Laura Alpern, a senior at Northampton High School, is going to achieve great things. Laura has been cooking and baking her whole life, starting as a toddler who simply loved helping her mother in the kitchen. Laura would turn on the Food Network every afternoon to discover new recipes and cooking tips. Once she was old enough to use the oven on her own, the household started to get spoiled by all her baked goods. From cookies to cakes, there was always dessert to go around. But there was one other thing which made Laura's baking unique.
Laura has always struggled with food allergies, the worst of which being her allergy to eggs. Baking became an outlet for her to create food she felt safe eating because she knew every ingredient. Recently, she actually started to outgrow her allergy and can now tolerate egg in moderation, but continues to be cautious in the kitchen, as one should be.
Following the paths of many ambitious chefs, Laura has always dreamed of attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and next year she will finally get that chance. She also works at Small Oven Bakery in Easthampton, so swing by to try one of their fabulous pastries and lunch items; meanwhile her culinary skills are constantly improving. Maybe one day she'll even have her own cooking show on the Food Network.
Until then, watch her cooking demo on how to make homemade pasta, and keep an eye out for the works of this young, talented chef.
(Photos by Julia Alpern)