Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Carolyn always had a deep connection to cooking and baking. At a young age, she often found herself immersed in cookbooks, magazines and adored the primitive cooking shows from the early 80’s; gaining inspiration from the likes of Jacques Pepin, Graham Kerr and of cou...
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Carolyn always had a deep connection to cooking and baking. At a young age, she often found herself immersed in cookbooks, magazines and adored the primitive cooking shows from the early 80’s; gaining inspiration from the likes of Jacques Pepin, Graham Kerr and of course the beloved Julia Childs. Carolyn dreamed of one day attending culinary school. More specifically - Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She set her sights on studying Le Grand Diplome (cuisine & pastry) and after university, her dream became an adventure set in motion.
It was the millennium and the City of Lights was dazzling! Carolyn fell in love with everything Paris had to offer. Although she began a gastronomical journey to perfect her craft, she soon learned that there was so much more in store beyond the century old walls of Le Cordon Bleu. Studying classical French cuisine amidst the world’s gastronomic capital provided an intimate lens into French culture. Hidden in an interwoven connection between the people, historical foods and unparalleled wines lies the ‘joie de vivre’ of daily French life. Carolyn learned that French gastronomy is not something just learned in books. It is core to daily life. Even the most prestigious dishes are derived from humble roots and the most beloved dishes are the generational ‘Cuisine de Grandmere’.
Here, Carolyn met her husband, Howard. As a fellow classmate in cuisine and oenology, Carolyn admired his extensive knowledge, discerning honesty and his laidback nature. She also relished the fact that she could out-taste him during class! And as for Howard, Carolyn’s ability to out-taste him is actually what got her noticed in the first place. But he soon came to appreciate her natural palate. And at graduation, it was no surprise to Howard, that Carolyn achieved top distinction, graduating #1 in her class, for Le Grand Diplome. This hard earned prestigious honor bestows highly coveted bragging rights among the world’s culinary intelligentsia.
Her dream had come true!
Upon graduation, Carolyn and Howard decided to embark on a culinary journey together determined to bring a little piece of Paris back home. And in 2002, Belle Epicurean was born. Authenticity is core to Belle as they continue to focus on one basic question, how can they capture the French ‘joie de vivre’ and box it up? Carolyn’s journey has brought her full circle … from dreamer, to student, to restaurant chef, to competitor and now baker. And all along the way she had Howard by her side, keeping the dream alive.
If you have ever been to Paris, you’ll know there’s so much to love, especially the patisserie. When you try their products, you will taste the balance, the dedication and the inspiration. And perhaps even find the ‘joie de vivre’ within you!