Savoring Community: Inside Bozeman Public Library’s Kitchen Table

On a rainy Thursday, the Kitchen Table, Bozeman Public Library’s newest creative lab, was filled with warmth and camaraderie. The Kitchen Table has quickly become a hub for learning and innovative collaboration since its opening just two months ago.

Today’s group – ranging from a newly graduated AmeriCorps Vista volunteer, to retirees, to professionals on their lunch break – have gathered for Thursday’s Table. This weekly program invites attendees to learn new recipes and food traditions and is led by a volunteer eager to share their passion for cooking. Today, guest chef Matt was poised to showcase one of his go-to meals: Miso Glazed Salmon with Cucumber Salad and White Rice.

As Matt took center stage, his enthusiasm radiated outward. With deft hands and a keen eye for detail, he guided participants through each step of the recipe, sharing insights, techniques, and personal anecdotes along the way. From cooking the perfect piece of salmon, to the delicate balance of flavors in the cucumber salad, to skillfully plating rice in a perfect round, every aspect of the dish was meticulously explained.

But the demo was more than just a cooking class; it was a celebration of community and culture. As Matt shared stories of his culinary journey and the inspirations behind his dishes, participants joined in.

“What grocery store in town has the best fish?”

“I would love to make this with garden fresh cucumbers but mine haven’t done well for the past few years. Does anyone have any tips?”

“I checked out the best cookbook from the Library. Let me write the name down for you!”

With each exchange, the spirit of community grows stronger. And when the time came to sample the featured menu, the feedback was a resounding “DELICIOUS”!

In a world where the relentless pace often obscures simple joys, the Kitchen Table stands as a haven of community, embodying the essence of libraries as dynamic centers for learning and expression. Here, amidst the aroma of spices and the shared laughter of newfound friends, we are reminded of the timeless pleasures that bind us—good food, good company, and the enduring strength of community. 

Thursday’s Table takes place every Thursday at noon. No registration required – just stop by, learn something new, and try some delicious food. If you’re interested in leading a Thursday’s Table cooking demonstration, please reach out to Liz at