Arts and Entertainment

Schmidt’s gets cooking in Winslow

Roberta S. Lang cooks for a crowd at Schmidt
Roberta S. Lang cooks for a crowd at Schmidt's Home Appliance store.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

Step into any appliance store and you’re sure to find refrigerators, a selection of stoves and other pieces of essential kitchen gear.

How about a sweet potato quesadilla?

Or baked figs with gorgonzola cheese and nuts?

Schmidt’s Home Appliance store offers some of the best modern appliances. Recently, it has started giving customers a little bit of an extra incentive to walk through its doors — food.

The appliance store recently began featuring cooking demonstrations in the store on Ericksen Avenue. Now customers can get an eyeful — and a mouth full — of the best local dishes from the island’s own chefs.

The store features an extensive range of home appliances for everything from the kitchen to the laundry room. It also boasts its own sleep center, filled with quality mattresses.

And now, cooking demonstrations, generally every other week.

“We wanted to have a fun thing people can come in and be part of,” Anderson said.

Starting in late June, customers walking into the store were greeted with the amazing smells of garlic, cheese and other welcoming aromas of a home kitchen. The ambiance was provided by Roberta S. Lang, a personal chef on Bainbridge.

Lang worked in the store’s own fully functional kitchen. She gave a demonstration on how to make baked figs with gorgonzola cheese and nuts.

The figs had the crowd in awe, to say the least. The two cookie sheet-sized batches didn’t last long after they came out of the oven.

Lang followed with a sweet potato quesadilla that packed a flavorful punch not many were expecting.

And it was nutritious, too.

“It went really well,” said Joyce Anderson of Schmidt’s Appliance. “She did a really good job going through what you have to do, and how to make it.”

The store will feature Mike Dressler of Bene Pizza on Hildebrand Lane on Tuesday, July 10.

Dressler — the pizzeria’s owner, chef and general jack of all trades — will share some of his expert knowledge of pizza-making for customers to take home.

“My plan is to bring my dough and get people to understand how to use the pizza stone and dough,” Dressler said.

“(Bene) makes a fantastic pizza,” he added. “The dough recipe is comparable to Seattle pizzerias.”

But don’t expect to get any of Dressler’s most prized secrets, such his coveted dough recipe — that information he is keeping to himself. What he will offer is some tips and recipes on how to make a great pizza at home.

The Pizza 101 class will bring what Dressler has made so popular at Bene. Working with local farms such as Tani Creek, his pizzeria crafts a fine, higher-end pizza experience.

“We are doing more a thin crust, artisan pizza,” Dressler said.

Schmidt’s won’t stop with Dressler. The store has been talking with other local chefs from island bakeries, Thai restaurants and more, to schedule more cooking classes over the summer.

Anderson is happy to not only get a tasty bite while at work, but also that the store can work with the wealth of talent on the island.

“It’s a networking thing that we wanted to do with local restaurants,” she said. “And we all hope to have it be a fun event that people can gain a little knowledge of a few different recipes, and a little more insight of the appliances we have.”

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