I’m Laura Grimmer. After a long career in marketing in Boston and New York City, I sold my business and trained to be a private chef and sommelier. When my husband and I discovered the lower Connecticut River Valley, I took my career to the next level: Opening a kitchen goods store and teaching wine and food classes.
Located in idyllic Chester, The Perfect Pear is a perfect blend of all the things I love most: Food, wine and engaging with people over a mutual interest in food and wine. I also love a pretty table, so I've curated a collection of wares for the kitchen, table and bar with well-served function behind their form.
As a graduate of The French Culinary Institute in SoHo and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, bringing tools and training to a shop setting is a natural progression of my passions. The Perfect Pear carries chef-curated basics needed to cook and bake, tools like French knives and Swiss cookware. I’ve also selected European-inspired tableware to set an enticing table with practical yet appealing serving pieces, including German glassware and Turkish linens.
To me, cooking the French way is very straightforward. It starts with planning the meal, from the apértif to dessert. It's about using the right tools – the things professional chefs rely on – with the proper techniques. And it’s about the visual appeal of the dish and the setting.
I bring these elements to my cooking classes, which focus on technique, and my beverage classes, in which participants learn about wine, beer and liqueurs in addition to tasting them. Students grow their kitchen skills and recipe repertoire, and we have a great time doing it. Check our schedule for upcoming classes and workshops.
I am also available for private cooking classes (something parents of avid teen bakers love for their would-be Julia Childs), as well as private events like wine tastings and group classes for bachelorette parties, bridal or baby showers.
Ably assisted by my husband, children’s book author Michael Beil, who also does in-shop knife-sharpening, I look forward to working with you.
Time to cook!