LAURA LEA

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Hutch CEO and Founder Bea Fischel-Bock sat down with holistic chef and writer Laura Lea to talk about recipes, design, and home renovation. As a holistic chef and writer, Laura’s tips for staying at the top of your creative game are both inspiring and practical. Read more below, and click through to see our picks for a rustic, cozy dining room inspired by Laura’s home!

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What is the first thing you do or make in the morning?
My bed! But THEN, the first thing I do is grab my “morning drink” out of the fridge and sip away! It’s 1/3 packet of Go Every sugar-free Strawberry Lemonade (natural) drink mix, the juice from 1 lemon, and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar… in water, of course! It always helps me start the day right!

What three words best describe your personal style?
Casual, consistent, and, um, blush pink whenever possible!

How do you come up with new recipes?
My recipes are inspired by what I’m craving! Or what my husband is craving! Then I just use the tricks and techniques I’ve learned over the years to create a healthy version of our favorite comfort food inspired dishes.

What’s your favorite recipe?
Ohhh that’s like picking a favorite child! I have to say, my Blueberry Peanut Butter Crumble Bars are up there, on the sweet front. For a savory dish (yes, I’m taking some license with this question, I LOVE the wild rice lentil veggie burgers from my Cookbook. They are so satisfying loaded up on a bun with all the fixins!

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Don’t treat your blessings like burdens. It’s so easy to get tunnel vision and find ourselves complaining about things that are, in fact, incredible gifts and luxuries. Repeating this as a mantra helps me find daily gratitude.

How has your business grown over the years, and how do you see it growing in the future?
Hmmm….slowwwwllllyyyy. Ha! I’ve been building my business for four-plus years, and it is just now really showing some of the fruits of my labor. I think the only thing I’ve consistently done is be consistent! My business has gone in multiple directions, as is often the case with entrepreneurial ventures, but I have always given 110% to it and maintained the same fundamental goals and values.

As for the future, I plan to continue to write cookbooks, teach classes, and, fingers crossed, get more opportunities for a national cooking stage.

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How did you design your home?
Much like my business— slow and steady! We worked with Landy Gardner Interiors to renovate our 1929 home and bring it up to modern, sleek speed. Then, we’ve just accumulated pieces and moved things around as we’ve learned how we like to live in the space.

What was the renovation process like?
Do I have to recall?! It was laborious and a little stressful, to be sure, but isn’t it always? It took about 6 months, but it was worth the wait. We never planned on renovating an older home, but we fell in love with the incredible light, the high ceilings, and the Mediterranean vibe. So we went for it!

Would you recommend renovation to newlyweds?
NOPE! When it rains, it pours, and we were knee-deep in work commitments, wedding planning, and renovating at the same time, and I wouldn’t recommend it! However, it was nice to move into a mostly-finished home after returning from the wedding. I would suggest tackling one big project at a time.

What’s your favorite piece of furniture in your home?
Probably our antique dining table. It is simple, handsome, and weathered just the right amount. It has been used as a desk, a photography base, a side table, and now a dining table! It has been in my family for decades, and I enjoy working there daily, with the light streaming behind me.

Which item in your kitchen could you not live without?
My Vitamix. It is everything! Aside from smoothies, I use it for soups, pesto, foamy lattes, salad dressing, flour, and more.

What’s more important to you— style or functionality?
Functionality. Style is important, but I don’t enjoy even the most gorgeous pieces if they’re not functional, sturdy, and livable.

Do you have a favorite room in your house? If so, which?
My kitchen, hands down! Her name is Felicity, and I love her with all of my heart! I spend most of my time in the kitchen, but it’s also the center of my greatest passion. Plus, it always smells fantastic!

Do your pets have a favorite room?
The bedroom—specifically, nestled at the foot of the bed, passed out in bliss. But if we’re not in there, they reluctantly sit wherever we are.

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