Chef Laura Taylor
Like so many of us, I grew up in the kitchen in my hometown of Houston/Sugar Land, Texas. Many of my childhood memories revolve around food, cooking, and a dream to open a healthy restaurant one day. Little did I know then that I was on a path with a collective of experiences to serve people in their own home kitchens instead.
Upon graduation from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, my journey landed me in Catering Sales Management and Private Event Directorship with Clubcorp, Marriott, and El Gaucho Bellevue. I was an active member of the National Association for Catering and Events for 9 years in both the Houston and Greater Seattle Area chapters, including board-level service as Treasurer and Chapter President. Through NACE, I achieved the CPCE designation as well as an award for Best Catered Event of the Year 2009.
After 10 years on that course, I left El Gaucho and took the leap into entrepreneurship. I love to cook. I love to help people. It’s a natural fit to start a company like Honest to Goodness. Now I cook for people who don’t love to cook, don’t have time to cook, or don’t know how to handle their special diet. Through the United States Personal Chef Association, I attained the designation of Certified Personal Chef (CPC) and was nominated in 2015 and 2017 for Personal Chef of the Year. Most recently, I have been honored with the Class of 2023 Enterprising Women of the Year Award.
As this company has grown so significantly since 2012, my role is now as the CEO and visionary for future growth. Thank you for trusting our Puget Sound personal chef team at Honest to Goodness to serve your goals for a healthier lifestyle.
Highlights from Laura's Menus
- Silky Fennel-Pumpkin Soup with Crème Fraîche, Toasted Pepitas, Roasted Chestnuts, and Maple Syrup Drizzle
- Dungeness Crab Stuffed Lobster Tail with Curried Tomato Broth
- Butternut Squash Galette with Caramelized Onions and Crumbled Gorgonzola
- Caprese Stuffed Heirloom Tomato with Burrata, Basil, and Pear Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Agrodolce Caponata Stuffed Eggplant with Toasted Pine Nuts and Rapini
- Ras el Hanout Chicken with Preserved Lemon, Olives, and Fingerling Potatoes
- Classic Osso Bucco on Creamy Fontina Polenta with Lemon-Parsley Gremolata
- Kampot Peppercorn Beef Roulade with Dijon Cream Sauce
- Grilled Swordfish with Herbs and Charred Lemon Salsa Verde
- Mezcal Marinated Grilled Bison with Roasted Tomato Sofrito
- Lamb Chasseur with Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Brandy, and Herbes de Provence
Chocolate Pizzelle Ice Cream Sandwiches
More about Laura
What is your earliest memory of preparing food/cooking?
Probably with the supervision of our father, my sister and I made a Mother’s Day breakfast for our mom when we were young. Unfortunately, the family dog managed to jump up onto the table to devour most of the meal before our mom could enjoy it.
Of all the meals you have enjoyed while traveling, what is the most memorable and why?
Wow, that is a tough question! I’m grateful to have traveled quite extensively around the world with so many delicious food memories! Just before the pandemic, I traveled through the Baltic region including Finland, Estonia, and St. Petersburg, Russia. In Helsinki, I savored the most exquisite tasting menu at Restaurant Natura. The courses included elk tartare with fermented chili and buttermilk mousse, grilled cauliflower with Finnish cheddar and apple, pumpkin soup with pumpkin seed praline, and Lapland cheese with quince and leek-ash crispbread.
Is there a food that you dislike that may surprise us?
Mushrooms! I know, it’s sacrilege for a chef not to like mushrooms but they are just not my thing.
Who is your favorite famous chef and why?
Anthony Bourdain for his exploration of international cuisines and cultures and his sardonic sense of humor. I do not, however, have the cohones to eat many of the things he ate on his travels.
What would you consider to be your strongest skill/gift culinarily?
I have a sixth sense about timing, knowing the order in which to prepare things based on prep and cooking times as well as managing multiple components while in the kitchen.
Seeing as how we are experts in dietary restrictions, do you have a favorite ingredient substitution or recipe that you recommend?
One go-to vegan recipe that always blows people’s minds is Ayinde Howell’s Hearts of Baltimore Crab Cakes from his cookbook The Lusty Vegan. He substitutes hearts of palm for the crab which is pure genius!
Would you describe your “perfect dining experience” in your mind?
This would have to be on a beautiful beach with temperatures not too hot or too cold. Perhaps a campfire nearby and definitely upbeat background instrumental music like bossa nova or tropical vibes. I would dine with my sweetheart and/or inner circle of friends. We’d start with gin & tonics (extra lime, extra gin 😉) or London Mules, charcuterie, Greek salad, dry-aged filet mignon, lots of grilled veggies (except mushrooms), robust red wines, and tiramisu served with espresso.
If you weren’t a Chef entrepreneur, what alternate career path would you have chosen?
Hands down, a travel planner and guide!