Laurie Nadeau
of Smokin’ Mary

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She’s a wholesome gal who grew up on a  dairy farm, of course. Raised in Northern California, Laurie remembers growing the most vibrant tomato garden with her mom. And that tomato garden is where many of this saucy tomato’s best practices were instilled. A love of fresh produce year round lead to her love of gourmet foods—dishes crafted with care for flavor and for those about to enjoy it.  When Mary met her husband Marc, they discovered a mutual joy of entertaining friends and keeping good libations flowing freely. Fresh tomatoes, a smoker, libations…smoked Bloody Marys were bound to happen. And they did. Passion, craft and a dedication to flavor unite in Smokin’ Mary to make it what it should be—a gift for celebrating all that is good.

What is your idea of a perfect meal?
My husband Marc is what I call a gourmet cook and everything he makes is fabulous! I would have to answer this as ribeye steak medium rare with pine nuts browned in butter on top of melted blue cheese. Sides don’t matter as this is the main event and tastes so good.

Laurie and Marc Nadeau, creators of Smokin' Mary Bloody Mary mix

What recipe still gives you goosebumps?
Marc’s chicken Marsala. It’s is super tasty but also fun to watch him cook as there is usually six foot flames coming off the marsala as he burns off the alcohol and reduces it for the sauce.

What cooking personality, living or dead do you most admire?
My Marc has my vote every time. He’s not famous—which I prefer— otherwise he wouldn’t have time to cook for me, our family and our friends.

What’s a style of cooking foreign to you that you wish you had down pat?
Fancy plating and making everything look as good as it tastes.

Which ingredients do you find yourself using the most?
Salt, garlic and onions.

What was your biggest culinary disaster?
My sister has always made Dutch Babys which are made of flour, butter, eggs and milk. I didn’t have all of these staples and tried to improvise. It was a disaster and tasted like crap! I was so embarrassed but he asked for seconds so I thought it must not be so bad…He tells everyone that story and it’s been several years. I still get embarrassed!

Jiro Dreams of Sushi. What food do you dream of?
Marc’s ribeye that I mentioned earlier.

What’s your most treasured kitchen tool?
Tongs and Marc (he’s a tool alright!)

If you weren’t a chef, what other occupation could you see yourself excelling in?
Creating products that solve people’s wants and desires.

Mario Batali has clogs. What’s your most marked characteristic?
The gift of gab. I love talking with everyone. I especially like learning what makes them tick. I love seeing people talk about their passions.

What food do you hold in the lowest of regards?
Liver.

What is the quality you most like in a chef?
The ability to create something amazing with just about any ingredients. That’s true talent!

What is the quality you most like in a diner?
Cleanliness and creative dishes that make your palate happy.

Who or what inspires you?
That anything and everything can be better and I like to figure out how and then implement the improvement. I also love by the motto ‘keep on keepin’ on.’ It’s a good motivator for me.

How do you take your coffee?
Agave and half and half.

What food trend drives you batty?
Fried everything. Some things are better not fried.

In-N-Out or Five Guys?
In-N-Out.

Could you “beat” Bobby Flay?
With a stick or cooking? Probably a better chance with a stick. Marc could beat him cooking, but not me.

Do you prescribe to any kitchen superstitions?
No superstitions at all.

What’s a childhood dish you loved that still sticks with you?
I actually don’t have any, I stay away from them. Mom made a lot of bologna sandwiches and PB&J. She also made a lot of macaroni and shrimp salad. I don’t care for any of them any more.

Biggest cooking fear?
Cutting my finger off.


Go-to guilty pleasure food?
Tapioca and bread pudding that is very custardy.

If you ate some poorly prepared blowfish sashimi and passed, what person or thing would you like to come back as?
One of our dogs. They are always happy to see me, unconditionally love everyone and are spoiled rotten.

What is your catchphrase?
“There is no such thing as ‘try’, you either ‘do’ or you ‘don’t.’”

Marcel Roost is a hyper-intelligent rooster who could out-write and out-cook the best of them. His love for haute cuisine is only matched by his hatred of Kentucky Colonels. When he's not heckling fusion chefs, he can usually be found at some high-end bar "singing the body Martini." He's anything but corn fed, despite being—well—corn fed.

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