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About Bowen Appétit

BowenBowen Close is a home cook and cooking instructor inspired by the stories behind the food – the people, places, traditions, and experiences that make a meal. She grew up in the Midwest steeped in the chaos and heartland food of her family’s catering company, spent over a decade on the West Coast studying and working on issues of local, sustainable food systems, and in 2013 very happily returned to the Midwest with her husband, where she started teaching cooking classes in Madison, Wisconsin, and surrounding areas. In 2015, her son Aldo arrived and continues to provide new inspiration for heartfelt home cooking and family meals. In 2017, Bowen’s family moved to the Pacific Northwest, settling in Seattle, Washington for the foreseeable future.

Bowen has taught cooking classes in the Midwest and on the West Coast and has traveled around the world learning about and enjoying a huge variety of cuisines. Bowen loves almost any food with an egg on top, desperately misses the Mexican food of Southern California, and likes to end each day with a good cocktail.

Before starting Bowen Appétit, Bowen taught in Los Angeles at Hipcooks (eternal thanks to the HC team!) and was trained at the New School of Cooking. She’s a proud graduate of Pomona College and studied planning and sustainable urbanism at the University of Southern California.

While in Wisconsin, Bowen was a founder and member of Wisconsin Whisk, a food blogger collaborative providing skill sharing and building opportunities to partner with Wisconsin-based food businesses.

Questions? Interested in working together? Contact Bowen at

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Charisse M. #

    Love your website!

    Came to visit bcuz I was looking for the pupusas….WHERE IS THE RECIPE!?!?!? hehe.

    Last night, I made Leek Bread Pudding
    ( — it was good but I’m sure would’ve been better if I didn’t substitute the butter with olive oil. I also didn’t use heavy cream at all…it still turned out just fine.

    Maybe you can prepare it one of these days and tell me what you think????

    Can’t wait to read more recipes…. 🙂

    Nice seeing you yesterday.

    May 15, 2011
  2. I am so inspired by your story! I would love to start an email chat about your environmental/sustainability work. I am starting to look at colleges and engineering degrees and this is an area that I am drawn to. I was actually looking at pursuing Univ of Cal at Fullerton but I’m having trouble on where to begin. My email is and I’d really appreciate it!

    Anndddd your blog is fabulous, the recipes- amazing. Already have several bookmarked!

    June 26, 2011
    • bowenappetit #

      Thanks! I’d love to chat – email on the way!

      June 26, 2011
  3. What a great site! You’re making me feel totally incompetent.
    Have a great week.

    February 1, 2012
  4. Bowen dear! I have found you! Email me, I have Easter ideas!;)

    March 3, 2012
  5. Liz #

    Hi, Bowen. My one word for your site, experience and career path: wow. As for your blog–great photos, recipes, chatter. Also love that your were born in Minnesota as that’s where I’ve grown up and live now. For all these reasons (and more, I’m sure. have yet to check out everything you’ve done), I hereby nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Award:-) Check out details at and pass the torch (whisk?) along. Congrats!

    July 23, 2012
  6. Gail and John #

    We met you on the trail to the Bald Hills 🙂 Your site is great! John and I just LOVE the Crunchy Peanut Slaw recipe.

    September 18, 2012
    • So glad you found me! Hope your travels are going well, and I’m glad you like the cole slaw recipe. All the best!

      September 18, 2012
  7. Kerry Barnett Martin #

    love seeing your world . . . shared your oatmeal maple cookies with my sis-in-law and she signed up!!! She is french canadian, so was drooling over your canadian trip to the sugar shack!!! (her name is Sue Martin . . . lives in Medford . . . you would love her!!!) Glad you are doing so well!!! Love to both you and Brett!!!

    October 23, 2012
  8. Hello Bowen,
    I think we have the same interest and attitude in our kitchen ( cooking and baking ). Love to see more adventures. Nice blog

    April 16, 2013
  9. Nancy #

    I recently had goat cheese infused with blueberries. It was delicious! I have plenty of blueberries. How would I infuse blueberries?

    February 11, 2014
    • Hi Nancy,

      I would chop up the blueberries and mix them right into the goat cheese. If they’re frozen, let them thaw and drain out some of the juice, so they don’t think the goat cheese too much. If you want it sweeter, I would suggest adding in a bit of honey as well. Sounds delicious!

      February 11, 2014
  10. Hi Bowen, Enjoyed your Cherry Bourbon Fizz and gave you a shout out on my drink blog. Can’t wait to make more of your stuff. Cheers!

    June 17, 2014
    • Such praise! Thanks so much – I look forward to making some of your drinks as well!

      June 18, 2014
  11. Ella Grace #

    My husband and I did a private cooking class and we loved everything about it. Our only complaint was that they didn’t send us home with the leftovers. A couple of my friends have done classes since and they had the same complaint. I think that’s the only thing that could be improved upon, mostly because the food was so delicious and private cooking classes were not super cheap.

    April 28, 2015
    • Hi Ella – Thanks for your feedback! I really appreciate it and love hearing back from students. Unfortunately I can’t send home leftovers because of health code regulations (cooking classes are categorized somewhat differently from catering and restaurants). When people host the classes in their homes they can keep all leftovers, but elsewhere unfortunately they can’t. I will definitely be sure to make that more clear to folks as they’re booking classes from now on. Glad you liked the class, otherwise! Hope to see you again soon.

      April 28, 2015

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