On this week’s podcast, I speak with Laurie Boucher. Laurie is a self-described attorney turned pasta-preneur, and is the woman behind the Instagram account @BaltimoreHomeCook. We discuss how she got into pasta-making, and her pasta-related activities which include selling pasta boards and hard to find Sardinian pasta cutters, as well as the pasta-shaped jewelry and ornaments that she makes. She also does pasta-making classes. We talk about her culinary school experience, some of her favorite culinary resources, and the new Arcobaleno pasta extruder that she recently picked up.
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Welcome to the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast i'm your host Chris Spear. On the show i have conversations with culinary entrepreneurs and people in the food and beverage industry who took a different route. They're caterers, research chefs, personal chefs, cookbook authors, food truckers, farmers, cottage bakers, and all sorts of culinary renegades. I fall into the personal chef category as i started my own personal chef business Perfect Little Bites 10 years ago. And while i started working in kitchens in the early 90s, I've literally never worked in a restaurant. On the show this week i speak with Laurie Boucher. Laurie's a self described attorney turned pasta-preneur, and is the woman behind the instagram account @baltimorehomecook. We discuss how she got into pasta making and her pasta related activities which includes selling pasta boards and hard to find sardinian pasta cutters as well as the jewelry and ornaments that she makes from her dried pasta. She also does pasta making classes, and we talked about her culinary school experience, some of her favorite culinary resources, and the new arcobaleno pasta extruder that she recently picked up. And once again i recently started a Patreon to help support the Chefs Without Restaurants organization and podcast, so if you love what i'm doing here please check it out. You can go to patreon.com/Chefs ithoutRestaurants, or the link is in the show notes. I really appreciate the support. And now, on with the show. Thanks so much for listening, and have a great week. Hey laurie how's it going? Thanks for coming on the show.Laurie Boucher:
i'm doing well. Thanks for having meChris Spear:
yeah this is exciting i love i love pasta and seeing all the interesting things you're doing online it gets me hungry every time i see your pictures which you post almost every single day Well i'm not cooking every single day sometimes i'll do a few productions and then i sort of post them throughout the week. if i make pasta every single day i probably have an uprising around here two or three times a week is enough for the family yeah i need to do more of that and get better at kind of like batching out a day and just having like one or two production days and stretching out content for the next week or so so for most of our listeners out there i'll give you a very i'll give them a very brief intro so you describe yourself as a lawyer turn pasta printer and you have the instagram which is baltimore home cook which is a really exciting one i love watching and seeing all the cool stuff you're doing so i'd love to hear a little bit about your your background so like growing up are you into food and eating did you have a culture of food in your household and then how did you get into pasta okay so i grew up in italian american household so my mother's side is from sicily my dad's side is from calabria i'm third generation and you know we didn't grow up making homemade pasta but we probably had it two to three times a week every sunday was macaroni meatball day for lunch and then for dinner was pizza so i didn't really grow up doing that i you know my background i'm an attorney by profession i've been practicing since 1992 and my food journey sort of started about five years ago with a little more intensity we had some parents that had fallen ill some caretaking responsibilities and so trying to practice law and keeping up a litigation law firm was just proving difficult so at that time i found that i sort of changed my practice from litigation to mediation which i still do now very infrequently but at the time i found i had a little more time on my hands i have toLaurie Boucher:
Teenagers, they're kind of, you know, do their thing. So I decided to pursue culinary school was one of my dreams from a long time ago. I've always been a home cook, but I just felt like, Oh, I think I need to have a little more training and just, you know, why not? So I took my first course trying to figure out how am I going to balance all of this and, and it went really great. I found that when I was in school, I just forgot about everything else. It was such a great escape. And so it was great. And then how I got into pasta a little more, I guess professionally was about three or four years ago, I started just making pasta for fun. Actually, my first meal that I ever made for my husband was a spinach infused fettuccine. So I've kind of been doing the color thing a little bit, or the infusion, I should say, for a long time, that was probably 20 years ago. So I've always had sort of fun doing it. And at the time I started culinary school is when I started my Instagram. And really, it was just a way for me to chronicle my journey. And actually, when I look back at some of my earlier posts, I just kind of shudder you know, because it's been quite a journey. But I think my very first post four years ago was a garden le which is a hand rolled shape similar to a pen a, it's different, because it has ridges and it has a seam and etc. So I started I remember at one point, I sort of fell into a lot of these pasta accounts. And I just started one of them in particular was Linda Nicholson who does salty Seattle, she's the queen of color on Instagram. So I would see her things. And I would start, you know, trying them out. And at one point, we just started talking and she told me she was going to be writing a book. And so I sort of informally offered to do some recipe testing and looking at her recipes. And actually, when her book was published, I had no idea but she actually acknowledged me in her book, which was so thrilling for me