Our teachers are professional chefs and food writers from Vashon and the Pacific Northwest.
We also feature local experts passionate about helping you make your life intentional.
Relish is the place for your private event. Let us cater a special dinner for you. Or, gather a team of people to cook a feast together with one of our chefs.
Who We Are
Melinda Powers believes in creating community. Fifteen years ago, she peered through the windows of the oldest commercial building on Vashon, right in the center of town. Even though the historical building was the dusty remains of an old hardware store at the time, Melinda could envision an expansive restaurant serving great good food, a gathering place for the community. She persisted to make that dream a reality.
Today, the Hardware Store feeds thousands of people, breakfast through dinner, 7 days a week, with the work of its 50 employees. The Hardware Store truly has become the center of the community.
Right next to The Hardware Store, Melinda has opened Relish, a space for cooking classes and so much more. She believes strongly that, in these times, we need to come together and work with our hands, in community. Once again, she has created the space for people to learn together, eat well, and become friends. She can’t wait to meet you there.
Nathan Colello Gilmour, Chef, Butcher, and Charcutier in Residence
“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”
Nathan comes to us in the form of a Return — he’s an Island boy through and through. He started his food career both working in his family’s catering business and scrubbing sheet pans at Camp Burton. From a young age, Nathan has had the travel bug — in his words, ‘Vashon teaches you how to go out into the world, be a traveler, and bring it back home’ — a state of being that he’s parlayed into a professional life of working with specialized foods and learning from far-flung masters of cuisine, butchery, and charcuterie. After earning his Bachelor’s from Kalamazoo College, he swiftly moved up the culinary ranks, designing, building and heading up a 300+ seat fast-casual restaurant by the age of 23
He’s only recently come home from his extensive travels – both domestic and abroad. Nathan has worked in kitchens on four continents; from the cutting rooms high in the Austrian Alps of Arche de Wiskentale to the back streets of Fez making couscous and quince with grandmas in their homes. Not only has he spent time as a stagisti with Alice Waters’ Rome Sustainable Food Project and Macelleria Dario Cecchini in Panzano, but also as a butchery and live-fire teacher at Belcampo Meat Camp in California and PDX Meat Collective and as a butcher and charcutier with Kate Hill at Kitchen-at-Camont and la familie Chapolard at Ferme Baradieu.
Starting this Summer, Nathan will bring many of these experiences to our classroom. Nathan’s mission is to teach you How to Build a Kitchen. He’ll teach you how to utilize our local resources with the skills and techniques from his home as well as those he learned farther afield. Nathan says, “I want to teach people how to refresh their relationship to food — take a passionate and convivial stance and lean into the possibility and creativity while still respecting the old stories and ways.”
More recently, Nathan has served as the President for a fullblood wagyu and heritage hog ranch in Virginia, a professional judge for the charcuterie category at the Good Food Awards, and a specialist judge for the British Charcuterie Awards ], one of the BBC’s Countryfile Live annual events. He is currently the founder and CEO of Ragazzo Foods LLC
“Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.” ‑Anthony Bourdain
Vashon Island, only a 15-minute ferry ride from West Seattle, feels like it is decades away from the mainland. There are no stoplights on the entire island, which is the same length as Manhattan. Farmstands work on the honor system — buy some kale by putting money into a coffee can. Everywhere is forest and water. There’s something magic about a place you can only reach by ferry boat.
This is a small town for talented artists, entrepreneurs, people who like to live in the woods, activists, crafters, homeschoolers, gardeners, musicians, writers, and people who like to gather in community. Relish is the place for that gathering.
When you come to Relish, you’ll be making the journey to someplace special. Treat yourself to a meal at The Hardware Store after your class at Relish. Stay awhile. (We recommend Lodges on Vashon.) Once you have slept on an island, you may never want to leave.
(This is a photo of a painting by Pam Ingalls, an island artist dear to us at Relish.)
Class Terms and Conditions
We love that you have made a Relish Vashon purchase of either classes or a delicious something. So that we can give you the best experience of Relish, we have a minimum of six participants for each class. Please note that Relish Vashon reserves the right to cancel or postpone classes that have fewer than six participants.
Should we have to cancel or postpone a class, you will have the option to reschedule for another class or to a full refund.
We will do our best to accommodate your choices in sufficient time to provide an optimal experience to gather, cook, and eat.
The Relish Vashon Team