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Grantee: Ari Nordhagen

Project Title: The Spokane Cookbook
Year awarded: 2021, Round 3

Ari Nordhagen is a local portrait, wedding, and food photographer. Her work has been featured in Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living Magazine, Edible Inland Northwest Magazine, The Spokesman-Review, and The Inlander. Nordhagen is receiving SAGA support to create The Spokane Cookbook, a beautifully constructed and professionally photographed showcase of local recipes, makers, and stories from Spokane’s culinary arts communities.

Nordhagen writes, “The Spokane Cookbook project was born out of my desire to showcase this town and the unique character of its culinary heritage — to show how its flavor palate has changed over the years, and to highlight the various amazing individuals who have helped to shape it.” Nordhagen’s interviews and recipes will span the birth of Spokane’s food culture, share current recipes from local culinary artists featuring ingredients unique to the region, and look into the future with food makers from different cultural backgrounds contributing to our region’s culinary growth.

Spokane has suffered the permanent closure of some its most beloved food institutions however, new restaurants have also opened, showing the resilience of Spokane’s food entrepreneurs. The Spokane Cookbook will share, celebrate, and support the stories and efforts of this important creative industry.

December 2022 — After months of planning and interviewing, photographing and writing about chefs, farmers, and food entrepreneurs in the city, The Spokane Cookbook has finally come to fruition. This high-quality, beautifully crafted book is a passion project of local photographer, Ari Nordhagen, and contains 72 mouth-watering recipes, gorgeously photographed and presented alongside stories of people who are part of Spokane’s diverse culinary scene. The cookbook also contains an ode to Spokane’s past, a look at its cultural growth, and a nod to some food-related institutions which have made their mark in the Lilac City.

The Spokane Cookbook ($44.95) is available for preorder from A portion of proceeds support Big Table, a Northwest-based outreach organization for restaurant and hospitality workers.