Palisades Presbyterian Church’s ‘Food for Thought’ Chef Is Lori Cook

At the monthly “Food for Thought” speaker series at the Palisades Presbyterian Church, a free lunch is served, and many of the attendees have been raving about the tasty food.

Each meal is prepared by professional chef Lori Cook—yes, that’s her real name— who works at nearby Atria (formerly Sunrise Assisted Living) on Sunset.

Laurie Cook is the chef at Atria. Photo: Wendy Price Anderson
Laurie Cook is the chef at Atria. Photo: Wendy Price Anderson

Cook, who grew up in Minnesota, started her culinary career by making apple pies and Swedish tea rings. When she was 15, she worked with a home economist, who taught her how to throw elegant dinner parties, and urged her to choose a practical career.

At that point in her life, Cook wanted to be an opera singer, but the economist told her “No matter how bad times get, people will always have to eat.”

For more than 30 years, Cook has been involved in culinary arts. She is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and spent years in cooking and pastry in Bay Area hotels and catering. She also worked at Marriot’s Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona and Michael’s Catering.

Most recently, Cook made the change to working in a senior living facility in Sun City, Arizona, and then in Beverly Hills, before coming to Pacific Palisades.

“I enjoy the many rewards that come with cooking for seniors and their families,” Cook said. “I appreciate working for a company like Atria that wants to make the din- ing experience the best you can get.”

Her long-term dream is to combine her singing talents with a cooking class and take her show on the road.

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(The “Food for Thought” lunch and lecture series is open to the public and is held the third Tuesday of each month at the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church, 15821 Sunset Blvd. On December 16, Ann Zwicker Kerr will speak about her challenges in teaching in the Middle East. There is no charge, but RSVP (310) 454-0366 by December 12, to ensure enough food.

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