Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A Chef's Delicious Journey!

Ratatouille in a Bowl

 Ratatouille with Capers & Olives

Seeded Baguette 

Ratatouille with Crusty Bread

Ratatouille with a Delicious Merlot 
Welcome to my Delicious Culinary World!

We passionate chefs, home cooks and foodies, all have a story to tell and this is my inspiring story! 

My delicious journey into culinary heaven 
as a self-taught vegan Mediterranean chef started at age 7 with my decision to become a vegetarian. Having asked my mom to prepare vegetarian foods, her reply was: ‘It’s time for you to learn how to cook so that you can make any kind of foods to your liking’. 

I started cooking and found absolute joy in experimenting with the bounty of fresh vegetables and herbs (lavender always being my favorite) from our organic garden. The first dish that I made was a delicious
ratatouille (classic Proven├žal vegetable stew, originated in Nicewith capers and olives, which I still make throughout the year with varieties of seasonal, organic vegetables and fresh herbs. Though, ratatouille is often enjoyed with rice, pasta or couscous, I love eating and serving it in a bowl with seeded baguette or crusty breads and a glass of beautifully aged Merlot or Pinot Noir.

This early encounter with the joy of cooking and baking led me to create Lavender Cuisine, because cooking and baking are truly my greatest passion! I offer personal chef servicesprivate and public vegan Mediterranean cooking, baking, chocolate & wine pairing classes (individual, couples & groups) and catering (up to 25 people) throughout Santa Cruz County and the South Bay. I use varieties of fresh, organic, seasonal, local produce (farm-to-table) and ingredients from farmer’s markets and small-family-owned grocery stores in Santa Cruz.

The name Lavender Cuisine comes from my wonderful experience with the amazing healing power of lavender—a story that has its origins in my early childhood in the south of France. I was introduced to lavender at the age of six. My mom used to make me a glass of warm milk infused with lavender flowers and honey whenever I had an upset stomach or could not sleep. It always made me feel good and was simply wonderful. 

I learned the art of cooking and baking with culinary lavender (organic culinary lavender adds a delightful and  exotic flavor to any sweet or savory creation) and vegan Mediterranean cooking at a very young age by experimenting with varieties of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains and pasta and loving the results. 

Lavender and vegan Mediterranean cuisine have touched my life in many magical ways and I would welcome the opportunity to introduce them into yours.

Chef Ellie Lavender 
Vegan Mediterranean Personal Chef
Culinary & Wine Pairing Instructor
Artisan Chocolatier
Lavender Design + Cuisine

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