Relish offers hearty helping of new classes

“It’s very empowering to cook for your family, your friends or yourself.”

Melinda Powers opened Relish after 14 years of renting the space out, initially unsure of what to do with it herself (Paul Rowley/Staff Photo).

Melinda Powers opened Relish after 14 years of renting the space out, initially unsure of what to do with it herself (Paul Rowley/Staff Photo).

Some people have an unmistakable flair for all things culinary. For everyone else, there’s Relish, the island’s cooking school.

“We want to teach people and demystify what it’s like to cook a great meal,” said owner Melinda Powers, who opened the business last year next door to her flagship enterprise, The Hardware Store Restaurant, on the corner of Vashon Highway and Bank Road. “Sometimes it’s overwhelming for people — they don’t know what to buy or what they can make.”

New for 2019, Powers said she and her cooking staff are experimenting with diverse class offerings and lessons. Many have packed into the small space, such as for the paella party last month, which sold out.

Baking camps for kids and teens have been successful. Tickets for the summer Italian dinner this week — think grilled eggplant, a wild mushroom polenta and a rack of lamb simmering in the oven served with Italian salsa verde — are gone as well. But there are still openings for Relish’s premier summer event, cooking with produce purchased from the Vashon Farmer’s Market, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31.

Powers said that the classes with the most unique and culturally inspired offerings have garnered the best responses. They usually wrap up by 8 p.m., but Powers said most of her patrons stay much later to share their feast with one another. All of the ingredients are fresh and sourced locally.

Ticket prices range, but assistance may be available depending on availability by emailing hello@relish.com.

Powers said her goal is to provide an elevated gathering experience for those looking to try something new and for making connections between fellow foodies.

“We just really want people to have the knowledge and to feel confident about their skills,” she said. “It’s very empowering to cook for your family, your friends or yourself.”

Islander Nathan Gilmour, a chef who teaches at Relish, said he believes that even with the rise of fast, casual food that caters to those looking for a decent menu on their time, people still want to know how to cook a good, quality meal. It’s why he said they are willing to make a commitment of several hours to hone their craft and gain enough confidence to go off-script, beyond following a recipe from a box or magazine.

“They’re game to play, they’re here, and they’re being very present,” he said, adding that the guidance and knowledge he imparts is practical and worthwhile. Guests will learn more than how to peel a carrot.

Lola Reed, Relish’s director, said both accomplished cooks and beginners can expect to whip up a medley of tasty confections in the kitchen.

“For whatever level people are at, there’s a lot for them to take away,” she said.

For more information, class listings, registration and booking inquiries, see relishvashon.com.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Island job turnover highlights housing shortage

Competitive wages and good benefits aren’t enough for many to afford the cost of living on Vashon.

COVID-19 gathering restriction delays funerals

For one funeral home owner, the confusion came to a head after a recent service.

A flight takes off at SeaTac International Airport. Photo courtesy Port of Seattle
Port of Seattle, airlines respond to COVID-19 with new health measures

Changes at Sea-Tac Airport include more hand sanitizer, training for biohazard cleaning.

With Mount Baker and Jetty Island in the distance, a container ship approaches the Port of Everett. (Port of Everett photo)
Senate Dems: $5 million to help businesses disrupted by coronavirus

Overseas port closures hurt WA companies that depend on international shipping.

Boeing Renton plant to halt 737 Max production

Suspension expected to begin in January

Change in store for island eateries

Island Subway restaurant, Kenny’s Brainfreeze for sale; Maven Mercantile closing.

Relish offers hearty helping of new classes

“It’s very empowering to cook for your family, your friends or yourself.”

Islander steps down from longtime pet care business

Joanna Gardiner of Loving Care for Animals is leaving her business this summer after 23 years.

New eateries give islanders choices to chew on

A wave of restaurant openings on Vashon has drawn attention.

Island pot farms going up in smoke

Five years after legalization, some marijuana businesses on Vashon struggle to turn a profit.

COMMENTARY: VCA rep: Board acted responsibly in building new center

No doubt, Liz Shepherd worked hard on her VCA article — a… Continue reading

Vashon family winery opens, begins sales

Eight years ago, Rebecca Lanphear and her husband Damon planted 1 acre of grapevines on their property on SW 159th Street with the hope of creating local wine. Now, on the heels of two warm summer seasons and local record grape harvests, Alli Lanphear Vineyard and Winery is ready to officially open its doors Saturday.