because I admire and respect her. She is the queen of all the colorful pasta with natural herbs and superfoods. But it was very, very, just very exciting for me. So at the time, I thought, you know, people have been asking me through the years to teach them how to make pasta, my husband's colleagues, friends, and I thought, Oh, I wonder if I could do this and maybe design a couple of unique pasta classes and see if anyone will hire me. I thought, Oh, I'm in culinary school gives me a little bit of legitimacy. So I sort of spent a few months and put together some unique classes. And I went door to door I just you know pestered people. And before I knew it, I was hired at the chef shop in Baltimore, Baltimore, Chef shop, kitchen studio, cooking school and a few other places. And so that's sort of, and I realized very quickly, they didn't really care about culinary school. They just cared if I could make pasta and teach it to others successfully. So that's sort of how I got into the teaching part of it. Of course, I finished call aneri school because it was a challenge I actually just earned by Culinary Arts degree in December. Congratulations. 2020. Yeah. So so that's the, I guess, a long winded answer of how I got into pasta. What's funny, I don't think anyone usually goes to culinary school thinking that would be less hectic. You know, like, the food industry being real being really hard. And you're like, Oh, well, things are hectic. So I went to culinary school. It's like, Whoa, well, I didn't know what to expect going to culinary school. I didn't. You know, I was in law school so long ago. And it was interesting because I, you know, I'm very interested in doing well academically. I've always been that sort of annoying student, you know, sitting in the front row raising my hands and my kids. were sort of laughing because I became so overwhelmed with the homework, but I was on a mission to do well in school. So it was very hectic from the school standpoint, I'm attending or I'm actually still currently attending because I'm going to do my baking and pastry degree. I'm at Anna Rundle Community College h cat Institute. And it was a pretty challenging course. I mean, there were some semesters where, again, I had mentioned we had some sick parents and we had moved them here. So you know, one semester I think I sat in an assisted living doing homework with my father in law. So it was kind of a mess. But again, it was my outlet and I knew if I put that aside, I would just become completely encompassed with everything else. So it was a great relief and break for me from everything else. So I'm glad I did it. I think I found you through Christina at the kitchen studio, which is here in Frederick where I live and I taught a class I did a southern cooking dinner party with her a while ago. So she's really the first person who was really I want to say nice to me when I moved to town like I moved to Frederick in 2007 wasn't from here. I tried networking with a bunch of chefs and didn't really connect with any of the restaurant chefs or people in town but christine was this person who i saw out and about all the time i mean you know her personality is she's fantastic and bubbly and excited about food and was just really the first person who really wanted to connect on a professional level in town and yeah i really enjoyed doing my my cooking class there i think she she has a really interesting thing going it'll be interesting to see how it transitions you know closing her in person shop and then moving into the virtual i know you did some have done some virtual stuff during COVID correct i did in fact i'm teaching a class for her in kitchen studio cooks so i had the same exact experience with her when i reached out to her she immediately got back to me which you don't often find in this industry it's um you know i think i had to sort of change my mindset where you know if i call someone or if i say i'm going to call someone i call them if i say i'm going to email them like so she was the first person that reached out she actually traveled to my house i said if you want to see what i'm doing other than these photos i'm sending you so she came with one of her employees and we had the best time and she was so enthusiastic and so supportive and i just i'm such a big fan of hers i think she's wonderful and i know she's going to transition into something i mean unfortunately her business was you know affected by COVID but i'm thrilled that she's still doing some things online and i'm grateful that she asked me to continue teaching for her via zoom and i'm hoping when things resume i'd love to work with her again because like you said she's so much fun she's so bubbly she's she is a glass is half full type person and that's the type of person i am there is always a silver lining and she sees it so we get along pretty well yeah so you're planning on doing like potentially in person classes once we can go back to doing that that's something you have your sights set on right so for the past three years i've been doing in person classes again at the chef shop at kitchen studio cooking school and then actually right before COVID i started in this was sort of like i'm always thinking what is my next thing going to be so a friend of mine who is sort of at the same station of life and she really loves pasta she got into it and i said you know how do you feel about maybe working with me and trying to do some pasta classes locally so again i took a couple of months put this program together got sort of a traveling pasta kitchen and started hitting up local breweries so we had these ravioli classes going i had one at full tilt it was successful i brought all the equipment it was great and then we had a whole schedule lined up for about two months all over baltimore and then COVID so everything is sort of gathering a little bit of dust in my closet but i hope that once COVID is over i can resume doing those community events because they're just a lot of fun i mean i have to always be careful when i'm especially if i'm hired to do something because honestly i would probably do it for free and that's the message to me that i'm really where i'm supposed to be i mean i would i would do it for free and actually i