“I want to make it as authentic as I can.” 

Instructor Madeline Porter chatted with the 605 team as we were served homemade Miso Soup during our Hands-On Sushi class. It was our introduction to Plum’s Cooking School, which hosts a variety of classroom experiences at Plum’s Cooking Company by Simply Perfect in downtown Sioux Falls. 

“I’m originally from Singapore. It’s kind of the food capital of the world, we get all kinds of cuisine over there,” she explained.

In the wintertime Porter says she typically loves to travel for three months all over Asia to try cuisine and bring it back to Plum’s kitchen. 

“Plum’s has been a great platform for me because I love to create and to experiment with food, and this is a place where I can share with people what I love,” she said. 

“I don’t own any restaurants or anything, I just cook for the love of cooking.”
– Madeline Porter

The menu lineup for the evening was a Futomaki Roll (Big Roll), an Inside Out Roll (Caterpillar Roll), Tamago Nigiri (Egg), and Salmon Nigiri.

Knowing the craft it takes to present sushi, I was nervous, but luckily Christin Vander Pol, marketing manager of Plum’s Cooking Company, was close by with red or white wine. 

As Porter came around helping us not fail (“There you go, look how pretty”), Vander Pol spoke of the wide range of classes.

“The other ones that sell out really well are date night classes,” she said. “Those range in a variety, like Italian with pasta making. A lot are demonstrations, and this is one of the only hands-on classes.” 

Another hands-on experience includes the summertime Kids Camp, which is a week of experimenting in the kitchen with professionals. 

“The kids are hands-on, and they’re so good and so well trained by the end,” said Porter. “They come every day for a whole week, and day one they have different cuisine from the world. So you can have Mexican, Asian, French. They have a competition at the end of the fifth day.” 

Kids Camp

Don’t miss summer kids camp where participants learn everyday basics. Ages 7 to 11. Includes:

Day 1 | Breakfast Foods
Day 2 | Lunch Foods
Day 3 | Dinner Foods
Day 4 | Desserts
Day 5 | Chopped Competition

What is so unique and special about the courses is the up-close time with talented cooks. 

“It’s so nice to have a collaborative space for people to get to know the local chefs and instructors and pick their brains a little bit,” said Vander Pol. 

Even Porter becomes a fan of different chefs in the area from meeting them in the kitchen.

Emily Wilson has vegan, vegetarian-style cooking,” she said. “Her cooking is very healthy and keeps the temperature of dishes where it retains all of the nutrients. She’s very put together and creative. I really enjoyed her.” 

Classes are for anyone, including those who are interested in cooking, those who want to learn new recipes, and those who are just curious and love food. 

My rolls, for example, looked horrendous, but Porter didn’t let me quit, and gave us tips to finish each dish to completion. And the end results were delicious, too. 605’s Tyson Schultz was so excited with his progress that he told co-workers who missed the evening how great his rolls turned out the next day.

Vander Pol did note that classes do sell out quickly and warned to sign up as soon as you can to make them—especially Porter’s. 

“I don’t know what to say, they love my food,” laughed Porter. “We just had our Thai class last week, too, and it turned out so well.” 

Other Classes Include

+Better Than Take-Out Chinese
+Cooking for One or Two 
+Hands-On Pasta 
+Italian Food that is not Pasta 
+Keto Food 
+Korea Class 
+Take Me to India 

There are also classes that include products directly from Plum’s, like Olivelle oil classes, Sous Vide classes, and Riedel wine tasting classes

Classes occur two to three times a week and can host up to 17 people. It’s also an option to reserve a private event. 

“If you have a bachelorette party or a business get-together you can work with [chef Traci Hoem] to plan the menu and do private classes,” said Vander Pol. 

For more information, visit plumscooking.com.


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