Louisa Shafia

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One of the best days of Louisa's career was catering lunch for The Colbert Report, and watching Stephen Colbert do a “happy dance” when he tasted her food.

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Louisa is a cook, educator, food writer, and recipe developer. Her first cookbook was the IACP award-nominated Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life (Ten Speed Press), a collection of sensuous, seasonal recipes and eco-friendly advice for the kitchen. Her latest book, The New Persian Kitchen, is a healthy, farm-to-table take on Persian cooking, which will be released in spring 2013.


After working as an editor on NPR’s Fresh Air, then pursuing an acting career that peaked with a low-budget horror film, Louisa took a job cooking at a yoga retreat. The guests loved the food, and she loved the work, so she decided to attend Manhattan’s Natural Gourmet Institute. After graduating, she cooked in San Francisco at the hip vegan restaurant Millennium, and at the pioneering raw food restaurant Roxanne’s.


Back in New York, Louisa cooked at Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit, and was the sous chef at Pure Food and Wine; she contributed several recipes to that restaurant’s best-selling cookbook, Raw Food, Real World. In 2004, she brought her take on earth-friendly food to the world of fine catering, preparing seasonal food for low-waste events at which supplies were recycled or composted.

These days, she writes and teaches full-time at venues around the country, including Rancho La Puerta Spa, Google, the Stone Barns Center, and the Natural Gourmet Institute. She has created original recipes for magazines including Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, Food Network Magazine, Prevention, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and ReadyMade. Look for her on the Cooking Channel’s Taste in Translation series, talking about Persian kebabs. 

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