Yes, my name really is Lagusta. It’s not a nom de chef referring to the joys of eating with gusto, French spiny lobsters (les langoustes), or the Spanish verb for “to like” – it’s the kind of name you get when your parents are hippies who met in the mud at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969. It’s pronounced with a GUS in the middle, most emphatically not a GOO.

I’m a restless rabble-rousing chef-turned-chocolatier who’s in love with deep flavor, ethical sourcing, farmers, the food poor people around the world have always eaten, lactic acid fermentation, and noodles. I really love noodles.

I live in a little 1960s sunny ranch house in the tiny farm-focused town of New Paltz, NY with my sweetheart of 15 years, Jacob, and my three cats, Sula, Noodle (told ya), and Cleo.

I went to cooking school (the Natural Gourmet Cookery School Chef’s Training Program in New York City), but the hierarchical restaurant world is a little too much for a feministy woman like me. I worked for many years with my mentors at Bloodroot, a gourmet 32-year-old feminist-vegetarian restaurant and bookstore in Connecticut (one of them came up with “Lagusta’s Luscious” as a name for my company, about a decade ago—little did I know it would make bank tellers and post office clerks think I was a secret porn actress forever…). I’ve baked at Souen macrobiotic restaurant in New York City, and I’ve done endless private cooking jobs around New York and New Jersey.

I am also an occasional guest chef at the Natural Gourmet’s Friday Night Dinners, where I direct 12 chef’s training students in preparing a gourmet, 4-course meal for up to 100 diners, as well as Joshua Katcher’s Gracious Gourmand supper club in Brooklyn.

From 2002-2010 I ran a wildly successful (if I do say so myself) teeny tiny vegetarian home meal delivery service bringing handcrafted meals featuring local produce to New Yorkers from Battery Park to Woodstock. If you want to see photos of what I used to cook for my clients, I’ve got plenty of photo-heavy quantity-cooking posts packed with recipe ideas and inspiration–check ’em out!

In 2011 I made the shift to becoming a full-time chocolatier with my own line of truffles, Bluestocking Bonbons (all named for fascinating women!), bars, barks, caramels, and more.

After years of cooking in dinky rented kitchens, Jacob and I renovated a former laundromat in downtown New Paltz to become a tiny little chocolate shop. We opened on June 28, 2011, and every single day since has been amazing.

Now that I’m no longer cooking for others every week, I’m excited to rediscover the joy of cooking for myself, my sweetheart, and our friends. (Hello, dinner parties!) Likewise, this blog has transitioned from being a professional blog for my meal delivery service to a journal of my culinary curiosity, notes about chocolate matters, and news about the shop. Like most chefs, I’m not a huge fan of recipes—but foodie photos, farmer’s market finds, fruit, food politics, and food-related inspiration of all stripes, savory and sweet, is what makes my mouth water. Maybe yours too? Hello, then!

Happy eating!


PS: Not afraid of swears? Interested in far-left ranting, whining about my annoying childhood, notes from the culture wars, the occasional vintage dress and a feminist manifesto thrown in now and then for good measure? You might enjoy my personal blog, which is right about here.

7 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Winter Greetings Lagusta~ We met a few months back when I stopped buy to buy grapeseed oil at your kitchen in New Paltz. That day you told me about a dentist that you gave a resounding thumbs-up to, and I have lost his name. I know that you are on vacation and may not be returning emails at this time, and I’m sorry to impose during this, your month off. I just want to send a message to you now because otherwise the person that asked me for a referral (a fellow- New Paltzian, and my hairstylist extraordinaire)will never know of him because my memory is bad. So thank you in advance if you read this and forward his name along again.

    Congrats on the new chocolatiering adventures you are embarking on!

    Best regards, Laura

    • Hi Laura!

      Is your hairstylist Sylvia, from Androgyny Design?? I love Sylvia. I think she’s in Brazil or something right now though. Anyway, how nice to hear from you! OK, the dentist is Dr. Kurek at The Center for Advanced Dentistry in New Paltz, on 299. Let him and his lovely wife Rose, who works the office, know I sent ya!

      Alas, my month off is over. I should get back to blogging…

      xoxo Lagusta

      • Thank you for your speedy reply Lagusta!The awesome stylist I speak of is Melissa Meghan at Hair Designs salon near Vassar, and she will really appreciate your referral!
        p.s. both your blogs rock. I frequently chuckle aloud to myself when reading them and tell you “sing it sister!”

  2. I just received my first Lagusta’s Luscious as a gift and I am now a major fan! Thank you for sharing your decision about the Free People opportunity; it made me think a lot as a patron of the store… what am I actually buying besides the shirt or pants… what policies am I unwittingly supporting. I appreciate having my conscience raised.

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