The nickname “LJack” was born out of necessity in middle school because of the abundance of Laurens in my small school. The name has since stuck and become a personal identity. An equally important part of that identity is my lifelong passion for 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 seemingly out of nowhere, 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 finally acknowledge that food and the artistry of its preparation were something I needed in my life. I put my money where my mouth is 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. It was there that I found how even the most beautiful and perfect of dishes could be enhanced by the right glass of wine, so, I started studying wine and got my sommelier certification. Nowadays it could be argued that know too much about food and drink (read: know it all), but I’ll never be finished learning.

I am now 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 and my forays into food. I’m sharing with you my knowledge as well as 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. Food and wine can transport us to anywhere and any time.


Auberge du Soleil with Rose