For Lauren, Red Hen Artisanale is all about connecting with people by sharing her love for all things sourdough and passion for teaching. It is a series of workshops and food experiences focused on sourdough + sourdough based products, and going back to our natural roots by fermenting the foods we fuel our systems with. The workshops are aimed at satisfying people of all skill levels and bringing people across different communities together through in-person and virtual experiences. Group sizes are kept quaint to allow for the opportunity to "get to know your neighbour", get hands-on assistance when needed, and have all of your questions thoroughly answered.
Lauren is a Culinary graduate of Humber College. Upon graduation, she spent the next 3 years living in and travelling through much of Western Europe, gaining work experience to enrich her career. She worked for different lengths of time in Amsterdam, Rome, and various cities throughout the UK. In May of 2013, Lauren enrolled herself in a bread program at the San Francisco Baking Institute. This is where her love of bread really began to sprout.
From 2014-2017, Lauren held the position of Pastry Chef for Peller Estates Winery – the most visited winery in all of North America. She developed a bread and pastry program designed around crafting as many items in house as possible, while also working under the restaurant's directive that the majority of recipe ingredients should be sourced from within Canada's borders. This included baking fresh sourdough bread daily for the restaurant and special events on the property. In 2016, Lauren was nominated for and received the "Top 30 Under 30" award from the Ontario Hostelry Institute for her work. During her time creating menus, plating desserts, and writing schedules, she found that her favourite days were when new employees became a part of the team. She really enjoyed teaching new cooks the recipes that made up the menu and simple hacks to make life in the kitchen more efficient.
Without really knowing it, Lauren's teaching career began when the first members of the pastry team at Peller Estates were assembled. In 2017, she began her formal educational career when offered a position at Humber College, teaching Baking + Pastry. For 5 years, from 2017-2022, Lauren taught hundreds of eager (and less than eager ;) ) students the fundamentals of baking and bread. A full year after pouring the concrete for her private studio in Grey County, she left the comfort of Humber -- first temporarily, and then permanently -- to focus entirely on the growing and thriving Red Hen Artisanale.
Lauren began teaching her own baking workshops, tailored around the world of sourdough in 2017. For the first 4 years of business, all workshops were held in quaint locations throughout Southern Ontario, from one room schoolhouses in the Brant County Countryside, to bright little studios along the Grand River in Elora. All of these workshops and hundreds of attendees have directly contributed to helping Lauren fulfill a dream: to have a Baking + Nature Retreat in the forest to welcome people in for adventures in baking -- allowing themselves to be guided through something new, or work towards perfecting something old, a chance to relax and reconnect, by disconnecting. Since January 2022, Lauren's custom designed, private baking studio along The Saugeen River in Grey County has been welcoming people in with open arms for a variety of baking and food experiences.
"Surround yourself with good people, and good things will happen."