On episode ten of Niche, we spoke with Laura Lea Goldberg, Certified Holistic Chef, about her cooking philosophy, building a business, and how she approaches a balanced life.
While Laura Lea has Nashville in her blood (her mother is a Nashville native), she spent much of her childhood in Baltimore, Maryland. When asked what she wanted to be as a kid, Laura Lea confesses that as a teen, she focused mainly on what she should be. As a result, she found herself studying law in New York City.
Quickly disillusioned by the reality of being a lawyer, Laura Lea decided to make a change. Recognizing cooking as a source of great joy, she left her corporate job and earned the title of Certified Holistic Chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. There, she learned about holistic health, nutrition, Eastern medicine, and the basics of entrepreneurship. While she knows how to work with a variety of clients, including those with certain illnesses, Laura Lea says, “I can talk to you about the nutrition, but I’m only one cog in the wheel of what should be a big group of people.”
Passionate about both healthy eating and home cooking, Laura Lea noticed that people tended to see a gap between the two. She sought to bridge that gap with her own business, LL Balanced. In love with the culture of Nashville, Laura Lea’s goal is not to put classic Southern dishes on the naughty list. Instead, she aims to introduce healthy options in keeping with the spirit of the original recipes.
In addition to her thriving blog and cooking classes, Laura Lea also has a cookbook in the works. The book, tentatively titled The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook, will feature a few favorite recipes from the blog, but will largely consist of new creations. “I didn’t realize how safe I was playing it,” Laura Lea says. “There were so many things I realized I hadn’t offered people through my website.” With hundreds of recipes already published on the LL Balanced blog, from Buckwheat Hemp Banana Bread to Tempeh Sloppy Joes, what more could she have in mind? We’ll find out when the book is published in April, 2017.
At the end of the day, Nashville is Laura Lea’s home and she wouldn’t be anywhere else. “This is the community I want to serve,” she says. One way to foster community, even within the home, is through cooking–and it doesn’t have to be hard. Once you get your pantry in order, Laura Lea says, the rest is easy. A believer in cooking as anxiety relief, she says, “Your kitchen can be your getaway and your sanctuary.”
Check out the whole podcast to hear more about Laura Lea, including her favorite recipes, her insomnia-focused YouTube series, and an important piece of entrepreneurial advice.