How the Salt & Straw Owners Do Pasta Night

Cousins Kim and Tyler Malek run the Salt & Straw ice cream company in Portland, Oregon, but during their hands-on family suppers, Kim's kids run the kitchen.
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salt and straw table setting with food

To be a member of the Salt & Straw family, you have to love to play with your food. The Portland, Oregon-based small-batch ice cream company is known for its crazy combos—like Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero or Peanut Butter Stout with Chocolate Chicharrón.

Head ice cream maker and flavor mastermind Tyler Malek is in charge of recipe creation, and his cousin Kim Malek runs the business side. Kim’s kids, whose palates range from adventurous to uh-uh no way, are unofficial taste-testers. Kim’s daughter, Dee, 10, is the most daring, happily digging into a pint of matcha ice cream studded with chocolate-covered crickets (not kidding), while sons JJ, 11, and Izzy, 6, stick with the classics, like mint chip.

Kim and Tyler with kids making pasta

The kids—Dee (left), Izzy (center), and JJ (right)—show their mom, Kim, and their cousin Tyler how they roll.

But when it comes to dinner, all the kids are on the same page: They’ll eat pretty much anything. That open-mindedness made Tyler suspect that they might like to play around in the kitchen, so for the past few years he’s been teaching the kids how to cook. “At first, it was just brownies. Now it’s sushi and fresh pasta,” he says.

kids making ravioli

The kids take turns cutting out the ravioli. Izzy is in the zone while Dee waits on deck.

Tonight’s project is lamb-stuffed ravioli. Tyler and the kids get started by cracking eggs and mixing up the dough. JJ and Dee make another batch on their own, while Izzy and Tyler start rolling. Everyone comes together for assembly: laying out pasta sheets, adding dollops of filling, and punching out the ravioli with cookie cutters.“They’ll all jump into anything they can. Well, maybe except cleaning up,” Kim adds with a laugh.

For dessert, it’s homemade almond brittle with ice cream. As kids, Kim and Tyler used to make the candy when they’d visit their grandma. “That rhythm in the kitchen and how it brings everyone together really stuck with me,” Tyler says. He hopes that these cooking sessions will have the same effect on the next generation of the Salt & Straw family.

Braised Lamb Ravioli

Kim & Tyler Malek's Braised Lamb Ravioli Recipe

Recipe: Try Kim and Tyler's Braised Lamb Ravioli

kids and Tyler eating at table

Tyler shares an important life lesson with JJ: Everything is better with Parmesan.

Whipped Ricotta & Honey Crostini

whipped ricotta and honey crostini

Recipe: Try Kim and Tyler's Whipped Ricotta & Honey Crostini

people sitting and standing outside eating together

Kim’s partner and the kids’ father, Mike, and Tyler’s wife, Sophia, join the group for apps in the backyard.

Endive Salad with Pears & Blue Cheese

Endive Salad with Pears & Blue Cheese

Recipe: Try Kim and Tyler's Endive Salad with Pears & Blue Cheese

boy spreading chocolate on bark

Melted chocolate chips make an easy topping for the brittle. After Izzy spreads the chocolate, the candy will get a sprinkling of flaky salt. Salty-sweet FTW!

Grandma Malek's Salted Chocolate Almond Brittle

Grandma Malek's Salted Chocolate Almond Brittle Recipe

Recipe: Try Grandma Malek's Salted Chocolate Almond Brittle