In middle school the nickname LJack came about as a solution to differentiate me from the eight other Laurens in my grade (at what was already a very small school). The name has since stuck and become a personal identity.

Enough about names, lets talk about food. All I ever want to talk about is food. I read about it, I dream about it, and obviously I eat about it. I don’t really know where the passion arose from, but it flew at me like a bat out of hell and I’ve never been able to turn away.

After high school I floated around for a bit, working in restaurants here and there. I fished myself out of that stupor and scooted over to Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, where I studied Culinary Arts. When I finished that program I realized I was nowhere near finished learning, so I enrolled at the University of Florida to study Food Science and Human Nutrition. Somehow, I found myself living in Fargo, North Dakota, assisting with the Food and Beverage program of a high-end hotel. I started studying wine and got my sommelier certification. So, nowadays I  know too much about food and drink.

I am back in my hometown, Sarasota, Florida. I teach locals how to feed their families through classes taught in my home or theirs. I never have enough projects going on in my life (and by that I mean I always have too many), so I’ve added one more to the mix. Please enjoy my blog, my forays into food, and my travel dreams that I can only realize by cooking the food of other cultures and pretending I am at a 5 star hotel in my dream destination.