Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
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!
Cucina Testa Rossa's Latest Posts
No dinner party of mine is complete without at least one culinary disaster. I was still reeling from my 36 hour flight back to Paris peppered with 4 stops, rain delays, circling over Wisconsin, a refueling stop in Rockford Illinois, 2 missed connections, lost luggage, stolen items, no water and cranky flight attendants and still […]
“Pretty women wonder where my secret liesI’m not cute or built to suit a model’s fashion size…” – Maya Angelou The minute I saw it, I knew I had to have it and I knew what I had to do. A shoe this captivating, this spectacular, this dramatic and dazzling requires a very special occasion […]
If you didn’t get your fill of what the French consider a very “bizarre bird” and have a hankering to roast up another turkey over the holidays, here’s what not to do… My Paris flatmates, John and Pierre, announced a few months ago that this year Thanksgiving was going to be in San Francisco and […]
picture from Williams-Sonoma web site Lately I’ve received a slew of emails requesting ideas, recipes, and menus for Thanksgiving so I thought it might help if I posted a list of recipes and ideas from some past meals and some of my favorite chefs and resources. This first set is courtesy of Williams-Sonoma who can […]
Autumn harvest from the market ~ potimarron, squash, pomegranates, persimmons and little green kiwai How six months morphed into thirty months is more than my little brain can comprehend. When I set out on this culinary adventure with one duffel bag, three pairs of shoes (including my cooking clogs) and my precious set of knives, […]
Willy Wonka’s in da’ house! It’s that time of year again… the fabulous, and now worldwide, Salon du Chocolat. Picture a convention center. Then picture a convention center filled with chocolate. There you have the Salon du Chocolat. On Monday, I trekked across town to the Paris Expo to taste chocolate from the global greats […]
Monsieur Poulet at the Nice farmers market. The colors of the feathers were the most vibrant I’d even seen. I never thought of a chicken as beautiful until I saw this one. And some shiny purple-striped eggplant at the Maubert-Mutualite farmers market just down the street. Who knew this beautiful purple globe could be the […]
On a small farm on the west coast of France in a little town called Vendée a stone’s throw from the beach, a regal fig tree hung heavy with fruit. My flatmate Pierre spied these little purple ornaments and quickly filled up a bag just before hopping on a train headed for Paris. Pierre called […]
Bernard and his family runs the organic produce stand – he is always ready with a big smile for everyone. I’ve posted many times about my little Place Monge farmers market and the beautiful produce, artisanal cheeses and saucisson, farm fresh eggs straight from the nest and luscious foie gras but I’ve never introduced the […]
Pierre Herme’s moanable macarons – my favorite is the passion fruit, the three in the right column. Twice a year the magnificent patisserie Pierre Herme introduces his new line of pastries, a la the House of Dior or Michael Kors. Just when you think he has done it all, Pierre Herme creates semething even more […]
Peppers from Happy Quail Farms Much is written about the San Francisco Farmer’s Market but nary a word about the humble little Menlo Park Farmer’s Market. Held every Sunday in the parking lots between Santa Cruz Avenue and Menlo Avenue, this little market has grown in the past fifteen years from just a few stands […]
If you have spent the past year in a Tibetan monastery (or in France without a TV), you might not have heard of Bravo’s Top Chef show. For the other four billion, you have no doubt been treated to some of the most delicious drama since JR got shot. Earlier this year ago I received […]
striped bass from San Francisco Fish Company stuffed with fennel, basil, onions, garlic and lemons Whenever I come back to this spectacular City by the Bay, I make a beeline for the Ferry Building which my friend Tracy calls “complete sensory overload”. I call it heaven. The Ferry Building is a food lovers version of […]
I first washed up on the shores of France almost two and a half years ago to cook at the Cannes Film Festival. It was the start of a six month tour cooking my way around the country. Six months turning into eight which turned into a year which has miraculously morphed into two and […]