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 Pépin, André 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 Café), 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 Pépin'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 Hermé 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. Convivialité 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!

Cold Soup for a HOT HOT Day

Indian Summer indeed! Global warming is alive and well when it's pushing 100 degrees in San Francisco in September. Not wanting to make anything that involved getting near a stove, I called my friends J & J and asked if I could come over to their uber swanky and air conditioned kitchen and whip something up for us for dinner. When I woke up yesterday morning and it was 82 degrees, all I could think about was cold gazpacho soup with some thick crunchy crusty bread.

The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine – The French Culinary Institute

I could have saved $40,000 and 6 months, endless cuts and burns, bad hair days, bruised egos, fashion disasters, gas that could peel the paint off the side of a barn, and having cats follow me home because I smelled like a mackerel! If I’d only waited 5 years… Y’all have heard me prattle on … Continue reading The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine – The French Culinary Institute →

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

One of my favorite parts of cooking school was our time in the bread kitchen. There is something so tactile, immediate and rewarding about making bread. All your senses are activated alerting you that you are about to consume something so simple yet so profound. Alice Waters visited the French Culinary Institute and I was … Continue reading The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread →

Patricia Wells’ Vegetable Harvest

In New York in early May, I found myself on a Thursday evening with cancelled plans. Thank goodness for Dorie Greenspan. She immediately invited me to her sit-down interview with Patricia Wells that evening at the Alliance Francaise. Patricia was in town promoting her new book, Vegetable Harvest. Dorie and Patricia are such good friends … Continue reading Patricia Wells’ Vegetable Harvest →

Le Pre Verre et Chef Delacourcelle

Le Pre Verre is one of my all time favorite restaurants in Paris. I recommend it to anyone who will listen, and even those who won’t. Unassumingly self-characterized as a “bar au vin” or wine bar, it is much more than that. The man behind the stove is Chef Philippe Delacourcelle who spent many years … Continue reading Le Pre Verre et Chef Delacourcelle →

Jacques Pepin Gets Personal

Bonjour mes amis — my apologies for the delay in posting this today. I’ve had an enfer (hell) of a time getting Blogger to upload my pics but I think all is well in cyberspace. Nothing a mid-afternoon glass of wine can’t resolve 🙂 A little culinary bird told me that Jacques Pepin was going … Continue reading Jacques Pepin Gets Personal →

Dejeuner des Femme Phenomenale

Bonjour mes amis! Apologies for going AWOL on y’all the past few months. I’ve been contending with some health issues including emergency surgery here in Paris but I’m finally getting my energy back and am ready to cook! My last Phenomenal Women Dinner was so heartwarming I thought I’d try it on the other side … Continue reading Dejeuner des Femme Phenomenale →

Opa! for Nopa!

Spicy Lamb Flatbread, Red Onions, Sumac and Pinenuts One of my all-time-favorite movies is My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I loved when the crazy aunt with the absorbed twin would hoist her shot glass, shout “OPA!” and slam back the ouzo. I want to be doing that at her age! I wanted to do it … Continue reading Opa! for Nopa! →

Tardy at Tamarine

“You’re late!” were the first words growled at us by the manager at Tamarine. We were only about 15-20 minutes late and my friend apologized profusely explaining that they’d been moving all day and lost track of time. We even called saying we were running a bit late. Now mind you our reservation was at … Continue reading Tardy at Tamarine →

Dorie Greenspan ~ Live and Online in Paris, Part II

Last week I promised more Dorie and her heart-warming stories of life in France and cooking with Pierre Herme, Daniel Boulud and Julia Child. Voila….! It’s hard for me not to gush. I have found this oh so sweet culinary world to be acerbic so when one of the industry luminaries takes a moment to … Continue reading Dorie Greenspan ~ Live and Online in Paris, Part II →

Dorie Greenspan ~ Live and Online in Paris

Part I of II The support and endless encouragement of accomplished women in the culinary industry is in a word or two, profoundly inspiring. Whenever I am lost, down on myself, confused, pity party for 1 please, I know I can zip an email off to Jerry DiVecchio (Sunset Magazine), Linda Carucci (Cooking School Secret … Continue reading Dorie Greenspan ~ Live and Online in Paris →

La Fete des Amoureux – Valentine’s Day

Love is nothing short of a national sport here in France and the French claim to celebrate it every day of the year, not just on February 14th. It is more beloved than soccer or philosophical debate, though love plays heavily into both. All store fronts are bedecked with Valentine’s decorations but regardless of the … Continue reading La Fete des Amoureux – Valentine’s Day →

Bonne Année 2007 de Paris!

pork loin stuffed with dried apricots and cranberries in Sauterne and tied with dental floss… No culinary disasters to speak of occurred this holiday however it was not without its hair-raising, stress-inducing, blood-vessel-bursting, screaming-for-wine moments. Bare with me here…. Freak-out #1: 4:30pm Start cooking for 11 people who are arriving at 8:00pm. Yes, start. Luckily, … Continue reading Bonne Année 2007 de Paris! →

The Lowdown on Sweet Lowdown

On my last trip back to San Francisco for Thanksgiving, I made a brief detour through Atlanta for the opening of the latest, hottest, hippest joint in town. One of the owners is a former co-worker from a Very Large Software Company just down the road off 101. Not realizing that it takes the same … Continue reading The Lowdown on Sweet Lowdown →