My friend James, a fellow Silicon Valley refugee who moved to Berlin to follow his artistic dream, was in town and the thermometer was actually creeping above 60 degrees so why not re-celebrate spring, or celebrate the 2nd nice day of the year along with my friend’s visit than a little dinner party. I have yet to do anything “little” but am working on it.

James and I met 12 years ago when we were both sent to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by our Huge Software Company to work on a conference there. When one is on the other side of the world, working grueling hours, and trying to accomplish things with people who will tell you they will do something even if they have no intention of doing it, you develop special bonds that are near unbreakable. Such was our serendipitous meeting. It was also the same trip where I met my ex-fiance, a South African cricket player, which wasn’t so serendipitous (note the “ex”) however that’s another story that requires copious amounts of martinis, but I digress…

So James was in town and off to the market I went. It was a beautiful spring day with a bright blue sky and I wanted everything to be bright. Bright colors, bright food, bright table. So a bright spring salad and a very bright pink risotto courtesy of a roasted beet followed by a bright, tangy blood orange-lemon curd. Mission accomplished. Bon appetit!

Bienvenue au Printemps…Encore!
Chez Laura

Champagne Aperitif, Bellinis et Kir Royals
-Veuve Cliquot Brut

Salade des Fenouils, Oranges Sanguine, Radis et Oignon Rouge avec Vinaigrette de Framboise
-Vielles Vignes 2004 Chablis

Bar de Ligne en Papillote sur Risotto Champagne de Betterave
-Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Nuits 2004

Tarte au Orange-Sanguine et Citron De-construire
Mignardises des chocolates et petits tartes de Patisserie Pinaud
-Cafe, The et Liqueur

Recipe for Poisson en Papillote

this fish recipe (fish in paper) is the easiest recipe you’ll ever find. take a piece of fish and lay it on a long piece of foil. rub a little olive oil on both sides, a little sea salt, some fresh ground pepper and sprinkle a few herbs such as tarragon, thyme or dill.

cover the fish with a layer of thinly sliced lemons

add about a quarter-cup of white wine (or champagne) and a handful of cherry tomatoes. pull up the ends of the foil and seal like a pouch so that the fish steams in the liquid. cook for about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

i usually serve this over a bed of risotto so scoop some risotto in a low shallow bowl. unwrap the fish carefilly and gently place the fish on the risotto. spoon the tomatoes and juice over and around the fish.

guaranteed happy campers!

Bienvenue au Printemps…Encore! 2 June,2006Cucina Testa Rossa

  • James

    Laura – a great friend and the best damn “Chef” in the world. Much love on a fantastic occassion. Thank you very, very much.

    Tschuss aus Berlin!


  • Ivonne

    Happy Spring, Laura! (I’m sending a martini your way …)

  • cucina testa rossa

    thanks james! what a joy to celebrate a 12 year friendship that has taken us from one side of the world to the other.

    ivonne ~ it’ll take more than one… 😉


Cucina Testa Rossa

After a decade in Silicon Valley, Laura traded her keyboard for a cutting board and moved to New York City to immerse herself in food and wine studies and restaurant operations. She graduated from the French Culinary Institute where she studied under Master Chefs Jacques PĂ©pin, AndrĂ© Soltner, Alain Sailhac, and Master Sommelier Andrea Immer. While in New York, Laura cooked with some of the world’s most highly acclaimed chefs including Mario Lohninger (Danube), Morimoto, Mark Franz & Emily Luchetti (Farallon), Michael Romano (Union Square CafĂ©), Mario Batali, Marcella Hazan, Jonathan Cartwright (White Barn Inn), Martin Heierling (Bellagio), Dave Pasternack (Esca), Richard Reddington (Redd, Auberge du Soleil), and the legendary Alice Waters (Chez Panisse).

After working as the Back Kitchen Chef of Jacques PĂ©pin’s PBS cooking show, “Fast Food, My Way”, Laura moved to France to cook her way around the country. She cooked at the Cannes Film Festival, then to the northwest corner of France, to Britanny, to cook on a lobster boat, then east to Paris to the world famous Pierre HermĂ© Patisserie where she made thousands of his macarons every day! Laura cooked for the fabulous Olivia de Havilland and interned at 3 Michelin Star Le Cinq under Chef Philippe Legendre and Pastry Chef Fabrice Lecleir. Laura was the executive chef and cooking instructor at the DaVinci Code chateau outside of Paris where she was on set during the filming of the movie.

In Fall 2007, Laura worked on Jacques Pepin’s most recent PBS television series as prop and food stylist. “More Fast Food, My Way” should air in the Spring of 2008. “My Keyboard for a Cutting Board ~ Adventures in a French kitchen v1.0”, Laura’s first book highlights her first three months cooking in France, was published in Summer 2006. ConvivialitĂ© is her second book and will hopefully be published in the fall.

Laura now splits her time between Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area doing private chefing, teaching cooking classes and leading market tours when in Paris. Bon Appetit!

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