Ali Cohane was a waitress at The Blue Lion garnishing dinner plates that chef/boyfriend Kevin prepared when she first came to Jackson Hole. Now married, the 30-something couple has their own restaurant, Persephone Bakery, which provides a taste of Paris in a postage-stamp sized building off the town square with communal tables, delicious pastries, and an off-site bakery that supplies bread and sweets to many of local restaurants.
Local foodie Ali Cohane rarely gets a day off. But this winter she and her husband Kevin, who own Persephone Bakery together, have set some goals.
Take a day off together, sleep in, and go skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Kevin, who runs the back-of-the-house bakery located south of Jackson, often goes backcountry skiing on Teton Pass. But Ali, who is almost always at the restaurant, describes herself as a Teton “Village girl” and an “après-ski focused skier.”
“We love to ski together,” says Ali with a warm smile.
Their other favorite pastime is to visit the competition.
“We eat out a lot,” she says. “We give a lot of gift certificates to restaurants like Local so that our employees can get out and see what’s going on.”
Eating and shopping local is a priority for Ali. When she's strolling around town, she likes to pass through Gaslight Alley and pop into the gift shop Made to check out what arts and crafts other locals are making. She often winds up at the restaurant Local for a burger.
"They have the best burger," she said.
If she's not at her cafe, you might see Ali out walking her two German Shepherd mix dogs around town or in Wilson. One of her favorite dog walks is along the levy by Emily's Pond just before crossing the Snake River Bridge en route to Wilson and Teton Village. A new bike and footpath over the river to Rendezvous "R" Park offers beautiful scenic views of the river and the haze that often lingers above it.
We asked Ali to roll the clock back to when she and Kevin had more free time to inspire the mindset of her own perfect day in Jackson Hole.
- Sleep in to avoid the lines first thing in the morning.
- Get a Chai at Elevated Grounds.
- Hop a Start bus to Teton Village to ski at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
She wears her ski boots so she can get the most vertical powder possible. “I’m that person on the bus who needs help getting dressed. Walking off with gloves dropped behind her. My husband keeps me organized.”
Tram or Gondola?
Ali likes to go “straight to the gondy,” and avoid the crowds on the left side of the mountain by finding fresh tracks in the woods off the Casper lift. “I’m excited the Casper lift is fast now,” she says.
There is no breaking for lunch on ski days like this. She packs a Tram Bar, an energy booster made by another local foodie--Kate’s Real Foods.
Favorite Place to Après Ski
The Spur. When Ali first moved to Jackson she worked at Cascade, the restaurant now known as The Spur in Teton Mountain Lodge. “I got carpal tunnel from carrying nachos,” she says.
Now she bellies up to the bar and orders a spicy margarita with no salt. It is made with jalapeno tequila, muddled citrus, and blood orange puree. The nachos are still piled high with pepper jack cheese, black beans, sour cream pico de gallo, and housemade guacamole. For three bucks more, you can get locally grown Kobe beef on top.
“They have the best nachos and spicy margs,” Ali says. Even if it’s packed, as it often is, the Spur is worth the wait.”
The buffalo sliders with pancetta, arugula, roasted tomato and truffle aioli. and sweet potato fries are also high on her list.
At the end of the ski season, she always treats herself and a friend to a massage at the Four Seasons. She points out that the luxury resort offers a two-for-one discount for ski pass holders.
Where to stay in Jackson Hole?
Even if money wasn’t an object, Ali would forego a night at the Four Seasons and stay at the Anvil or another small intimate boutique hotel in downtown Jackson.
"Some hotels are so impersonal," she said. "I like talking to locals and being in town."
Where to Eat in Jackson Hole
In addition to the nachos and margaritas at The Spur, Ali loves breakfast at Nora’s Fish Creek Inn, and dinner at Trio.
Local Tips on Staying Warm
To stay warm, Ali wears fleece-lined tights (she buys them when she goes back to Chicago, her hometown). She is excited about adding hot toddies to the menu at Persephone, as another potential warm-up.
What Ali loves most about her boulangerie Persephone Bakery is that it is so cozy that people get “chit chatty.” “I would love to have a little more space for people. But it’s nice to see locals sitting next to tourists, forcing them to talk.”
Her best advice on how to fit in is to find a restaurant you like or a store that is your style and strike up a conversation. “Everyone is so nice here,” she notes. “I don’t want to hide what I think is awesome about this place. I want to share it.”
About our Author: Julie Kling is a freelance writer who lives in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Jackson Hole, WY. She teaches skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, practices yoga almost every day and is the mother of two children who love to go fast and take chances.