Lorna Garano Book Publicity

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Chef on a Mission

Posted by >>>>> on March 8, 2009


Lorna Garano




Laura Stec is a chef on a mission to reveal the connection between what’s on our plate and global warming…and to bring delicious change.



One part culinary artist, one part environmental activist, and all food lover, Laura Stec is a chef who is taking on the most under-recognized source of global warming: the standard American diet—and she’s offering a delicious alternative to it. “Cool Cuisine, which emphasizes fresh, locally grown, organic food, not only helps end global warming, but offers us a healthier, tastier diet,” she says.  In her new book COOL CUISINE: TAKING THE BITE OUT OF GLOBAL WARMING (Gibbs Smith Publisher, September 2008, paperback) Stec teams up with climate change researcher Eugene Cordero, Ph.D., to reveal how our current methods of growing, processing, and delivering food are linked to global warming. She then explains how Cool Cuisine provides a delicious alternative, and how communities can come together to participate in it. “Together we can make a great a meal and a great difference,” says Stec. Take a look at the recipes she offers and you’ll see exactly what she means by the first part. They include: Broiled Figs with Goat Cheese, Grass-Fed Beef Crostini, Dijon Green Beans with Candied Shallots, Autumn Tempeh Salad, and Dark Chocolate Chili. Read on to see what she means by the second.


Stec is available for interview. Here’s just some of what she can offer:


·         TAKING ECO-COOKING TO THE MASSES. Stec is slated to teach the first-ever course on food and the environment at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California this fall. “This is just the beginning in educating future food leaders about how what we eat affects the planet,” she says. In her unique position as a culinary health educator at Kaiser Permanente and other organizations Stec taught countless home cooks the essential skills and principles for making their diet healthier for them and the planet—and her work is far from done. “Even with the increased interest in healthful, locally grown, organic food, many still don’t know basic cooking techniques,” she says. Skills like knowing how to sharpen a knife or keeping water as far away from vegetables as possible may seem basic, but their the first steps in getting people in the kitchen to prepare the vibrant, delicious meals that will make them and the planet healthier. “Teaching people these simple techniques is the first step in a food revolution,” says Stec. 


·         “GLOBAL WARMING IS THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO THE CULINARY WORLD IN YEARS.” You read that right. Stec says this because the dietary and agricultural solutions—such as seasoning the soil “like a fine bordelaise sauce,” eliminating petroleum-based pesticides, fertilizers, and factory farms, and reducing the distance our food travels to get to us—will not only limit the effects of global warming, but will also dramatically enhance the quality and the flavor of our food.


·         THE FULL CIRCLE FEAST.  On the eve of Earth Day and on the heels of President Obama’s call for increased service and stewardship, Chef Stec will host the Full Circle Feast, a Silicon Valley dinner event that brings together the local community with four homegrown nonprofits who are committed to turning their forks into tools for change. Community Alliance of Family Farms (CAFF), Full Circle Farm, Our Daily Bread, and Silicon Valley Foodways will join together to kick off an effort to begin an interactive food shed assessment for the San Francisco Bay Area. This assessment will look at the barriers to local food access and the main sources of food waste and develop a plan for addressing them. They aim to make this a model for communities across the U.S. This is one of the many ways that Chef Stec is working to bring Cool Cuisine to her community.


·          “IF IT AIN’T FUN IT DON’T GET DONE.” “Our ultimate motivation is pleasure and Cool Cuisine isn’t about giving up things, it’s about inspiring people into new ways of cooking and eating,” says Stec. Cool Cuisine is the perfect alternative for anyone who loves food and cares about the environment—and proof that we don’t have to choose between doing what’s right for the planet and what feels good to us.


See Laura Stec on MSN.com: http://healthyliving.msn.com/default.aspx?section=video&contentType=video&contentId=51&source=mailtoyou


To schedule an interview or for a review copy of COOL CUISINE: TAKING THE BITE OUT OF GLOBAL WARMING contact: Lorna Garano, lornagarano@gmail.com, 510-922-9765



Laura Stec is an author and chef, trained at the Culinary Institute of America, The School of Natural Cookery and The Vega Macrobiotic Study Center. She worked at Seva, Ann Arbor, MI; Spoons, Arcata, CA; and San Francisco Bay Area’s Left Bank and Flea Street Café before starting her own personal chef/catering business, making her name in the food world by cooking up green cuisine dinner parties for clients such as Google, Harvard University, and the Environmental Defense Fund. Stec is Culinary Health Educator for Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers, former chef for Kaiser’s organic farmer’s market, and consulting chef at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California. Since founding one of the first U.S. food and environment organizations in 1989, Stec has been feeding us with the idea that one the most positive effects we can have on the environment begins on our dinner plate, a message she has promoted for 12 years at Acterra, a Palo Alto, CA environmental organization. With 37 years combined experience in the food and environment sectors, Stec partners with EcoSpeakers.com to consult with corporations and institutions on ways to incorporate regionally responsible cuisine, and lecture on topics such as The Business of Eating – Green Cuisine Trends and Practices. Cool Cuisine is her first book. Visit her at: http://www.laurastec.com.












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