We partner with some incredible local talents for our classes and some of our retail selections. In our ongoing Extended Family series, we want to showcase their work and provide a glimpse inside their personal story.
Lauren McCool is the Brand Ambassador for Hama Hama Seafood Company and teaches our popular Oyster class here at Book Larder. Upcoming classes here.
Let’s start out with the basics, where are you from and what do you do?
Well, I’m kind of from all over! I was born in southern California and my parents are both from Montreal, Canada. I’ve lived in the Midwest (Chicago) and on the east coast in Atlanta, Virginia and Rhode Island. But oh how I love the PNW.
I work for Hama Hama Oysters, first as their sales manager at Seattle farmers markets for 5 years and now as their brand ambassador and all around oyster gal here in Seattle.
What do you love about your job/business?
I love food. I love seafood. I love locally grown food, especially oysters from a beautiful clean place. I also love learning about these bivalves and then getting to teach others about all their unique qualities. Shucking oysters keeps me close to the product and the people.
How long have you been in business?
I’ve been working for Hama Hama Oysters for almost 6 years!
How did your business evolve since its beginning?
I’ve watched Hama Hama grow in so many ways since I first started working at Seattle farmers markets for them. They’ve become more widely known for their consistent high quality oysters and clams and for the absolutely gorgeous place they come from. With our Direct to Chef sales program, we’ve developed many close relationships with restaurants all over the country. We have staff come visit pretty often, some from as far away as Atlanta! We’ve also been having fun doing pop-up events all over the Seattle area.
What cookbook do you reference most often (in general or just lately)?
Oh man, this is a tough one, so many good ones… In general, I’d say, the Chez Panisse Cookbook or Yotam Ottolenghi’s books. I love fresh, simple foods and almost anything from around the Mediterranean. And lately, Chef Matt Jennings’ Homegrown. It reminds me of the great northeastern historic food culture I miss. But also, Chef Renee Erickson’s A Boat, a Whale and a Walrus. Local classic!
If you could take any cooking class, what would it be?
Any cooking class? Umm, I’d take *any* class from Becky Selengut or, if he gave them, Anthony Bourdain. But really, I’d love to learn how to break down a whole pig.