Laurie Nadeau of Smokin’ Mary
She’s a wholesome gal who grew up on a dairy farm, of course. Raised in Northern California, Laurie remembers growing the most vibrant tomato garden with her mom. And that tomato garden is where many of this saucy tomato’s best practices were instilled. A love of fresh produce year-round lead to her love of gourmet foods – dishes crafted with care and with flavor for those about to enjoy it. when Laurie met her husband Marc, they discovered a mutual joy of entertaining friends and keeping good libations flowing freely. Fresh tomatoes, a smoker, libations…smoked Bloody Marys were bound to happen. And they did. Passion, craft and a dedication to flavor unite in Smokin’ Mary to make it what it should be – a gift for celebrating all that is good.
Q: What is your idea of a perfect meal?
My husband Marc is what I call a gourmet cook and everything he makes is fabulous! I would have to answer this as a ribeye steak, medium rare with pine nuts browned in butter on top of melted blue cheese crumbles. Sides don’t even matter as this is the main event and tastes SO good.
Q: What recipe still gives you goosebumps?
Marc’s chicken Marsala. Its super tasty but also fun to watch him cook as there are usually six foot high flames coming off the stove as he burns off the alcohol and reduces it to the sauce.
Q: What cooking personality, living or dead do you most admire?
My Marc has my vote every time and he’s not even famous which I prefer otherwise he wouldn’t have time to cook for me, our family or our friends.
Q: What’s a style of cooking foreign to you that you wish you had down pat?
Fancy plating and making everything look as good as it tastes.
Q: Which ingredients do you find yourself using the most?
Salt, Garlic and Onions.
Q: What was your biggest culinary disaster?
My sister has always made Dutch Babys which are made out of flour, butter, eggs and milk. I didn’t have all the ingredients so I tried to improvise. It was a disaster and tasted like crap. I was so embarrassed but Marc asked for seconds so I thought it must not be so bad. He tells everyone this story and it’s been several years. I still get embarrassed.
Q: Jiro dreams of Sushi. What food do you dream of?
Marc’s ribeye that I mentioned earlier.
Q: What’s your most treasured kitchen tool?
Tongs and Marc (he’s a tool alright)
Q: If you weren’t a chef, what other occupation could you see yourself excelling in?
Creating products that solve people’s wants and desires.
Q: Mario Batali has clogs. What’s your most marked characteristic?
The gift of gab. I love talking with everyone. I especially like learning what makes them tick. I love seeing people talk about their passions.
Q:What food do you hold in the lowest of regards?
Q:What is the quality you most like in a chef?
The ability to create something amazing with just about any ingredients. that’s true talent.
Q:What is the quality you most like in a diner?
Cleanliness and creative dishes that make your palate happy!
Q:Who or what inspires you?
That anything and everything can be better and I like to figure out how and then implement the improvement. I also like the motto “Keep on Keeping on”. Its a good motivator for me.
Q:How do you take your coffee?
Agave and half and half.
Q:What food trend drives you batty?
Fried everything. Some things are better not fried!
Q:In-N-out or Five Guys?
Q:Would you beat Bobby Flay?
With a stick or cooking? Probably a better chance with a stick. Marc could beat him cooking but not me.
Q:Do you prescribe to any kitchen superstitions?
No superstitions at all
Q:What’s a childhood dish you loved that still sticks with you?
I actually don’t have any, I stay away from them. Mom made a lot of Bologna sandwiches and PB & J. She also made a lot of macaroni salad and shrimp salad. I don’t care for any of these any more.
Q:Biggest cooking fear?
Cutting my finger off
Q:Go to guilty pleasure food?
Tapioca and bread puddings that are very custardy.
Q:If you ate some poorly prepared blowfish sashimi and passed, what person or thing would you like to come back as?
One of our dogs. They are always happy to see me, they unconditionally love everyone and are spoiled rotten.
Q:What is your catchphrase?
There is no such thing as try, you either ‘do’ or your ‘don’t’!