I can't remember not cooking.
I grew up in Northern France, in a family where everybody cooked.
My first job was shelling peas. I must have been around three years old.
Then I learned how to clean lettuce and peel apples. I took my first baking class in first grade.
I distinctly recall wondering who invented mayonnaise – we always made our own,
and who thought of
turning egg whites into meringue – very difficult to achieve in a rainy climate,
because the eggs won’t dry properly.
I was passionate about fresh, local, seasonal foods
long before they became fashionable.
It began with plucking red currants from our neighbors' bushes at age three,
and came into focus when I pulled my first carrot out of the garden at age six. ---
I love to share the seasonality, the spontaneity, the spirit of adventure that come from returninghome with
an armload of produce I didn't know I was going to buy. I am like a kid in a candy store at the market.
So many things look good,
I want them all.
---I am a good cook, more than a chef. I bring playfulness to the craft of cooking.
My daughter Julia and I have a great time togehter in the kitchen
I have cooked in a restaurant, but I much prefer the intimacy of cooking in a home,
you can indulge in a handcrafted,
one-of- a-kind experience, rather than having to serve the same dish faithfully everyday.
More than technical knowledge, it is the spirit of delight in the magic of cooking
that I want you to retain
from our time together.
Because if it isn't fun,
no matter how competent you become,
you still won't want to cook.
Few aspects of food and wine in our area are secret from me.
I am the leader of Slow Food Santa Barbara, and the Food & Wine Editor for Food & Home magazine.
I wrote a weekly food column for the Santa Barbara Independent for over a decade.
I directed the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association, and pioneered the concept of an organic beach grill.
My writings have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Gastronomica, and Saveur Magazine.
Santa Barbara has been my home since 1983.
When I am not writing, cooking, or leading a culinary class I assist in the operations of Penryn Orchard Specialties,
a small, highly diversified orchard in the foothills of the Sierras.
To reserve your space in an upcoming class or to arrange a private event just for your group,
please call Laurence Hauben at 259-7229, or e-mail Laurence