did over COVID i don't know if you saw but i sort of started this pasta project where i was feeling very helpless you know i couldn't go to school school was shut down i couldn't do my events i couldn't teach so i ended up just offering southern handmade pasta for free to anyone that wanted it and before i knew it i had so many people responding i went to the restaurant store i got a couple back like 50 pound bags of flour semolina flour i had to break out my cavatelli machine so my you know thought that i'd be sitting here you know listening to my louis prima hans rolling pasta quickly became a little bit of a business so i had to think about you know cooking instructions and storing instructions and getting a schedule together and delivery and pickup and honest to god for six weeks i probably spent six hours a day making and giving away pasta and it really got me through COVID so that was really fun yeah a lot of people turn to bread but it sounds like pasta was definitely your thing i do have a starter i did did do that as well have to admit that was a big challenge one of the things i'm really interested in are the flavors you know when you go to a store and buy commercial pasta it seems like it's all the same it's like one dough but 800 shapes but yours you know it's like i just i think your latest post is it's a haritha you had one that's like a nada like getting all these interesting flavors in there which also give a vibrant color but how hard is that to adapt a recipe like how much tinkering does it take once you start adding in purees and other things that aren't just water it's it's really not difficult at all and again um you know linda came out with her book pasta pretty pleased and she gives recipe on how to do really almost every color in the rainbow so if anyone that's listening is interested i want encouraging in them getting that book but it's really no more than just blending either a fresh vegetable herb or superfood and when i say superfood i mean something like you know activated charcoal something that you're using in a culinary dose i mean nothing going crazy and you blend it either with water or with egg and whatever that puree color is is pretty much what your pasta is going to be so you know there's different factors if i'm trying to make a blue pasta which i made later on today i wouldn't want to mix that with egg because blue and yellow you know will not maintain the blue so it's a lot of little trial and error but dry powders are very accessible on amazon and you really only need maybe a teaspoon or so added into a regular dough recipe so again it's it's not that hard to do and then there's shapes i think one of the other cool things is i mean we'll talk a little bit about your boards and your cutters but you've also leaned on non traditional kind of things to roll your pasta which i think is interesting what are some of your favorite non traditional non classic things to shape pasta on so um you know it goes back to when you talk about the shapes or the tools so the shapes i find sardinian tools sardinian shapes very beautiful the ancient shapes that you don't really see a lot of so i had this encyclopedia of pasta and i you know i read cookbooks like i do any type of book and i kept coming across these beautiful shapes so it was a deep dive into the internet and so i like trying to make these different shapes it's very hard to find recipes because some of them are passed down through family so even in the encyclopedia of pasta it will give you a list of ingredients but it won't tell you the quantities or the measurements or anything like that so when i started seeing the shapes that's sort of how i got into the tools so the very first tool that i saw that i had never seen before was this sardinian brass cutter and what it does is it will cut a very unique shapes and most people that make pasta they know a straight clip cutter or a fluted cup cutter so you just get that zigzag so these tools were making these edges that were so unique and so beautiful and so this was maybe about three years ago and i would see them on instagram and i would reach out to people asking for information and i just was hitting a wall no one wanted to share you know where they got it how they got it and it was really frustrating for me because i pretty much share anything if someone asked me for a recipe i send it i tried to show people how i'm doing things because it's just you know there's nothing proprietary about food in my opinion so if i'm going to show you something that's beautiful or pretty i want you to be able to replicate it i mean that's i mean that's what it's about for me it's kind of crazy with the tool i couldn't find anything so i thought you know i'm gonna see what i can do so i actually hired an engineer down at what was the foundry it's a maker space down in baltimore i think it's since closed and just with some photographs and you know we tried to get something that worked but it wasn't really working so eventually i decided i'm just going to you know figure this out i spent a summer in florence italy when i was in law school and i still have some friends there so i reached out to one friend in particular whose parents are from sardinia and it was just the deepest dive into the internet where i finally found someone who is now sort of mind liaison which with a bunch of artists that still make these tools they're all handmade i don't know who any of the artisans are i don't know who makes them they don't really want me to know so the first time i made an order i'm like i know people are going to buy these my husband thought i was absolutely crazy and i said the worst it's going to happen is i lose this initial investment but i know people are going to be interested if they like pastry or pasta and they want to make it prettier unique they're going to buy these things so really it was i've never spoken to any of these people it was all google translate went to the bank did a bank transfer first shipment came and i was thrilled so then i had to set up an etsy shop that was definitely a hurdle so that's how i sort of got into my initial like tool addiction so i have seven different styles that i sell on etsy and and i love it so i've seen them sold