Lisa’s Story and Mission

My story starts in NYC. Growing up there, with its melting pot of food cultures, the everyday act of eating and dining out was pure joy for me – and quite an adventure! I used my allowance to buy croissants, roasted chestnuts, peaches – and pickled tomatoes. Maybe there was a chef stirring up inside of me? I befriended all of the wonderful street vendors, the butcher, fishmongers and trades people who with honor sold their wares. Blessed with a southern nanny housekeeper who loved me dearly through her amazing cooking skills and stories in the kitchen…she was and still is the domestic mother I never had.

Born to Italian and Jewish parents – who from modest upbringings, blood, sweat and tears became Tapemeasure – a creative and expanding force in the fashion industry – proudly made in the USA. With musical, acting and dance backgrounds, this artistic upbringing gave me a diverse sense of cultural heritage and an aesthetic for all things beautiful – plus a very strong work ethic.

From many restaurant meals and observing the joy that entertaining brought, I learned early on the power of good food, music, design, and breaking bread with friends and family – and the importance of gracious hospitality. As a competitive junior tennis player since the age of twelve, I also understood the necessity of fueling myself well for mind and body – I seemed to be built for speed with more energy and zest for life that I knew what to do with. Back and forth from tennis court to different kitchen jobs I went: Eli Zabar’s EAT, Dune Deck Hotel and others I worked at as a teen and numerous tennis clubs.

Studying food & nutrition and interior design while on full tennis scholarship @ Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, I was always cooking, hosting parties or traveling with the team and eating my way through Texas and my much loved NOLA. Alas, during a tennis match, I tore my retina from a tennis ball injury. Leaving school to pursue a pro career left disappointing results – and any big pro dreams, but moonlighted as a teaching pro for many years thereafter. Although my tennis career was no longer centre court – my culinary career took centre stage.

I joined the prestigious New York catering firm A Sense of Taste. What a supportive female owned environment! The co-owner and I were tennis buddies for many years and I now had experience to join her team.

It was kismet that I met a macrobiotic chef at an EST seminar and we collaborated making meals for families. I bought the business from Rati after calls came flooding in for catering and Personal Taste Caterers, Inc. was incorporated 2 years later in 1984 in NYC. I food styled, private chefed, catered many films such as Crocodile Dundee and Street Smart with Christopher Reeve and Morgan Freeman… plus numerous fashion and video shoots and was hired for hundreds of corporate, non-profit and private events. I attended Peter Kumps New York Cooking School – who co-founded the prestigious James Beard Foundation with Julia Child. Learning from great guest chef luminaries Jacques Pepin and Marcella Hazan, I had found my culinary home. I was hungry for knowledge while building my business with additional cooking classes home and abroad from Sheila Lukins of The Famed Silver Palate, Joe Randall’s Cooking School in Savannah Georgia and Roger Vergés Ecolé du Soleil in Nice, France. The culinary arts synergized with the art of travel and lifestyle.

Motherhood had always been my sweetest dream. Raising, feeding and teaching my daughters about worldly cultures and the power of food has and is my greatest Joy. They have been my greatest teachers.

Vermont had always been a sweet retreat for skiing excursions. In August of 2002 after 911 it became the family’s home. Housed in what was once a tack room on the property in East Calais, I created a café to hone my skills and introduce The Farmhouse Café & Catering Co. – born in July of 2003! After three short years the catering business shifted into high gear catering dozens of weddings and social gatherings each season.

Simultaneously I hosted/produced a weekly food radio show, “Food For Thought” on Goddard College Campus’s WGDR, which aired for 5 years,  inspiring healthy, local mindful eating and cooking…with music of course – while catering at the college.

I coin the phrase ‘GLOBALOCAL’ to describe my cuisine and values. Clients have more global tastes AND they demand more local ingredients. Traveling is an important component to this to truly understand the different food cultures. And it feeds my soul. During my extensive traveling I’ve collected unique wares for my different tablescapes to evoke the different moods of each event. No cookie cutter aesthetic here!

My mission in anything I do is to be a Catalyst of Joy. Whether cooking someone a meal or making a magical chocolate confection, feeding the food insecure, being of service or a voice for mother earth – is at the core of what I passionately do.”