Take a Cooking Class With Your Teen

October 28, 2013

Posted By: Bozemama

It can sometimes be hard to find fun ways of spending quality time with your teenager. There are so many demands on their time (homework, pondering existence, texting friends, brooding, YouTube, avoiding the parents) and yours (work, eyebrow maintenance, drinking, cleaning, avoiding the teenage kids) that I have found it takes real effort to plan something meaningful for 13-year-old Hermione and me to enjoy together. At the same time. In the same room. Without wearing headphones.

OK, so I’m exaggerating a smidgen (not really . . . just you wait), but – seriously – Hermione and I have found a new favorite way of bonding in a happy, healthful way that involves neither Taylor Lautner nor noxious nail polish fumes. We spent a blissful two hours together  (without a single eye roll, I swear) on Saturday at the gourmet food store Olivelle in Bozeman taking – wait for it – a cooking class! Genius, right? Oh, this was so good.

Just think about it; it makes perfect sense: We got to sit in a beautiful kitchen surrounded by like-minded food lovers, while Montanan Lynne Heryford taught us how to make a fabulous four-course brunch using recipes from her new cookbook “We’re Burnin’ Daylight.” It was heaven: Easy conversation, delicious food, no power struggles and no dishes (!) And, we really did learn a few things, without ever putting on an apron. The Olivelle cooking classes are tutorials where you watch and listen to the chef as they prepare various dishes. You get to ask questions, taste some of the ingredients (the oils, vinegars, herb blends, sauces and stuff that are being used in the recipes and, of course, are sold in the store), take notes, talk amongst yourselves and, best of all, eat .

Now, Olivelle offers all different kinds of cooking classes  covering everything from Squash Mania and Northern Italian to Appetizer Jubilee and Cooking with Booze – to name just a few. The classes, which are $40 per person, are seasonally-inspired, use delicious fresh ingredients and really do provide you with a full meal’s worth of food. You also get a printout of the recipes and a 10 percent discount on the store’s products. Here’s what we ate on Saturday:

We started with mulled spiced cider and fruit kabobs that were drizzled with Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Ruby Red Grapefruit Balsamic Vinegar and served on one of those big Himalayan salt blocks. Fruit with salt and vinegar? Yup. A revelation. Now, let me just pause here to say a few words about Olivelle’s products. They import the olive oils from Italy and then infuse them with flavors at their facility here in Bozeman, which is where they make the rest of their sauces, rubs, herb blends, and their other good stuff.

We then had a Mexican Frittata using all kinds of savory herbs, roasted red peppers and another awesome olive oil – this one infused with Vera Cruz chili. Amazing. This was served with bacon, which was brushed with a Smoked Maple Sauce. Now, like most human beings, I really love bacon and have never really thought it could be improved until I tasted with that crazy sauce on it. This sauce was one of Hermione’s and my favorite products – along with everyone else apparently, because it was sold out by the time we tried to buy some to take home. Don’t worry: They’re making more.

Our third course was a mushroom and spinach crepe that was made using this Merlot Caramelized Garlic that I will be putting on everything I eat from now on. Seriously. Already a big fan of the Caramelized Garlic Olive Oil, I hardly need more garlic on my breath, but I don’t care. So there. Dessert was an adorable Jack-B-Little pumpkin filled with custard and topped with that Sugar and Spice mixture that tastes like Christmas in a jar. Yum.

Lynne, who grew up on a ranch and has been rustlin' up grub for her gang for decades (sorry, just couldn’t resist), is a natural hostess who has a knack for presenting her food in an unpretentious, irresistible way. With each dish and course, she offered up fun suggestions on how to include family and friends in the cooking process and how to serve the food in creative and beautiful ways. Hermione and I left sated, with smiles on our faces and a garlic herb blend in our bag. We also bought a bright red paring knife. If either of us begins to feel an urge to use it on the other, we’ve made a promise to just take another cooking class instead.



Olivelle is located at 2855 North 19th, Suite K; to inquire about their cooking classes, call them at 522-9100

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