I recently had the opportunity to interview Laura Taylor, owner and founder of Honest to Goodness. She provides her clients kitchen concierge services. This service basically means anything when it comes to the kitchen! She can help you organize your kitchen, recommend the best kitchen products for your registry, give you cooking lesson, provide meal plans…the options are really endless! Newlyweds and couples all need help to make the kitchen a shared space and Laura can help you do just that.
So let’s get started and learn more about Laura!
Tell us a little about yourself.
My main passions are food, cooking and travel. I’m Texan by birth, Northwesterner by choice, and Hokie for life. I attended Virginia Tech and majored in Hospitality and Tourism Management. From there, my career grew into catering and event planning for private clubs and residences, Marriott hotels and also the Northwest’s very own El Gaucho. With Honest to Goodness, I’m hoping to bring my experiences and passions to others to make their lives a little bit easier when it comes to food.
Tell us about Honest to Goodness?
Honest to Goodness is a Kitchen Concierge service focused on helping people have a healthier and tastier food lifestyle. My range of services is oriented to solving any challenge in your kitchen, from organization to ingredient selection to having a personal chef. I mostly help people who are too busy to cook for themselves, don’t know how to cook, and/or want to learn to prepare food to accommodate a special dietary need. With my career experience in catering and event planning, I also plan and cater in-home gatherings for any occasion.
What was your inspiration behind Honest to Goodness?
The name Honest to Goodness was inspired by the food television craze when I asked myself, “What would my cooking show be?” My cooking may not be delicate, 5-star, haute cuisine, but it is honest and good food. I’m self-taught and a self-certified foodie with respect for being true to ingredients and enhancing flavor with an abundant use of herbs and spices. I also believes in doing meaningful work that gives back to the community. I invite you to my table so you can start enjoying some yummy goodness!
What is your favorite part of working with clients?
What we eat is a very personal decision that affects our lives in so many ways. Making someone happy with a nutritious and flavorful meal is very rewarding, particularly when it achieves their goals for healthy eating, stress reduction, and time-savings. I also want to educate people on making the best food decisions possible to support and sustain their lives.
What has been some of your most memorable projects you’ve worked on?
Recently I was hired to cater a brunch for 20 guests to celebrate a baby’s baptism and also the gathering of family members from out of town. My abilities to cook and serve a party of this nature allowed the family to enjoy their time together and not worry about all the cooking and cleanup.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
Inspiration comes in many forms, both internally and externally. I am driven to do meaningful work that makes a healthy difference in people’s lives, while also finding my own rich experience of life. Opening a business in 2012 was a large leap of faith, authenticity, courage, and willpower. There are a number of quotes I hold dearly, not the least of which is this one: “Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but sail we must, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
What’s some kitchen advice you recommend to new couples?
If couples are so inclined, cooking together is a valuable experience to share that literally and figuratively feeds the relationship. Newlyweds probably also end up with a lot of odds & ends when it comes to kitchen tools from their registry. I’m not a fan of uni-taskers – that is, tools that are good for just 1 job (i.e. egg slicers and pineapple corers). Invest in 2-3 really good knives instead of a lesser-quality block of 10.
If you were cooking for a holiday party, what’s some of your favorite foods to serve?
My best holiday dinner ever was a few years ago when my family visited for Christmas. The menu included a Winter Whites Salad, Carrot Ginger Soup, Prime Rib, Purple Potato Edamame & Haricot Verts, and Homemade Multigrain Rolls. The crème de la crème was my Apricot Pear Croissant Bread Pudding served with a 20-year Tawny Port for dessert.
What do you do on the weekends?
My minimal spare time is spent cooking, reading, walking my dog Monty, spin class, hiking, and visiting with friends. I also love to travel and want to plan another international trip somewhere within the next year.
Tell me about your work with Northwest Harvest.
I’ve been involved with Northwest Harvest for 5 years in varying volunteer capacities at their Kent warehouse and Cherry Street Food Bank. For the past 3 years, I’ve also led a team of other catering and event professionals from NACE (National Association for Catering & Events) to sponsor Northwest Harvest’s Annual Donor Appreciation Party. It is an honor that they trust my professional expertise to organize such an important event that recognizes their top corporate and private donors. Given my passion for food and food service, I humbly dedicate myself to hunger relief efforts and will continue to support their good work. Honest to Goodness is committed to contributing 10% of annual net profits to Northwest Harvest to put an end to hunger in Washington State.
So if you have any kitchen needs, Laura is definitely the right person to help you out! Don’t forget to check out her Facebook page too!