In the days of fast food and instant gratification, we have lost a connection to some things for the sake of convenience. The concept of convenience is a fantastic thing; it increases our productivity and makes our lives easier.
However, it also has the potential to disconnect us from some of life’s simple pleasures.
Historically, cooking was a community activity. It used to be more time consuming, but stories and fellowship and recipes were shared during that time. Ingredients were more intentional, perhaps even more healthful, as they were locally sourced. And, it was a way for people to connect over a common interest.
Gather Food Studio is looking to bring back the community aspect of food. In a little craftsman-style bungalow in Old Colorado City, owners David and Cortney Smith share their passion for food through cooking classes and a retail space. There are five total instructors, also local business owners, who teach on their specialties. They put together recipes, menus, shop and then teach members of the community how to make these delicacies using local ingredients.
Bread, pie, macarons, seasonal and thematic meals are all part of the repertoire here. Perhaps you want to branch out to Spanish or Italian dishes? This is the place for you. Cooking with Asian spices or mastering the proper technique while cooking seafood are on the menu here, as well. Just purchased a new electric pressure cooker or adopted a vegetarian diet and don’t know where to start? Gather Food Studios has you covered.
We started on the patio. Shouldn’t all good meals start on the patio?
We exchanged pleasantries in the midst of bees buzzing, butterflies flitting around garden planters and a curious squirrel playing in a neighboring tree. Old friends reconnecting and new friends making introductions, we all had the common bond of food.
After choosing cooking partners and reviewing the menu, each group chose a recipe and we retreated to the kitchen. Ingredients and instructions were laid out and we got to work.
The smells that started emanating from each station were divine.
Chef Cortney Smith explained that Gather focuses much of the attention on spices in their recipes. She expounded, indicating how spices and the proper use thereof can aid in weaning a consumer off of things like salt and sugar. Spices infuse flavor and trick the brain into thinking it is getting one of these elements. Part of her joy in doing what she does is educating her students on the opportunities that spices offer.
After our dishes were completed, plated and garnished, we had the opportunity to share them with our new friends. It was the adult version of a show-and-tell session, as we had all just become experts on our dishes over the course of the last hour. The earthiness in the pesto? That comes from the microgreens. The sharpness in the gouda? It was aged in whiskey barrels. The delicacy of the pasta? It is made fresh from a vendor down the street. We shared new kitchen techniques like browning bacon or preparing garlic. Perhaps tricks to “mise en place” or the correct tool to use for a new technique.
After filling our plates with the spoils of our efforts, we again gathered on the patio and proceeded to share a meal together. We were a community. We had found a common interest, regardless of our current station in life, and took time to appreciate one another.
Facebook + Instagram: @gatherfoodstudio