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Something's cooking at the Bozeman Public Library's Kitchen Table creative lab

Bozeman Health recently partnered with the Bozeman Public Library Foundation to donate $50,000 to support the Kitchen Table.
Posted at 10:58 AM, Feb 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-19 11:35:19-05

BOZEMAN — Are you looking for new nutritious and healthy meals to feed your family? The Bozeman Public Library recently opened its Kitchen Table, where every Thursday the library hosts cooking classes for the public.

“Thursday's Table is community cooking programs led by either local foodies, cooking enthusiasts, or people who are interested in sharing their family recipes or culture and whatnot with the community,” says Corey Sloan, department head, adult programming and outreach.

This Thursday’s Table demonstration was led by Chef Matt Sloan, who's worked as a chef at numerous restaurants around Bozeman. He cooked up some healthy chicken fried rice for locals interested in learning a new recipe.

“I’m just browning off the chicken right now. I’ve marinated it with soy sauce, sugar, corn starch, and a little bit of cooking oil,” says Matt Sloan as he sautes the chicken for his fried rice.

“Everybody’s going to get to try a little bit here, and taste what they just watched being prepared and what they just learned how to make. And we have some to-go containers so people can take some stuff with them,” says Corey Sloan.

But what inspired these free cooking classes for anyone in the community to come join?

“One of the top three, four community health needs are nutrition and physical activity support. And so we learned that our community would very much so benefit from that,” says Bozeman Health Chief Operating Officer Kallie Kujawa.

Kujawa says Bozeman Health conducts community health needs assessments, which helped them realize that nutrition is one of the top three health needs in our community. That led to the decision to donate $50,000 to the Bozeman Public Library, allowing them to build Kitchen Table and support its classes every Thursday.

“It’s a great way to learn about nutrition. Not only do these folks who do the demonstrations teach you how to cook the recipe, they teach you about the benefits of nutrition in general,” says Kujawa.

Bozeman Health’s goal of raising nutritional health awareness appears to be working as these classes are getting more and more popular each week.

“It’s been really nice to see people gather together, come back—they were here last week, so now they're here this week,” says Corey.

And what do community members think about the healthy chicken fried rice dish they learned how to make today?

“I’m a terrible chef so hopefully I won't kill my husband anymore with my cooking,” says one attendee.

“Add it to my clean plate club. It was excellent,” said another local.

It’s safe to say this Thursday's Kitchen Table was a huge success.