Last year Laurie Figone, born and raised on a ranch just outside of Petaluma, was declared the 2014 World Dessert Champion. In the last five years Figone has made a name for herself in the cooking world, where she shows her Petaluma pride by using local products. Figone has also been on the NBC TODAY Show and on TNT with Emeril Lagasse and Ty Pennington. For more information on that see our previous posts about Laurie VIDEO UPDATE: #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone gets her shot on the big screen on TNT’s “On The Menu” and VIDEO: #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone Appears on Good Day Sacramento.
Growing up on a ranch and having large weekly family dinners with at least 30 people gave Figone a passion for cooking and food. Figone speaks fondly about these dinners saying, “My grandmother loved doing all the cooking … I, growing up, wanted to be down at the barn feeding calves but my mother kept me in the house. I hated it at the time but now I have to say I thank her because … I’ve just won another World Championship with my cooking and I never imagined any of this, truthfully.”
Figone’s professional cooking started five years ago when a neighbor helped her realize her talent. Figone was baking focaccia bread for one of her neighbors to take to work and soon her neighbor’s coworkers were requesting and buying Figone’s focaccia. Figone then secretly submitted her focaccia recipe to Taste of Home’s recipe contest and won. It was her first published recipe and the start of her cooking career.
The next step for Figone was participating in her first live cooking competition at the Gilroy Garlic Festival where she, again, won. From there things took off and she went on the NBC TODAY Show for their burger battle and to the Annual Bob’s Red Mill Spar for the Spurtle where she won and was sent to Scotland for the Annual World Porridge Making Championship. In the last year Figone was on TNT’s reality show On the Menu with Emeril Lagasse and Ty Pennington.
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