Cooking classes seek to educate and expand culinary knowledge

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Unfortunately, cooking is a skill many college students lack. When packaged ramen and boxed macaroni and cheese are so easy to throw together, it is easy to understand why students don’t see the need to spend extra time making a healthier or more delicious meal.

The Ampersand Oil & Vinegar Tap House in Moscow hosts regular cooking classes to help not only struggling college students, but also anyone on the Palouse who wants to “learn how to cook quick, healthy meals and know that they too can make a flavorful meal,” owner Keely Garrity said.

These classes are taught by chefs Jordan, Keely and Elissa. Cooking class topics range from “Easy Egyptian” to “Cooking with Wine” and “Cold Winter Comforts.”

“Many of our chefs are world travelers,” Garrity said. “This allows them to bring something back to the Palouse from the other cultures they have visited. This makes for a very interesting and entertaining class that hopefully inspires our customers’ taste buds.”

While these class options may sound intimidating and out of reach for WSU students, Garrity believes learning to cook is essential to the success of a college student.

“Good or bad cooking habits are formed in college,” she said. “I think college students should learn how to make cheap, healthy meals in classes like these.”

People come to these cooking classes to have fun and find inspiration, Garrity said. After getting stuck in a rut, making the same meals over and over again, it is fun to try something new.

Ampersand Oil & Vinegar Tap House hopes to inspire others to embark on their own culinary adventures from the moment they walk through the store’s doors, according to its website.

“I love hearing people say ‘my four-year-old eats salads because of that grapefruit vinegar dressing you taught me to make’ or ‘now I love Brussels sprouts,’” Garrity said.

A second storefront has recently opened in Lewiston to expand the store’s reach.

Ampersand Oil & Vinegar Tap House hosts cooking classes at both the Moscow and Lewiston locations a few nights a week. These classes are open to college students and all other residents of the Palouse area at a cost of $35 per person.