Diane LaVonne fashioned Diane's Market Kitchen by combining her passion for food and wine, her talent for teaching and creating a comfortable inviting environment, and her commitment to balancing those for a life of health and well being.
Dramatic changes in her life that left her without her children, her home and neighborhood and nothing more that the prospect of minimum wage employment at an age when most of her friends were looking forward to relaxation and retirement, Diane LaVonne was forced to redefine herself and to create a new vision for her life.
When this former wife, mother, part-time caterer, martial arts instructor and community volunteer told friends about her dream to open a beautiful “home kitchen” in the heart of urban Seattle near the Pike Place Market, a place where the community could gather to connect and learn how to prepare and enjoy food, many thought it was a pipe dream. Certainly traditional small business lenders thought so, and refused to lend needed capital.
But despite a lack of the necessary funding, and the construction surprises that came from turning a garage into a commercial kitchen – Diane kept moving forward. A straight-forward, passionate, friendly force who believes in asking for what one needs - when she couldn’t afford the high end appliances necessary, she asked manufacturers and local dealers to donate them... and they did. At Diane’s Market Kitchen, you’ll find the newest Miele equipment donated by Albert Lee Appliance as well as countertop equipment donated by Kitchenaid and Cuisinart. The final cost to build and equip this incredible display kitchen? Just $50,000.
The kitchen is an intimate, beautiful, state-of-the-art "home" kitchen where Diane shares her culinary skills and experience with her "guests". Food and menus are based on what is fresh, seasonal and local; most of the items are supplied by her vendor friends at the Pike Place Market. This unique environment was created to allow her to model what cooking, surrounded by friends, can look like at its best; lots of conversation and good food without having to choose between the two. Guests can observe, or they can tie on an apron and help prepare the meal! Diane’s vision is about balance - about how to place food in its appropriate context for a life well-lived and enjoyed.
Recent guests have included a group of Microsoft Human Resource Managers after a long day of strategy and planning; a woman who received the evening class for her and her friends as a birthday gift from her boyfriend; and a local resident who gathered family together for a Thanksgiving meal. Besides regular classes and special guest chefs, future plans include children’s classes and parties.
Diane has not forgotten how difficult her transition out of hopelessness and through challenging times was, and a large part of her vision includes support of her local community by donating classes and money to benefit children’s education and women in transition.
Often I'm asked what I eat. I often end my day with a vegetarian meal. This was from this week. Roasted cabbage steak from Nash's Organic Produce, 2 kinds of potatoes from Olsen Farms and an apple from Jerzee Boyz. Delightful!
This was a part of my Sunday brunch class this weekend. A lovely classic quiche, gorgeous grapes from Willie Green's, apples from Jerzee Boyz and a nice glass of WA red blend.
Here is just one of the dishes I'll be featuring in the I Love Lamb class in the 16th . Here is the link for registration
Sp thrilled to have Hajme back in the house. Hajime Sato of Mashiko Restaurant will be here for 2 classes this fall. October 17 and December 5
I was cracking eggs for ice cream. Here you go....out of 8 eggs 4 double yolkers! Love this. Thank you Skagit River Ranch
Once again I was struck by the beauty, variety and abundance of the ingredients our farmers provide for us. This was the display of small tomatoes Tonnemaker Family Orchard & Tonnemaker Hill Farm brought to the U-District market this weekend.
Come with me Oct 27-29 for a special culinary adventure! I'm leading a 3-day, 2-night culinary cruise in the Salish Sea. I've created special dinner menus that I'll incorporate in cooking demos. During the day we'll cruise to Penn Cove Mussels, (the oldest mussel farm in the u.s. and owned by some of my "good crazy" friends) as well as the home of the Dungeness Crab & perhaps find some whales! Each evening, we'll gather at the lovely Ravenscroft Inn in the bustling Victorian seaport of Port Townsend.
We are blessed to have access to so many extraordinary foods and places. Let's get together and create some new memorable experiences!! https://www.pugetsoundexpress.com/3-day-taste-of-northwest-culinary-cruise/
This week's dessert. Peach blueberry cobbler with a candied ginger biscuit. I do love stone fruit and typically I don't add any sugar to the filling. Remember to taste the fruit first and if they are sweet enough don't add any sugar, let the fruit sing!
Was introduced to this beverage years ago by my son. I'ts one of the best "hot weather" drinks around. Horchata. I'm Scandinavian and it's like drinking a cold rice pudding, something I grew up with.
Thank you to my friend Tommy for sharing his garlic ginger brined chicken. It made for a wonderful dinner. It's wonderful to have friends who love to "play with"t their food.
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