Persian, a pinch of Sephardic and the rest is topped up with an English-Irish mix, she’s the genetic equivalent of a Molotov cocktail. Laura began her professional cooking career working for Justin de Blank at his National Gallery restaurant in London. Detouring slightly via friends met at the stove Laura was offered an opportunity to train with Lynne Franks at her eponymous PR firm. Some great years in PR followed after which Laura was invited by MTV Europe to launch their Pan European and Middle East Special Events division where she worked with international stars all over the world. Laura left the world of MTV to move to Milan where she worked as a freelance event producer, producing among other things Italy’s first ever music festival and a couple of children. In 2002 Laura returned to London to run her family’s restaurant SANTINI following her father’s retirement but stepped away in 2008 to pursue her writing, television and food consultancy work. Laura is the world’s first kitchen agony aunt.
“I have made the journey from boardroom to cold room and back several times in the last
twenty years, turning life’s ifs and and into pots and pans. Kitchens are about invention and
the bubble and squeak of reinvention. That is the alchemy of cooking”
It is the achievements of Laura Santtini over the past 12 months however that have set culinary tongues wagging. A “mistress of flavour” Laura has evolved from being a behind the scenes taste consultant and working mother into an award winning author, businesswoman and global marketing sensation. And it is a testament to Laura Santtini’s passion and belief that she sold her flat, moved into rented accommodation and invested all she had into her venture. From modest beginnings her pioneering range of food preparations has grown from a kitchen table idea into a singular global phenomenon. Having established herself as the world’s first Gastro Therapist for WFI, at the end of 2009 Laura published Easy Tasty Italian bringing a whole new dimension to cooking, earning Laura this year’s British Guild of Food Writers’ Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book. A brave first book, this contemporary and empowering study into transformational cooking and the relationship between emotions and cooking, chose words and illustrations as carefully as it did ingredients for the recipes:
“This book made the judges feel they were discovering something new.”
Guild of Food Writers
In the same year, the themes of culinary wizardry and intense flavour combinations that are central to the book, were translated into her innovative range of scratch cooking ingredients, Laura Santtini’s Spellbinding Flavours and in particular her successful and ground breaking embodiment of umami – the elusive fifth taste sensation -in her Taste #5 Umami Paste™. More than anything else it was Laura’s Taste #5 Umami Paste™ that catapulted her into the newspapers and taste consciousness of experts around the world. Laura’s eureka moment was to harness umami-packed natural ingredients from her Italian heritage and create the world’s first Umami Paste- a natural flavour bomb guaranteed to enhance any savoury dish. Laura Santtini makes food that makes global headlines. From the front page of the Daily Telegraph and the news pages of the Sun to BBC Breakfast news and Japanese TV, Taste #5 Umami Paste™ has indeed gone a long way but this is only one product within Laura Santtini’s Spellbinding Flavours range. Her Easy Tasty Magic collection with its Stardust Savoury Sprinkles, Culinary Elixirs, Latterday Rubs and Decorative Salts often use another of Laura’s culinary inspirations – “Food Bling” – edible noble metals such as gold and silver that enhance a cook’s creations, creating a feast for both the eyes and the palate. Laura’s Credit Crunch Chocolate made the front pages of the Wall Street Journal. Trend setters and taste makers Selfridges were the first to champion Laura Santtini’s Spellbinding Flavours. Before long Waitrose snapped up Taste # 5 Umami Paste™ too with one month’s supply selling out in two days and unprecedented waiting lists in store. The taste explosion continues – the US have welcomed Laura Santtini’s Spellbinding Flavours, Canada, Sweden and Denmark are selling Taste #5 Umami Paste™, several central European countries are already marketing it, a wholesale deal has been done so the top chefs in the land will soon be armed with the transformative paste and – perhaps most thrillingly of all, Japan, the home of Umami, takes delivery soon. Laura has emerged from being the food industry’s Cinderella, developing other people’s food flavours, into an astute business woman who has transformed an idea created from her kitchen in Battersea, London into a global food ingredient. Described by a top food industry expert as “Tracey Emin with a frying pan”, Laura continues to write and develop new products. She is currently My Daily’s new culinary agony aunt and her second book also to be published by Quadrille will reach the shelves in September 2011.
Laura lives in London.
AT HOME WITH UMAMI
Explore the wonder and magic of the fantastic fifth taste with over 60 tantalizing recipes that take flavour to another dimension.
