Here to add a little sweetness to your holiday season is our December Joie Mus, Loria Stern! Loria is an incredible Los Angeles-based pastry chef known for her beautiful flower pressed shortbread cookies. We met up with Loria in her bright, hillside LA home to discuss all things baking, the holidays and her personal style sensibility.
On your career...
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN BAKING? HAS IT ALWAYS BEEN A PASSION TO YOU?
I've always loved to cook and especially bake! Culinary was a hobby for me until about 2013 when I decided I was going to make it a career. I worked in dozens of establishments - from fancy hotels to neighborhood bakeries. I started my own business in 2016 and it really took off the end of that year when I started baking my flower pressed shortbread cookies.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE LEARNED ABOUT EDIBLE FLOWERS, AND DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITES?
The most interesting thing I've learned about working with edible flowers is that some Flowers get brighter after baking and others lose their luster and bake slightly grey or brown. For example, pomegranate petals bake an even brighter shade of red/orange, whereas lavender flowers (before baking are purple) bake grey. This Fact first sparked my curiosity of baking with Flowers and Fm still interested how flowers and herbs bake.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PASTY YOU LIKE TO MAKE DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON?
I love baking pies. They are so special and nostalgic. This is the first year I'm offering pies for pick up from my LA baking studio which is very exciting!
WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR THE FUTURE OF LORIA'S COOKIES?
I see a future of lots of edible flowers. ;-) I'm currently working on a cookbook and a TV show, so who knows! I would love to have a Loria bakery and sell all of my favorite treats and foods, from savory to sweets.
ANY ADVICE FOR OTHERS LOOKING TO FOLLOW THEIR HEART AND START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Learn as much as you can about your trade! Read books, listen to podcasts, watch movies and YouTube. Become an expert. Also, success does not happen overnight. Be patient and keep working hard, always with a positive attitude.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOLIDAY PLANS THIS YEAR?
For Christmas this year I will be going to Big Bear with my boyfriend for some cozy time. We will stay in, cook and relax by the fireplace, I can't wait!
WHAT IS YOUR STYLE MANTRA?
Comfort above all else!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PIECE FROM THE SHOOT?
I love the silk jumpsuit — it's so flattering and can be dressed up or down and worn in every season.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HOLIDAY STYLE STAPLES?
Cozy cashmere sweaters, cute denim jeans and my lace up heeled brown boots.