To use seasonal fresh produce, meats and delicacies from local farmers, ranchers and artisans to create delicious comfort food for the soul.
I started Good Earth Kitchen with the mission of creating delicious dining experiences using the best ingredients from local farms, ranches, and artisans whenever possible. Inspired by chef Alice Waters and the farm to table movement, I moved to Mendocino county in search of wide open spaces, and to be closer to the land and the origins of our food. After joining the local Grange I met farmers, ranchers and other artisans committed to local food production who inspired me to start growing my own food. Creating the space for communal dining experiences eventually evolved into Good Earth Kitchen.
My culinary influences are wide ranging. I became passionate about food as a young vegetarian looking for ever-more palate-pleasing answers to the question "what's for dinner?" Since making food seems to naturally invite a party, I began hosting some of my first "Chef's Tables" as an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon, testing dishes with, and sometimes on, friends. The dinner parties continued into graduate school at UC Berkeley. One PhD on a completely unrelated topic later, my passion for all things culinary only seemed to grow.
I earned a degree in professional cooking from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago. I've since honed my skills working in restaurants in Chicago and Miami's South Beach and for caterers in Los Angeles. Though I like to shop local, my cooking incorporates deliciousness from all over the world, from my hometown of Chicago and influences from my travels through Europe, Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. I borrow shamelessly from everywhere, tweaking things here and there to make them my own. After all, isn't that what we mean by California Cuisine?
Leslie, Chef and Caterer
What's on my playlist this week: Us3's Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)
Some of the Farms, Ranches, and Artisans We Love to Support
Green Uprising Farm
Tequio Community Farm
Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese
Rosie Organic Chickens
Lundberg Family Farms