“My passion in cooking is creating sensory memories with others, giving others the knowledge and confidence to cook more and create their own food story.”
Have you eaten something so delicious and cried over it? For Chef Lori, this was an unforgettable experience which became a turning point for her to find out what she is really passionate about - after finding herself weeping over a plate of salmon. From starting her own supper club to fuel her interest in cooking to working as a personal chef, Chef Lori’s strong interest in cooking and desire to share her passion with others led her to start Crave Cuisine - with the mission of bringing healthier cuisine to the community!
With more than a decade of experience in cooking, Chef Lori continues to immerse herself in the culinary scene and is known to be a five star rated chef today. Keep reading to learn more about Chef Lori’s story, and how she is inspiring people with healthful eating practices in her classes today!
Hi Lori, can you introduce yourself to our community and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?
I offer cooking classes & interactive cooking parties in your kitchen or mine! Our classes are unique because we are cooking in a real catering kitchen as a team to usually create a full meal that we will all enjoy together at the end of class. There is a lot of teamwork involved as you rotate to stations to gets hands-on experience preparing a different dish or course of the meal. We try to give you as many tips along the way to help you sharpen your skills and learn more about the cuisine
Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?
When I had my own kitchen in college, I’ve begun hosting “family dinners” for my friends. Pretty soon, they became too expensive, so I started charging people to come. My college roommates were not interested in cooking. So after cooking only in a rice cooker in the dorm room, I was very inspired by the actual kitchen I could call my own when I moved into an apartment.
The food network had just launched and gave me the inspiration to try my own hand at making my own recipes and testing them out on my roommates. I was very inspired by Julia Child & Ina Garten. Once I was out of college, I turned this into my backyard “supper club”.
What does your passion mean to you?
It is creating sensory memories with others, giving others the knowledge and confidence to cook more and create their own food story. In 2001, I cried over a plate of salmon in beurre blanc sauce in a restaurant in Paris. Very soon after that, I decided to become a personal chef and live out my passion. I realized how food can create such an emotional response. It was good, It made me cry and realize that I was self-trained enough to go for it and become a personal chef.
What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?
I’m a food nerd. I love teaching others little tidbits about food & techniques. It is my desire to help people express themselves through their food and feed their family and friends with love!
How would you describe the link between your classes and the community around you?
People bond over food and I love that people meet in my classes, work together and become friends over a meal!
Tell us about your favorite moment/ biggest achievement since you started teaching your classes.
When one of my students loved what he learned so much that he was able to get his entire family together on another day so that we could all spend a day cooking together.
What is your favorite dish and the story behind it?
Greek spaghetti - It was something I just threw together when I just started cooking. I cooked for my parents in lieu of rent when I first come home from college. They were so impressed.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn more about your passion?
Start with the basics. Knife skills is an absolute must so that you can utilize your most important tool (knife) safely and gain confidence.
How long have you been living in Chicago? What are some insider tips you’d like to recommend to someone who just moved to the city?
I’ve lived in Chicago for 30 years (until I was 13 and then moved back when I was 25). Walk the city as much as you can! You see so much when you just wander!
What is your favorite moment/story you’ve had between you and your students?
When we all laugh together. It is typically when I tell a “mistake” I’ve made at an event.
What are your goals for the future?
Cook, Teach, Learn new cuisines.
Any recommendations to someone who might want to start their own business?
Just do it! You only live once. Find your passion and make it into a business.
What does Verlocal mean to you?
It means that people of all walks of life are following their passion and offering these pretty cool experiences for others to try, learn & grow. Verlocal is the awesome & easy portal that links us all together.
Share one quote that resonates with you the most and what it means for you?
“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” ― Julia Child
If you are a host on Verlocal and would love to feature on host spotlight, send us an email at [email protected] with a short paragraph about why you want to be featured!
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