other places online again with these deep dives but it they're really hard to come by so i'm just glad that i have them i've sold them all over the world i've sold them to japan to the Buy, I sell everywhere and people buy them. So my concept was proven. Thank God, that's crazy that it's so protected like that, you know you I mean, I guess they probably can't super mass produce them and just don't want to get into having everyone in the world requesting them? Well, it's the way it sounds, they're all handmade. And I think that the few people that I did reach out to, you know, there's very when it comes to pasta, there's people that are very traditional, where I, you know, I, on occasion, I've had someone reach out to me and say, you know, you're not from Sardinia, this is a shape that's native to us, you shouldn't be posting this. And, you know, I may I do what makes me happy. So, you know, my thing is, if I can make a tool available so that other people can make something that's unique, why not, I mean, why protect it and hover over it and be selfish with it. So I'm thrilled when people buy them. I'm thrilled when I see what they're making with them. So why not. And then you have the pasta boards to where are those coming from? So the pasta boards, everything's a little bit of a story, I'll try to keep them short. But so I teach a southern hand formed pasta class which is just semolina or double brown simola, Remo chinata, which is a double grande semolina and waterbased up. And so you know, I do have a little bit of an addiction to pasta tool. So I collect different things like coarse Eddie's and Yaki boards. There's a few artisans on online on Instagram that just have beautiful work, and I and I use them when I teach. But I also when I'm teaching a class, whether it's in person or on zoom, you know, not everyone is going to be like me, most of my students are making pasta for the first time, they're not going to go buy a board from Japan for $100. You know, that's crazy. So I sort of have accumulated a bunch of household tools that people would be able to find in their kitchen, and I show them how to make unique shapes just with what they may have. And then if they get the pasta bog, and they want to know where I get my stuff, I tell them So, um, one of the things I used to do was I would just do a DIY board using skewers or something like that, I would glue them on a board or tape the ends together and show people how you could get unique texture. And so one day I posted something using something that gave me a really unique texture, and I got so many questions about you know, what were you using, what kind of board was that I've never seen anything like that. Because most Yaki boards are, it's just the same pattern across, it's just ridges that you would roll on. And you can get different patterns if you roll straight on or at an angle or just, you know, 90 degrees different. But this thing I just sort of cobbled together myself, so I thought okay, so I need to figure out how to make a product or get a product made. Because I'm not going to be sitting here cutting and gluing skewers to boards, no one's gonna buy those. So one of the artisans that I love working with is Bill Anderson, he's based in Oregon. He's a woodworker. And he on his Instagram name is wooden essentials. And he and I have a great relationship. I have several of his just beautiful boards and products that he's made. So I reached out to him. I said, I know it's kind of crazy. But I have this pattern of a board. It's an idea, would you be willing to maybe try to do it? And I didn't think he would. But he did. He embraced it. So, you know, we had all these meetings back and forth. And actually, I have them right here so I can show you. So he did it. And each side has a different pattern on it. And he sent me a bunch of prototypes, and I use them and I found the one that worked and replicated what I had put together and that's how the board came about. So I call them my bullet boards. And I'll tell you this because this is the biggest question, what is a bullet board? It's just my name do you My last name is boo chez la Laurie. So it just kind of rolls off the map. So that's why it's called the bullet board. I love those. Yeah, that's that's really cool. I've and I've seen you do things like rolling past off. Do you use like one side of like a grater like a cheese grater type thing or something? You know something like that to do texture you I'll see these pictures of pasta with like the most interesting shape and it's like, oh, you just rolled that off of like one side of a box or something. Oh, yeah. So you know so many like the Sardinian Yaki or mal radius. You know, they typically use the inside of a cheese grater and you just would roll your pasta, you make your pasta dough, you roll it into snakes, you cut it into pieces, and then you're just using your thumb to roll it over. So again, this is a class that I am teaching via zoom and and I love teaching it because there's so many unique, different shapes of pasta just using these things. So cheese graters, the bottom of a rock Glass, I use, oh, my ex does so many different things. Usually when I do a class, I'll send a list of people and I'll say look, you don't really need anything. But if you have a sushi mat if you have, you know, a cheese grater, if you have a zester, if you have anything that has some kind of texture on it, even a, a spoon, if it's got little holes in it, or a strainer, I mean, really, you can roll your pasta on almost anything. So typically in class, when I bring out my trays, our dough is resting, and I show them all the things people sort of disappear from the zoom, and they come back with all these things. And you know, they try it, they show everyone so it's really fun. So actually, my students have given me great ideas of things that I would never think to you so so it's fun. Do you have a favorite shape to make a favorite shape probably the Sardinian Yaki the one that's small with the little bumps on it, I just love that. I just think it's it's very Zen making them It takes a while, I would probably say that. And again, when I when I'm doing, when I'm teaching class, every time I get to a different shape, I teach five different