A Certified Tea Specialist from the Specialty Tea Institute, Chef and Educator Laurie Bell is owner of Great Falls Tea Garden. Chef Bell blends tea selections for several restaurants, as well as for retail sale. Her popular “Educational Focused Tea Tasting Seminars” not only inform the public about the myriad styles of premium teas from around the globe, but also showcase ways to cook with teas.
Chef Bell has a culinary career spanning over thirty years. She lived in France for four years where she earned a très bien Grand Diplôme from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Returning to the U.S., Chef Bell founded the culinary company À La Belle Cuisine serving Washington, D.C. and its suburbs. She taught cooking classes that focused on French technique in both participation and demonstration formats, and gradually developed a catering business that became a full-time enterprise. She designed and built her own commercial catering kitchen and served as owner and executive chef.
Chef Bell has worked at the White House, on local television shows and has lectured at several industry conferences and culinary schools. She created and wrote a quarterly newsletter for A La Belle Cuisine and continues to author articles for various industry newsletters. She was a local programs coordinator for WCR for over 10 years, has served on the Advisory Board of Stratford University and AIWF as well as several local Great Falls organizations, and as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. She currently serves as Vice President for Education and Community Outreach for the local chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier. A lifelong tea drinker, she continues her quest for tea knowledge by attending the World Tea Expo and Conference every year.