After getting acquainted with the group and sharing her story about the space that closely resembles one’s home, free of commercial-grade appliances, Diane offered the Yelpers beverages from local Washington brands including Sonoros, Airfield Estates, Pike Brewing Company, and DRY Sparkling. This set the stage for one of the key values of Diane’s Market Kitchen: supporting local producers and people.
From the produce to the spices to the cooking oils, Diane was able to recite where every single ingredient came from as she walked the attendees through each of the appetizers they tasted that evening.
The first appetizer was a smoky mushroom tart. Prior to biting into the pastry, guests sampled the smoked Chardonnay grape-seed oil from AprèsVin and Rockridge Orchards Applewood smoked salt which brought the smoky flavor to life. After the tarts had been consumed, Diane invited two Yelpers to assist her to spread a caponata onto pieces of bread. This eggplant-based dish didn’t last long as attendees eagerly helped themselves to this appetizer and savored every bite.
Next, Diane encouraged guests to assemble what was debatably one of the most popular dishes of the night, a baked cirrus (a Pacific Northwest’s variation of French soft-ripened cheese from Mt. Townsend and Creamery) topped with madras curry from Market Spice, mango chutney, and cashews served with apple chips. This appetizer made for plenty of great photo opportunities as Yelpers scooped the gooey, creamy, flavorful cheese onto their apple chips.
Following the mouthwatering cheese dish, Yelpers created a beet hors d’oeuvre with red and golden beets adorned with feta cheese that even carnivores couldn’t turn down. This dish was closely followed by vegetarian gyoza filled with an assortment of vegetables, including celery, leeks, Daikon, garlic, ginger root, bell pepper, and carrot. Due to how well the vegetables served as hero ingredients, Diane’s promise to the meat lovers that they would forget the absence of meat throughout the evening was fulfilled and verified by the group after the appetizer tasting.
The final dish was – to many people’s surprise – an unfrosted carrot cake. Diane shared that the best carrot cakes do not need frosting, and after everyone had the opportunity to let their taste buds dance with the rich flavors and soft texture, it was not uncommon to hear, “This is the best carrot cake I’ve ever had,” coming out of the mouths of the delighted Yelpers.
Throughout the event, there was never a moment of silence. Between the attendees soaking up Diane’s stories and kitchen lessons to inquiring about cooking techniques and Diane’s background, there was enough information that came out of the two-hour event to fill a small book. Read about the event and check out the photos on the event listing here.
Thanks to our event partner
Diane LaVonne is a unique combination of conventional learning and life experience, all of which she offers to her guests at Diane’s Market Kitchen. This UNM-educated anthropologist/historian Midwesterner has lived a number of iterations in her 60+ years. As an inveterate asker of questions and a dedicated learner, Diane uses all of her life experience as sources for understanding and growth. Diane believes that eating well, eating delicious, healthy food should be a life choice, not a diet. In her Seattle community, this perspective is manifested in her focus on local producers and people; she shops, uses and promotes local products and ingredients.
With a lifelong commitment to her community, Diane continues to provide financial contributions to local non-profit organizations. Beyond these donations, Diane is actively involved as an integral part of Seattle’s community as a conservation educator, a member of the Downtown Seattle Association, Seattle Visitors and Convention Bureau, and many others to continue her mission to promote relationships between producers and purchasers.