shapes. And then I have a whole list of other things if people are interested. And I'll always say as I start with each shape, okay, this is the first shape we're going to do. It's one of my favorites. And that'll get to the second shape. And we're going to do a coupling to one of my favorites. And I'm like, you know, I got to stop saying that, because I love them all. It's like, you know, you can't pick a favorite child. Do you do sauces as well, when you're teaching the pasta classes, so I'm not for the zoom, we did do a simple sauce at the chef shop. So when I was doing the zoom classes with Chef shop, I would actually go into the chef shop, it was just me and someone doing the technology. When I was doing classes in person, I always had a couple of sauces. So I would have students may I would ask them, Do you want to make a meat sauce? Do you want to make a pesto? Do you want to make a red sauce, so I would give them some options. But now doing the zoom 90 minutes seems to be about the time people can handle doing a class. So I usually just end the class when we're finished making our pasta and then I'll give people suggestions. And if they want a simple sauce recipe, I just send it to them by email. So most of the Southern handshapes can go with any type of sauce, whether it's just a butter, or Sage sauce, or red sauce or a pesto. I mean, you know, I'm not too traditional when it comes to like the traditional like you should always have this type of pasta with this type of sauce. That's what I was asking. Because I know traditionally a lot of them pair well together. I didn't know how much you stuck to that. So I'll tell people so there's a shape or a trophy which you make with the side of your hand. And it's a traditional shape from Korea that you serve with a pesto and potatoes and green beans. And it's delicious. So I'll tell people that but honestly, I think for me, my my pasta point of view is, you know, this is supposed to make you happy. You know, I'm not doing this to pay my kids college tuition. Most people out there aren't going to do it either. This is really just a way to bring people together. So if you make a pattern pasta, and it's really beautiful, but you want to dump a red sauce all over it, go for it. I mean, most of the pattern pasta doesn't take on the flavor of what you're adding, it's more for the color. Unless you're doing like with the barista, for instance, I put a whole lot of her receipt in because I like the heat. If I used a little less, it would be a different color. But ultimately, by the time you cook it, you don't really get any of those tastes coming through. You mentioned my least favorite shape of pasta ever just because I cannot get that hand rolling technique down. I've tried it a number of times, I think over the course of 40 minutes, I got three singular pieces that came out perfect. I did a so for Chefs Without Restaurants, we did a pop up dinner like last summer. And my buddy Tony, who also makes pasta at home and is not a chef wanted to do like an eight course dinner in downtown DC and have four courses be handmade pasta, and he's my pasta guru. And we started working on that. And that's one of his favorites to make. And he wanted to make this sungold tomato sauce for it. And he tried putting me on the duty of rolling it and just like everyone is like no, no, like, it's you got to push like this. No, you got to push like that. And I just said, I got to jump over to like a different pasta. And I eventually did most of the sauce work because the you know, once you get into doing the pasta shapes, that's amazing. I have a video on our Instagram of him rolling and he just gets in the zone and can bang him out and he does his role and then like kind of flicks it off into a little pan and keeps going I hated it. And one of these days I'm gonna go back to it. Well, I think you just have to it's the right time and the right place. So it that's a very difficult shape. And it's actually one that I teach in the class and I show them the traditional way to make it with your hand, which you know, if you put the time and the hours in as soon as you get it, it's like riding a bike, your hand really doesn't forget it so so don't give up on that. But then I show them how to To do it a little bit easier with a bench scraper, you know, ridges, non ridges, but it's you know, I don't shy away from trying to show someone something that might be difficult because I know if they really want to work at it, they'll get it. I mean, I didn't just know how to do these things, they're still shapes that challenge me. And I still have to practice even with a shape like that. If you don't practice it, you get a little rusty. So we should do a class when we're allowed to see each other I'll show you how to do it, I'll get your rolling trophy, the same with like, he or she it like trying to get it like the right cup size and get it to like pop or invert or whatever that is, I've taken a few past classes. And I just got to keep working on that. It's it doesn't come naturally to me. Well, but and see that's another shape where I've seen it at least three different ways of making it. So you know, either you're using a knife to to roll it, and then inverting it over your thumb, whether you're simply making a cavatelli and flipping that, which I think is the easiest way to do it. And then of course, they have these women in Italy in the Bari region, which do it in the one motion, which I'm trying to think then Fado on Instagram has managed it. There's a few people that have done it. And it's it's incredible. These women will just they're on pasta grantees, you can see them they're doing it if it's the BA, ri area, that's the method of making the orchidee It's amazing. Their their speed is incredible. One motion, the dome pops up, it has so much texture to it. I can't do it. It's one of my most frustrating shapes. So I have to really find the right time and the right mindset to do it. If I'm stressed and making pasta, nothing works out.Chris Spear:
And now I see you've picked up one of the most amazing pasta extruder. So you're gonna start going down the rabbit hole with that, aren't you? Well, yes.Laurie Boucher:
