Kingston has always been its own little melting pot of cultures with a large influx of Italians, Polish, Irish and more recently, Latinos. This week’s Doer and Dreamer is changing that trend and probably many others as she uses her own cultural influences to carve out her niche in Kingston’s foodie scene. Say ‘Hello’ to this week’s Doer and Dreamer, Linda Laestadius.
Your name: Linda Laestadius
Business or organization: Grounded – 83 Broadway (catering available now, cafe to open the first week in July)
Occupation: Chef, Wedding Coordinator and Cake Artist
What is your approach to your business or occupation that makes you unique?
My European roots in combination with what I have learned in my 25 years in restaurant business influence my cooking. My passion for local and organic foods, my passion and love to make people happy and healthy with food, healing the earth with environmental consciousness, shopping locally and caring about sustainability for our menus are also major influences.
Where are you from originally?
What brought you to the Kingston area and keeps you in this area?
Originally a job offer in Woodstock 10+ years ago, I fell in love with the lush Hudson Valley, all it has to offer and its wonderful people. As a chef its hard to imagine a better place to cook then with all the talented local farmers producing such quality products.
What is your favorite hangout in this area and why?
Probably in my kitchen among with my staff. We are a tight knit little “ family”, loving what we do.
When you’re not in Kingston, what’s your idea of a wonderful city to visit, and why?
If its not a European city such as Paris, L’Escala, Stockholm or Copenhagen for its amazing foods and restaurants then maybe a bit closer. NYC, which I love because of its multitude of cultures both in food and people. NYC is the one city I feel I can be equally as happy with a $10 in my pocket as a bank account with bunch of zeros in it. Locally, I love Woodstock for all its fresh organic and rare produce with the inhabitants being openminded, caring, and being for natural, organic food and healing. I love Germantown for its incredible views and Rhinebeck for its restaurant scene.
Tell us something that we never would have guessed about you.
I am a certified snowboard instructor, and I used to restore antique furniture for a living.