Umami is the super-savoury fifth basic taste. It is both ubiquitous and elusive, present but often unrecognized, and it has the extraordinary ability to enhance individual flavours, transporting dishes to another level. It is the taste that keeps on giving long after salty, sweet, bitter and sour flavours are spent. Umami is a Japanese word that translates as savoury deliciousness , but it is far from a Far Eastern concept. It is absolutely universal and does not belong to any single culture – it can be shared, enjoyed and appreciated by all those in possession of a tongue. Everyone has experienced it – the salted anchovy that melts into the tomato of a pizza, the irresistible marriage of pancetta and Parmesan in a creamy spaghetti carbonara or the rich, caramelized chorizo in a pan-fried calamari and chorizo salad. Once understood, umami is your best friend both in and out of the kitchen. Umami-rich ingredients will add magic to any dish, and make great cooks out of all of us.
In this book, you’ll discover extraordinary new flavour combinations in dishes such as baked Camembert with Parmigiano Reggiano and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Peppered Seared Tuna with Matcha Miso Vinaigrette and Coconut and Cardamom Butter Chicken. This book contains a taste of the wonder and magic of umami, and once bitten you will forever be smitten.
PUBLISHER: Ryland Peters & Small
PUBLICATION DATE: 8th October 2015
FLASH COOKING: FIT FAST FLAVORS FOR BUSY PEOPLE — Buy it here
Flash is the everyday cooking of the future. Using Laura Santtini’s clever and easily prepared ‘flavour bombs’, fast flavourings literally flash in the pan. The difference between her dishes and other fast food, however, is that they are designed to promote well-being and keep you trim and fit. She makes the ordinary extraordinary by showing readers how to transform familiar basic everyday ingredients – fish fillets and steaks, chicken breasts, etc. – into a wide range of exciting and nutritious meals that draw on many popular cuisines of the world to keep the taste buds tingling. Readers will be able to ring the changes on favourite foods from salmon fillets glazed with maple syrup and ginger to pork cutlets with sage and anchovy butter and cauliflower steaks with harissa and feta cheese. There are dishes for all occasions, even energizing breakfasts and all-day snacks. Fast, healthy, simple and flavour-packed, Laura’s recipes sparkle with magic. This book will inspire readers to embrace new flavours and will become the essential guide for everyone looking for fabulous fast food for a fit life.
PUBLICATION DATE: 17th October 2011
EASY TASTY ITALIAN- Buy it here
Winner of Guild of Food Writers Award for Best First Book 2010
Contemporary and empowering – once you’ve read Laura Santtini’s book and learnt the secrets of transformation in the kitchen, your cooking will never be the same again! Discover the potent alchemy of cookery and how Laura’s magical flavour bombs make the simplest food unforgettable. Learn how to make the most of the powers of umami, the recently identified flavour component and how to use simple techniques to transform everyday ingredients into sublime dishes with minimum effort. In the first part of the book, Laura reveals the secret ingredients of her larder and gives recipes for her intense flavour combinations – the marinades such as red wine, porcini and anchovy, rubs such as pink peppercorn, rose petal and salt, and pastes like parmesan and prosciutto – that give her food sparkle. She also shows how procedures such as pounding, chopping, slicing and beating yield mouthwatering extras that can be used to transform dishes. Finally, cooking methods are described under Air, Water, Fire and Earth and, with each one, Laura gives a treasury of delectable recipes. Throughout, suggestions are given for transforming basic recipes – so a carbonara sauce might be uplifted with artichoke and saffron or a smooth vegetable soup might have scorched almonds stirred through. Simple, original and unexpected, this cookbook will become your new best friend in the kitchen.
“The Domestic goddess is so last season, this is the year of the Domestic Alchemist!” – The Culinary Guide
” Her food is a daring mix of unexpected ingredients that surprises and delights at every turn. “- LivingEtc
“It’s not often that you come across someone with a fresh way of thinking about food, but Laura Santtini is one of them” –Lucas Holweg Sunday Times Style
” A foodie apothecary of flavours [her] spice rack will revolutionize your kitchen. “- Stylist magazine
” Food is in Laura Santtini s DNA. “- Bon Appétit
” Santtini… can speak with as much passion about a toasted cheese sandwich as she can about a sprinkling of sumac, pink peppercorns and rose petals on roasted root vegetables.” – WWD Newspaper
PUBLICATION DATE: 2nd October 2009