So that's something that I was thinking about investing in for quite some time. Again, I thought it would be you know, something fun for family, I gift away a lot of pasta. So I had been looking at it for a while I do have the KitchenAid attachment, the extruder. And it works if you're doing it maybe once or twice a year. But I also find even with extruded pasta, the recipe that I find is is not correct. In fact, I've talked to plenty of people who have run a motor like just dead trying to get that extruder to work so it's knowing the right dough consistency, which is like a really a wet sand. But it but it was kind of frustrating. So I I actually am close to Lancaster, which is where the arco bolano pasta factory is. So I thought you know, I'm just going to go check it out. I've been contacting them for probably about a year, talk to one of the chefs there. And I said I'm just going to go do it. So I I knew I was going to just make make the jump as soon as I got it. It's the easiest machine to work. I've given away so many, like pounds of plastic or friends. I love using it. And of course even with that it's semolina and water. But there's also actually a good friend of mine, Lucy Vassar fire, she is on Instagram, she just put together a user manual for the home model. So they did have a user manual, but it needed to be updated. And I can't tell you what a fantastic job she did on that it is filled with photos and step by step. So all the questions that someone who might never have made pasta before. You know, I think a lot of times trying to teach someone making pasta, whether it's hand formed egg pasta extruded, you know, a lot of times when we talk, we assume there's some level of understanding but when someone knows nothing, it's you kind of have to spoon feed it. So I think the manual that she did for this one is great because I even had questions looking at it. But I was lucky enough to go there. I just drove there one day spent a morning with Maya, who's one of the owners We had so much fun. And yeah, so it's it's it's great fun. They're fantastic. I they used to be up at the star chefs conference in New York City, which I go to every year and they were there for five years or so. And every time they see me say what, like is it time are you going to buy one of these I've done a number of the workshops, hands on workshops up there with chefs using it, demoing it so I really got to know it and then Hari who's now theirChris Spear:
good friend of mine and you know i and podcast guests. So we talked a couple Okay, a couple months ago he was on the show and was doing it from the floor of their their kitchen there. So yeah, we talked a lot about that. If you ever get up to Rehoboth Beach has restaurants up there where he's using the machine are fantastic. So he has a whole small restaurant chain based on POS like mac and cheese like isn't that fancy? so what else do you have going on you're also doing art and jewelry with the pasta as wellLaurie Boucher:
yes so again this was another baby of COVID so um something else i was working on so you know as an attorney you have a very limited way of being creative so for me as an attorney and i always wanted to be an attorney from the time i was probably 10 years old i knew i wanted to be an attorney i don't know how i knew that we have no attorneys in the family it was very odd because i have a twin sister and she never knew what she wanted to do until she was probably 18 or 19 and she would say how do you know and i'm like i don't know i just do so it was a very easy path for me i knew what my goal was so being an attorney you can be creative with really writing an argument which is why i really enjoyed being in court but simultaneous with that even when i moved to baltimore i was always even in high school taking an art class or clay class or some type of art that just exercise the other part of my brain so it's always been there so i thought to myself i wonder if i could i had a piece of plastic one time it was a far fall a butterfly shape and it ended up on my stove it was a pattern pasta it got burned and it became hard and i said gosh if only i could you know get a hole in here without shattering it and maybe like make a necklace that would be so cool so i started thinking about i wonder how i could do that so again it was one of those things where i just had to figure it out i i've seen a lot of positive products on etsy that are made of felt so people are sewing toward fellini's things like that or they're made of cement or something that's you know could break like a ceramic or something so i found this product that actually i have a couple of here where you know it's it's pretty flexible so but it looks like pasta so this i could actually make as pasta and you know just any kind of shape i can make with pasta i make these key chains i did ornaments in fact arcobaleno when i met maya i had these little earrings she had a big poster of a garganelli and i said you know i make earrings and she just went crazy about this pasta stuff so they i sent them off a whole trees worth of ornaments which they actually put on their tree and did their christmas card with so she's been a big supporter of it so that's how i got into doing that what happens when you go out in the rain does it turn into pasta that then is wet no i mean they're pretty i had some people test them i sent some out and you know what's nice about them is they don't break i mean i could drop it it's not going to break but it still has that flexible nature and of course the yellow ones are pretty much very colors pretty true to an egg based pasta and you know i have fun doing the different patterns because sometimes i just feel like doing that so they're all in my etsy store i you know i'm surprised i'm always sort of surprised when people are you know buying this stuff but i guess if you're really into pasta it's kind of cool to wear a little pair of i should have wore a little pair of my four folly earrings or ravioli yeah we love that stuff for like you know christmas gifts we're thinking this year you know like not only wanting to support local but small businesses and really interesting stuff like who needs another standard picture or postcard that you can buy in target or something you know like finding something