can be served is 8 oz total throughout dinner service.
Limit 30, Marion Andrus Learning Center - Harvest Kitchen
Register

Thursday, July 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m.$65 member/$80 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and multiple course watch-learn-dine experience - plus recipes!

Register Thursday, August 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
$65 member/$80 non-member,
 includes Arboretum admission and multiple course watch-learn-dine experience - plus recipes!

 

Grilling Fish: Summer Recipes & Inspiration

Saturday, August 1, 5:30-8 p.m.
Richie Mann, MN Community Manager and Salmon Steward with Sitka Salmon Shares

Summer and grilling season is upon us- what about expanding your grilling repertoire to include fish? Don't be grill shy because you can't see an ocean from your backyard. Fish is the most carbon friendly protein sources in the world, let's dive in. Enjoy a multi-course tasting meal as you learn what's in season this summer while you taste and learn about new, delicious ways to use your grill:
  • Enjoy flaked tuna tartar appetizers
  • Learn the very best way to go about a grilled salmon burger
  • How to prepare a show-stopping full fire salt cast bake with Coho salmon
  • The best techniques for a simple, yet elegant baste and heat technique with Sablefish

You'll leave with recipes, and more confidence in choosing and preparing sustainable seafood for your spring al fresco dinners!
Notes
This experience does not include alcohol.

Limit 20, Red Barn Farm - Summer Kitchen

Register
$45 member/$60 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and watch-learn-taste- experience - plus recipes!

 

Gardens of Salonica: Dinner with Chef Anna Christoforides

Thursday, August 6
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Anna Christoforides, Executive Chef, Gardens of Salonica

Join other food aficionados as you are transported to Greece by an exquisite, authentic Mediterranean meal. Gardens of Salonica has served the best traditional and modern Greek cuisine using the finest ingredients--local, all-natural and organic--to the Twin Cities area for 16 years, and their menu continues to be honed by Anna's travels to Greece.
  • Hear entertaining stories from Anna's travels in Greece
  • Chat and learn with your table friends as you dine together on each course, served family style (menu coming soon!)
  • Wine pairing samples will be served with multiple courses, along with a helping of science and wine grape research
You'll leave with a new appreciation for Greek food and wine, and perhaps a desire to do some traveling!
Notes
  • The Chef will be creating a customized seasonal menu for this program. We regret that we are unable to accommodate individualized changes to the menu.
  • Per University of Minnesota Policy, alcoholic beverages sampled is for educational tasting/pairing purposes and will be limited to small 2-oz pours per course. The maximum wine that can be served is 8 oz total throughout dinner service.
Limit 30, Marion Andrus Learning Center - Harvest Kitchen
Register

$65 member/$80 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and multiple course watch-learn-dine experience - plus recipes!


Dinner with the Big Cheese: Creative Cheese Boards for Fall Celebrations

Thursday, September 3
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Judy Thompson, Cheese Manager, Lakewinds Co-op

Cheese boards, or a platter of high quality cheese with complimentary breads, spreads, and accouterments, are a simple and elegant way to serve your guests. These hearty boards can serve as a complete meal, resplendent with cheeses, nuts, fruits and more, but how do you choose ingredients with complementary flavors, and how do you know how much to buy? Nosh as you learn in this creative class! Join Judy as she introduces you to: 
  • The basic types of cheese and how to choose the right kinds to start out your cheese board
  • Local products that enhance the cheese, and the story of their business
  • The concept behind a well-made cheese board, whether sweet, savory or charcuterie- and how to calculate the volume of each ingredient to buy.
  • New and classic local creameries and their delicious products
  • A simple cheese appetizer or two that can accompany the cheese board
This class includes demonstration, multiple cheeseboards to enjoy throughout the class, and a comprehensive handout to take home. You'll be ready to stop by the co-op and get started on your own cheese board!

Limit 30, Marion Andrus Learning Center - Harvest Kitchen
Register

$49 member/$65 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and multiple course watch-learn-dine experience - plus recipes!


 

Apple & Honey Dinner: From the Tree, From the Hive

Thursday, September 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Joan Donatelle, Chef and Cooking Instructor, author of "Astonishing Apples" cookbook
David Donatelle, Chef, Beekeeper and Nutrition Coach


Celebrate apple harvest season with a centuries-old classic combination. Joan, an experienced cooking instructor and author of "Astonishing Apples" cookbook, and David, a beekeeper and chef, will demonstrate and serve an innovative multi-course meal you can make with Minnesota honey and apples.
  • Learn about apple history, Minnesota varieties, and nutrition
  • David will regale you with stories about beekeeping, cooking and nutrition
  • Chat and learn with your table friends as you dine together on each course
You will leave with a greater appreciation for apples and honey, a full belly, and handouts with recipes! Joan's beautiful cookbooks will be available for sale and signing after class.
Notes
  • This dinner does not include alcohol.
  • The Chef will be creating a customized seasonal menu for this program; We regret that we are unable to accommodate individualized changes to the menu.
Limit 30, Marion Andrus Learning Center - Harvest Kitchen
Register

$45 member/$60 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and multiple course watch-learn-dine experience - plus recipes!


 

Farm-to-Table from The Campus Club: Dinner with Chef Beth Jones

Thursday, September 17, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Beth Jones, Executive Chef, Campus Club at the University of Minnesota

The Campus Club of the University of Minnesota is the University's premier restaurant and event venue, located on the fourth floor of Coffman Memorial Union. Beth and her experienced staff of chefs are committed to preparing from scratch, an ever changing variety of locally sourced, fresh, and healthy foods. In this dinner:
  • Enjoy a multi-course dinner prepared by Beth, paired with Minnesota wine tastes
  • Learn how Beth works closely with area farmers, including the staff of Cornercopia Student Organic farm on the St. Paul campus
  • Discover how Beth and her chefs draw inspiration from the diverse cultures, changing seasons, and bountiful ingredients found in our region
Limit 30, Marion Andrus Learning Center - Harvest Kitchen
Register

$65 member/$80 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and multiple course watch-learn-dine experience - plus recipes!



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Email Arboretum Education at
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Arboretum Members may invite non-members to attend a class with them at the discounted member rate! Simply register for all participants at the same time in the same order and select the "member" rate for each person at checkout.

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The best chance of being enrolled in a sold out class is to add your name to the waitlist. Click the orange "waitlist" button and complete the form, or call 612-301-1210. There is no obligation to register if a spot opens. If the waitlist shows enough demand, additional class sessions may be added.


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