Lauren Grier’s mission is to empower individuals to be curious.
The Curious Plate is a reflection of my life lessons learned. The collection of tasty recipes, adventurous travel experiences, and entrepreneurial triumphs is meant to FEED YOUR CURIOSITY and inspire you daily to be bold, empowering, and a lot curious.
About 13 years ago, during a long spell of interview after interview, I experienced the ‘ol “one door closes another opens” thing. See, I was clocking heavy hours watching TV, mostly cooking shows..
I was in a slump, but the idea of cooking somehow made me feel a little better. The careful preparation, the rhythm of slicing and chopping, the way the pros used all five senses; it was mesmerizing. Something started to click.
To that point, my culinary knowledge amounted to a hill of beans. I had no love for cooking, and in many ways, food itself was an afterthought. Like a lot of you, I had childhood memories of fun family dinners, moments when a meal made you want to sit a little longer at the table. But I had never felt a true calling, or a passion for putting food at the center of life.
Until, something clicked.
Or snapped, or wiggled, or shimmied, or whatever a swordfish does. Because that was the first thing I was too curious not to cook.
It was uphill from there. I was bound and determined to learn, so I started playing with food at every opportunity and reading books like Jacques Pepin’s Complete Techniques to sharpen my skills.
By the time my seventeenth job interview rolled around, my priorities had shifted.
Over time, I put my passion out there. I started Climbing Grier Mountain, in August 2010, and slowly began to connect with other bloggers and readers. As I became part of a community, my kitchen encounters made a big leap, too, and I began to make my own recipes.
Years passed, I tweaked and experimented, failed and succeeded day-by-day.
My first cookbook, Modern Comfort Cooking, published in 2017, is a collection of my favorite classic dishes, made new again.
Developing and writing this cookbook taught me that food is an important connector in life. It connects us to the past, to ourselves, to the people around us. Comfort food makes the best connections, I think.
Today, after countless trials and tribulations in the kitchen, travels across the world experiencing the best flavors and ingredients, a cookbook, a kid, and a marriage of almost 15 years, I have come out on the other side having grown so much as a person.
Important lessons I have learned:
- You CAN teach yourself how to cook, but be open to learning. Remember, mistakes are like cookies, they can leave yummy crumbles.
- Playtime in the kitchen, and taking risks, is always valuable
- To cook well, you must boldly follow your senses and embrace curiosity
- There is no other thrill like creating something (a delicious Tuesday night meal) from nothing (a nearly empty pantry)
For me, food is exploratory. I love to “mind” the gap or figure out what about the recipe hasn’t been done before and create fresh flavors and irresistible mash-ups that inspire my readers.
After all, cooking is a learning process, a journey. Defying the norm and uncovering a new method, a new ingredient, a new special something – these are the things that, to me, make cooking one of the grandest experiments in life. That’s why, after careful consideration, I am evolving Climbing Grier Mountain to become Curious Plate, which I believe best represents this sense of wonder that continues to fuel me to keep creating, keep learning.
As a recipe developer, cook and food blogger, and food photographer, some of my favorite dishes to bring to life have been, Roasted Curry Tomato Galette, French Onion Zoodle Bake, and Roasted Casprese Asparagus recipe.
Along the way, I have enjoyed:
- Collaboration and ambassadorship experience with well-known brands such as Coca-Cola, General Mills, Sabra, American Lamb Board, and Bob’s Red Mills.
- Press from national publications and websites, including Food Network, Bon Appetit, Real Simple, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and many more
- Television appearances and featured recipes on NBC and CBS Denver
- A featured presence on Harry and David Blog, Tasty Kitchen Blog, Denver Life Magazine, and Voyage Denver Magazine.
- Worked with well-known domestic and international tourism boards – Jordan, Scotland, Yountville, California, Germany and many more
When you don’t find me in the kitchen, I am chasing my daughter Charlie around, remodeling my house with my husband, Mr. B, or hosting a get-together for my dear friends, otherwise known as our “village.”
You’ll find us on the blog venturing everywhere from scenic mountaintops to placid lakes. I also love to unearth distinctive aspects of Denver, where we call home.
Love and curious cooking!