really unique so i think those are cool and thank you and we do comprehensive show notes so that'll all be in there so people will be able to go and buy all of your pasta jewelry do you have any other new ventures or is this enough for right now so i'm right now i'm actually talking about local i'm actually working on a couple different boards with some local woodworkers so those i'm in the middle of prototyping with that so i just i really was happy that people liked the original one that i did so again just with diy experiments and seeing what people are responding to and not being able to find them so you know i'm and i like doing something local it would be fun to have something that's ultimately when i start doing classes i can bring with me and you know people see a cool board that's not out of the world expensive you know a lot of these real true artisan tools are very expensive so it's just nice to have something that's affordable but but still is unique they're really cool i'm gonna keep working on my pasta game hopefully i have some time but i would love to to work with you at some point because let's do i'm looking to improve my pos who doesn't love pasta i love pasta you know it's fun because you know the other thing i'm working on right now and again it's COVID dependent is there's you know a couple places and a couple of people that have reached out to me both locally and not locally that for some reason find what i do interesting which you know again i'm i'm sort of like why it's it's not that hard i can show any one how to do it and i find that i would be able to learn so much from them so i'm going to be doing a couple of informal sort of internships at some cool places so you'll have to stay tuned for that but again you know not doing it really for anything other than to just expand my repertoire like you talked about you know you do a lot of sauce work you know i i don't have any training in the restaurant industry so i was lucky enough to get an in person internship for my class requirement for my degree and so i did it at the country club of maryland up in townson with shepard hoffman and could not have found a better place but you know it's it's sort of like you become an attorney you graduate you get your degree well you can't really say you're an attorney because you have to learn how to be an attorney you learn how to find the law but i never really felt like i was an attorney until i probably five years into it and it's the same i think with culinary school i don't i call myself a cook i'm not really a chef because i could not go in and do what have those people are doing i mean it's crazy to me how you know just the time management and just everything it was so eye opening to me you know i'm a home cook i'm here it's easy i can you know do my thing i can you know i have my own cost control but you go into a different setting there's all these variables that people have to consider that i really don't have to so it's it's interesting yeah rich is amazing i didn't know you knew rich he's and he's so he's such a good son he's a great chef he's a great teacher i used to be in the american culinary federation in the baltimore chapter and at the time rich was the president so i got to know him and we've done some some cool things together yeah he he's great i mean i can't think of many better people i mean he was a culinary instructor he was at stratford and bic so i think you know naturally in the kitchen he has this very teacherly mode you know oh he's he is wonderful i actually told him i think he should go work at anna rondo i think he is such a great instructor his philosophy with food is i love it everyone that works there loves him he is he expects you know a certain level of love level of like just expertise or professionalism he gets it everyone wants to please and you know i remember we were doing on a stolen a christmas door and i had never made it before so so what would happen is every week i would go in and he would say what do you want to bake do you want to make this do you want to make that of course we did pasta one day we did dumplings because i also really enjoy making asian dumplings there was a lot of crossover with shaping and filling with italian filled ravioli so we were doing this stolen and so one day i spent literally hours canning all this stuff i mean got it in the dehydrator like i didn't realize how hard it was to candy so it's not that it's difficult that takes a lot of time which is why people just buy it at the store and so then the next day was the production and you know he would just give me a recipe and i be like god i don't want to mess it up i don't want to you know do something wrong you know waste your money ingredients i didn't have a lot of confidence because i was like wow i don't i have to answer to someone here and long story short we made it and then a week went by and i thought to myself did i ever take that candied fruit out of the dehydrator why never had and so of course i had to send him an email and i'm like chef fridge on you're so mortified and he knew that i did but he never brought it up and he's like laurie it's okay it was still delicious we still served it it's fine you'll never make that mistake again like that's just how he is so i'm actually we had such a great time working together that i'll probably i'm hoping to go in i think there's room to do like a plastic program where he is so we've talked about that and he's open to it so um but again i would go back and just work with him because i just think he's so smart and he's just one of those personalities that's greatness food industry so you know if you know someone i gotta get on the show for sure i mean he's a chef without a restaurant well what are some of your favorite resources to learn pasta like if someone today wanted to just start where would you point them books websites youtube channels what are some of your favorites so there are some books that i find are really good my favorites mastering pasta by marc vetri i think that's a great resource gets into a lot of detail but not overwhelming my friend lucy had just she just published a book the ultimate pasta machine cookbook and that's great because it goes into a lot of things