Loria wears the Grandita Ring, Rock I Ring, Artemisa I Ring, Thin Naked Toggle Chain, Rounded Ring I Chain and the Disco Snake Chain Bracelets.
Growing up in Ojai, garden-to-table chef and culinary entrepreneur Loria Stern was exposed to the wonders of plant life early on. "Ojai's neighborhood streets were lined with tons of oaks, citrus trees, lavender and rosemary bushes," she says, "it was so lovely, almost how you can imagine it." Her passion for cooking and baking fueled her to pivot from a career in tennis towards a career as a personal chef. However, it wasn't until she took a class on medicinal and edible plants that she saw a way of combining her two great loves—nature and food. A feast for both the eyes and the tastebuds, Loria's botanical bakes are inspired by the ever changing colors and flavors of the season. Her cookbook, Eat Your Flowers, shares secrets for creating her signature delicacies at home, including her viral Pressed Flower Shortbread Cookies, and our personal favorite, Pressed Summer Rolls. As tasty as they are beautiful to look at, Loria's creations never fail to inspire. We caught up on a beautiful morning in early August.
VIDEO Arna Behar
Loria wears the new Rock V Pendant.
Tell us about your background. Where are you from, how did you get into baking and botanicals?
I grew up in Ojai, CA where natural beauty was abundant. My parents had a garden, and I remember being in charge of growing the cherry tomatoes and selling them at the end of our driveway. I was also in charge of fertilizing the roses with coffee grounds. Since those tender days, my journey has meandered from playing professional tennis to working in the fashion industry and to then finding my greatest expression in the culinary world.
In 2010, I started working at an array of different restaurants, hotels, and bakeries to hone in my professional culinary skills. In 2013, I was simultaneously working as a pastry chef at a fancy hotel while taking an Adult education class on Edible and Medicinal Plants at Santa Barbara City College. It was then that I began experimenting with two passions that I was learning about-- cooking and baking, and edible botanicals.
I have found great fascination learning how to cook and bake with edible flowers and herbs– developing different techniques to keep a certain flower's colors bright while baking or different ways to extract the most flavor from an herb for a sauce.
Loria's cookbook, Eat Your Flowers.
What do you love most about cooking and baking?
I love feeding people and seeing smiles on their faces, that is probably my top motivator.
Loria wears the Esfera Charm Bracelet, the Toggle II Chain Bracelet and the Disco Snake Chain Bracelet, along with the Guapa II Hoop Earrings and new Rounded Flex Bangles.
Tell us about your creative process.
I like to get messy, and make no apologies! I often spend entire days working on different recipes and the kitchen gets crazy. I do a big clean up right before bed.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Spending time in nature, color theory, going to museums and art galleries, spending time with interesting people.
Loria wears the Rounded Arc Necklace.
How would you describe your style?
Fun, colorful, chic, comfortable, eclectic.
Loria wears the Koutoubia, Square III, and Mixed Gyro rings.
What is your favorite recipe to eat from Eat Your Flowers?
That is too difficult to answer as there are so many good ones. Depends what mood I'm in! I have probably made the kale caesar salad with chickpea croutons and vegan caesar dressing the most. ;)
What is your favorite recipe of all time?
Of course my flower pressed shortbread cookies.
The Pressed Summer Rolls
What makes for a good party? A good host?
Being relaxed. I think the best parties are hosted by a relaxed host, that way guests can also feel relaxed and at ease to be themselves and just enjoy.
Loria wears the Rounded Hoops and a Hemisphere Cuff.
Do you have any entertaining tips or recommendations?
I love using elements of nature to decorate the table. My new cookbook has some recipes that are great for entertaining as well.
Loria wears the Thin Bar Bracelet, Naked I Bracelet, Disco Snake Bracelet, the new Rounded Link Bracelet, the Fatima II and Hemisphere Cuffs with the new Heart Ring.
What's next for you? Will there be another cookbook in the future?
I sure hope so! There also may be a TV show. Stay tuned.
What are you most excited about right now?
I'm excited about so many different things! I love the changing of seasons reflected in my garden-- the volunteer plants, and others that I've nurtured that are producing so many flowers. I'm also excited about growing my bakery team, upcoming travel plans and events.
How would you describe your style and what makes for a good design?
Fun, colorful, chic, comfortable, eclectic. Materials and comfortability.
How would you describe KC's designs?
Timeless and fabulous.
What do you love most about KC's designs?
How they can elevate an otherwise plain outfit.
Lori wears the Flat Oblique Hoops