A Certified Tea Specialist from the Specialty Tea Institute, Chef and Educator Laurie Bell has a culinary career spanning over thirty years. She creates special blends of teas for area restaurants and retail, and teaches about the styles of premium teas from around the globe at her focused educational tea tasting seminars.
She lived in France for four years where she earned a très bien Grand Diplôme from the famed Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. After returning to the U.S., Chef Bell founded the culinary company À La Belle Cuisine serving Washington, D.C. and its suburbs. She taught cooking classes that focused on French technique in both participation and demonstration formats, and gradually developed a catering business that became a full time enterprise.Chef Bell designed and built her own commercial catering kitchen and served as Owner and Executive Chef until she sold the successful business in 2001. She has been cooking with and studying about tea for many years, and attends tea industry seminars and conferences on a regular basis.
Laurie on a recent return visit to her alma mater
Laurie teaching a local Brownie troop
She has the distinction of being invited five times to work at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll with 25 of her staff to scramble 10,000 fresh eggs for the "Easter Bunny Bundles" - filled pitas for walk-around breakfast treats. She has demonstrated her culinary talents several times on local television and has lectured at industry conferences and culinary schools. She created and wrote a quarterly newsletter for her catering company and has authored several articles for various industry newsletters.
When Laurie is not drinking tea, blending tea, or teaching about tea, she writes freelance. She is a member (and former Board member) of thelocal chapter of AIWF, has served on the Advisory Board of Stratford University's School of Culinary Arts, and Friends of Colvin Run Mill. She is a member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR), serves on the Board of the Washington, DC Chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier, is a driver for the Great Falls area Meals on Wheels program, and continues to teach cooking classes to adults and children.