Every Friday, Diane Lavonne bakes cookies for her neighbors and passers-by (good news for Seattle Weekly staff who park in the garage next door), but she has more to offer than just fresh baked goods. Diane’s Market Kitchen, on the corner of Spring and Post Alley, is enclosed in huge windows, which allow a peek into the kitchen where she takes her students after shopping trips to Pike Place Market.
At the media party for Diane’s Market Kitchen last week, Diane taught me how to sauté chanterelle mushrooms. She told me to remember that it was “only food” before encouraging me to flip them in the air like a celebrity chef. (I only dropped one or two.) Her hope is to make her space feel like being at a friend’s house for a dinner party, and she carried it off flawlessly, engaging each person in conversation and drawing us all into her stories and lessons. People on the street peered in curiously through the huge windows all evening long, probably smelling the divinely cooked leek-stuffed salmon Diane prepared for us.
Diane has taken years of business and cooking experience to heart and has her share of stories to show for it. While explaining how to please the different taste sensors on the tongue with seasoning, she incorporates the importance of balance she learned from her martial arts training. She encourages students to suggest what they think would help a recipe and caters to all levels of culinary knowledge.
The Market Kitchen offers classes that teach how to make meals from local produce at the Pike Place Market located only a five minute walk away. The Market Basics series offers a five week long beginning cooking course, and the Cooking and Entertaining Market Kitchen Style offers a 3 hour class in which you make a full three course meal from seasonal ingredients you find together at the market. Take a look at her website to see more specific classes including being able to suggest any type of cooking you’d like to know more about, invite some friends, and learn together.
Sounds like a fabulous night out to me, whether it be a date, with your family, or out of town guests, hit one of Seattle’s biggest tourist spots and then learn something together in a fun, relaxed setting.