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 went to cooking school (the Natural Gourmet Cookery School Chef’s Training Program in New York City), worked for about a decade with my mentors at Bloodroot, a gourmet 40-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…) and some other places blah blah.
From 2002-2010 I ran a 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 & #inspo.
In 2011 I switched to the chocolate life full time with a line of truffles, Bluestocking Bonbons (all named for fascinating women), bars, barks, caramels, and more.
After years of cooking in dinky rented kitchens, my partner 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 has been amazing. Even that day we found a pistol in the rafters when renovating and had to call the police.
I work a lot.