The Sweet Life
Passion, flexibility & hard work are the ingredients to a successful culinary career
It all started with macarons.
In 2018, Laura Lachowecki made some hand-painted beauties for her daughter’s first birthday party and posted them on Instagram. “A writer for Indianapolis Monthly magazine asked if they could be featured,” says the 31-year-old New London native. “That article helped launch my brand. Filigree Bakery was official shortly after.”
Laura operates Filigree Bakery out of her Indianapolis home that she shares with her husband and two young children. She specializes in French macarons, cakes and desserts, and also provides consultation and contracting services. Under Indiana Cottage Food Law, she can only sell to the public at roadside stands and farmers markets, allowing her to keep her business manageable while raising her family.
Laura’s career began with Fox Valley Technical College. When she was a senior at Fox Valley Lutheran High School in 2009, she had her pick of culinary schools. “I visited and toured the culinary program at The Art Institute in Chicago and I was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America as well as Johnson and Wales,” she says.
However, it was her FVTC tour that sealed the deal. “The chef instructors were so welcoming; they not only allowed me to view a lab class, they also encouraged me to take part in the curriculum for the day. It really set them apart.”
Laura went on to earn her associate degree in Culinary Arts in 2012, then relocated to Indiana where, among other things, she worked at the University of Notre Dame, supervising a staff of eight in the Food Services department. She also earned multiple culinary industry awards as well as completing a bachelor’s degree in management online from UW-Stout.
She credits FVTC with providing the foundation for her career and business. “FVTC gave me the resources and tools to run my business. Sanitation, food costing, inventory management, accounting—these are things that I use on a daily basis.”
In addition to her respect for the instructors at FVTC, Laura enjoyed the diversity during her time here. “I made great friends and the support I received is indescribable. It was great to be in class with people of different generations and walks of life.”
She believes anyone passionate about food should pursue a degree in Culinary Arts. “People are always going to enjoy food and dining out. With the focus on sustainability, the environment, local vendors and farming, the future of food is exciting and new culinary grads get to be a part of this evolution. Current technology allows us to learn and collaborate with others digitally, and COVID pushed us to expand dining from just the dining room table.”
Above all, her advice to aspiring culinarians is simple: “Be passionate, be flexible and work hard.”
Find Filigree Bakery on Instagram at @filigree.bakery
Laura Lachowecki’s national and international awards:
- 4 American Culinary Federation (ACF) gold medals, 3 ACF silver medals, 1 ACF student team bronze medal
- National ACF Pastry Chef of the Year, 2015
- Central Region ACF Pastry Chef of the Year, 2015
- Finalist U.S. Pastry Competition, 2017
- U.S. Pastry Queen, 2018
- Sigep International Pastry Queen Competition, second place out of 12 countries, 2018