like a cavatelli machine or sheeting pasta because there's just a lot that people don't know when it comes to that i think any resource that will convey to you again the encyclopedia of pasta there's not new recipes i think that's the biggest stumbling block for people is plenty of times i'll be teaching someone something and they'll say oh i tried to make pasta i use the two eggs and three cups of flour it was so wet i threw it out i had to start again so the biggest message i tried to convey is you really just need to use a recipe as a guide even when i'm doing like i'm teaching a class for qb cucina who's on instagram on teaching that class on saturday evening and so when we were going over the show notes i said you know i'm really steering clear from you know you can give someone a weighted measurement but it's it's so many different factors come into play that i think you know i'll teach it the way i teach it so yeah so i think there's a few books out there that are good youtube has plenty of videos i love pasta grannies which is an account they haven't you know they're on facebook they're on instagram they have these short four or five minute clips of you know women in italy they're trying to just sort of chronicle and preserve what they do so they will often include recipes and in fact vicky who runs that project came out with a cookbook so the pasta granny cookbook is a huge cookbook but it's wonderful and i think youtube i mean you can find almost anything online so you type in how to make an angular ad and i mean you'll get 20 youtube videos some are good some are not so good but if you look at enough of them you sort of get the idea so i would say anyone interested in pasta should just use whatever resource they have you don't need a lot of money i mean if you have an internet connection you know or take a local class find someone that really loves to do it you know that's the thing with COVID it is difficult to sort of translate you know i can look at your dough if you're holding up your dough but i can't feel it i can't you know so that that's always a little difficult but um there are people that love to teach so um you know i still take classes i take classes even during COVID so pasta social club is another great instagram account one of the best she shares everything her recipes she's the in house pasta person for food 52 but she has great photos her directions are very clear so yeah so there's a lot of different resources i think yeah so much of it is tactile the same with like bread and tortillas and anything like that like you're looking for the the texture the moisture you know you squeeze it and what's it doing it in your hand you know and that is really hard to just convey in just a recipe because i have weights for a lot of my go to breads tortillas pastas but it's not always the same and just like learning what you want that to feel like in your hand i think is the hardest thing to to get used to and how to correct it you know i mean with pasta it's pretty simple if it's a little dry you know add a little water i use a spray bottle because i find it just missing it sometimes it's just enough you know instead of pouring water in if it's a little too wet add a little bit of flour and so it's yeah i mean i think it's very approachable and again it's just finding someone who you know can break it down into a spoon feeding and again it's not because anyone's stupid it's just because if i'm trying to when i would try to teach someone you know what is a summary judgment motion in law well i mean it's greek so well this let me tell you without using any legal words what's happening here is i think it's the same with pasta so very approachable and i think anyone can learn well is there anything you want to add before we get out of here today no i mean it was lovely to see you in person i you know it's been fun during COVID because i've actually had some zoom calls with people that i've met on instagram that we've previously just been messaging so i appreciate you having me on the show and i'd love to get together and make pasta sometime i mean any opportunity to do that and find people that are passionate it's you know i don't know too many people in this area so you know instagram is good for that because you can meet people that have these passions but you know i'm trying to find like a local network of people that are really into it that want to maybe do some unusual things there's not you know there's restaurants you can go to but i think there's so many more opportunities for people that have specific passions what they can do with it so i'm always interested in meeting up with people who kind of share that same pasta passion as me a big part of what i want to do is moreChris Spear:
Have these pop up collaborative dinners, which are so much fun. And we just kind of had to put that on pause, obviously, last year, but getting back into that, you know, just rent an Airbnb or a cool spot and just do dinner for like, a dozen or two dozen people and make some cool food. So maybe we can do another pasta one sometime soon. Sign me up, I would be I think that would be so much fun. And that's really why I like doing these events in the breweries because it was like, it was sort of like having a, you know, a little dinner event, you know, and teaching something someone new and making it interactive. I mean, instead of just feeding people like, you know, teaching them that they want to know, so I miss doing that. But keep me in mind, because I would be totally interested in that. almost definitely. And again, we'll link all of your info in the show notes so people will know where to find you. Oh, thank you. Well, thank you so much for having me again. You're welcome. And to all of our listeners, this has been Chris with the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast. As always, you can find us at Chefs Without restaurants.com and.org and on all social media platforms. Thanks so much, and have a great day. Thanks for listening to the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast. And if you're interested in being a guest on the show, or sponsoring the show, please let us know. We can be reached at Chefs Without email@example.com Thanks so much.