Olive prepares for holidays with cooking classes

Daniel Kim

Olive is located at 21 E Main Street in downtown Walla Walla. Photo by Nikki Antenucci.
Olive is located at 21 E Main Street in downtown Walla Walla. Photo by Nikki Antenucci.

November means many holidays are just around the corner, but it also means another year for Olive Marketplace and Cafe’s annual Open Kitchen: Holiday Cooking Series. The series includes five classes, ranging from setting the Thanksgiving table to Valentine’s Day desserts, and registration is almost full.

This is the second year they have offered the cooking series. To a great extent, the class is a response to patrons’ high level of interest in their food.

“We have been asked since Olive opened to offer such classes and frequently get requests for recipes,” said Tabitha Crenshaw, marketing manager and co-owner, in an email. “Soup recipes are definitely highest in demand.”

This year, Olive will be offering a class specifically on winter soups in response to this demand.

The cooking series offers customers both lessons on cooking as well as the chance to be immersed in Olive’s kitchen.

An quick look inside Olive's kitchen. Photo by Nikki Antenucci.
An quick look inside Olive’s kitchen. Photo by Nikki Antenucci.


“[The classes are held] in our … kitchen during the dinner hour so there is a lot to see, not only the cooking demo, but the action of a busy commercial kitchen,” said Crenshaw.

Due to the small space available in the kitchen, classes are limited to 15 participants. The benefits of the classes include a wine reception, step-by-step instructions, technique demonstrations, recipe cards and tasting.

Olive’s team of chefs teaches the classes. Each chef leads a class in their area of expertise. At Olive, the chefs are responsible for nearly everything they sell, and Crenshaw thinks this gives the chefs good teachable skills.

“Absolutely everything that can be made from scratch is, including all breads, doughs, jams, sauces, stock, etc,” she said. “So, our team of chefs are especially qualified to teach cooking as they know how to build on the basics.”

The series provides a great opportunity to gain tips from masterful chefs and pick up recipes from one of Walla Walla’s popular restaurants. Patrons really enjoy the opportunity.

“We have a few guests that enjoy the classes so much that they return for each one. It is a casual experience where you can sip wine while chatting with the chef,” says Crenshaw.

There are only four classes remaining for the Winter Cooking series, which will focus on different themes like Thanksgiving on Nov. 19, Apple Pies on Dec. 10, Christmas on Dec. 17 and Valentine’s Day on Feb. 11.