Jon Olschewski will teach a class on making Vietnamese spring rolls at Moonflower Community Cooperative on Tuesday, Nov. 27. [Photo courtesy of Jon Olschewski]

One of Moonflower Community Cooperative’s organic garlic suppliers, Jon Olschewski, is also a passionate chef who teaches cooking classes occasionally at the store’s Datura Deli kitchen.

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, Olschewski will demonstrate to class participants methods for making Vietnamese spring rolls.

It’s a dish he learned years ago when he spent 45 days in Vietnam. He also traveled to Thailand. He said the cuisine brought back memories of his love of cooking and gardening.

“I fell in love with Asian food,” he said.

During the one-hour cooking class, Olschewski said he will show people how to make at least one sauce, like a Vietnamese dipping sauce made from garlic, fish stock, and lime; a classic Thai peanut sauce; or an orange ginger sauce. If there’s time, participants will make more than one sauce.

Olschewski said he would also teach techniques for slicing vegetables in order to easily roll the veggies inside a thin sheet of rice paper. Rice paper is made from steamed rice flour.

The rice paper is “soaked in water to become pliable, and then rolled up like a burrito,” Olschewski said.

The class is free and all ingredients are supplied by Moonflower Community Cooperative, said Stephanie Hamborsky, the store’s community engagement and marketing coordinator.

Olschewski attributes his keen interest in cooking to being raised by vegetarian parents who gardened in Spanish Valley, where he grows the garlic he sells to the store. He also said he learned to cook by spending a lot of time with his grandmother, who owned a delicatessen in Salt Lake City.

“That was my first job,” he said. “I had a natural aptitude for it.”

Preparing good food “became a huge part of my life,” Olschewski said. “I cook all the time.”

Backyard gardening is also a huge passion. Olschewski said he grows food in Moab year-round.

“It’s interesting to me in that the last 40 years people have fallen away from gardening,” he said. “Moab is interesting, in that there are 180 frost-free days — there’s an ability to grow most everything — except citrus.”

While Moonflower has traditionally offered cooking classes, the spring roll class is the first to be scheduled in a while, Hamborsky said. Olschewski taught an Indian foods class at the co-op about a year and a half ago. A fermentation class was taught in September, and in March, Tommy Mayer, of Castle Valley Farms, taught a class on how to prepare plant-based foods. At that class, participants learned to make vegan chili, kale salad, sauerkraut and carrot hot dogs which were “so good,” Hamborsky said.

On Dec. 6, Moonflower Community Cooperative is presenting a beverage brewing workshop with the owners of Tailwind Kombucha. The store sells growlers of kombucha and have the beverage on tap at the store, where it’s brewed.

“I’m hoping next year to have cooking classes every month,” Hamborsky said.

To register for the spring roll class, call Hamborsky at 435-259-5712, or email

Natural foods deli hosts Vietnamese cooking class with Jon Olschewski

“I’m hoping next year to have cooking classes every month.”

What: Vietnamese spring rolls with chef Jon Olschewski

When: Tuesday, Nov. 27, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Moonflower Community Cooperative Datura Deli, 39 E. 100 North

Cost: Free

Information: Call 435-259-5712 or visit