You may have met Rose Lawrence already, at her bread stand at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, at her jam-making classes at Jessica Koslow's Sqirl, or at her recent meat-curing class at Surfas. Master food preserver, educator and chef, Lawrence is co-owner with her husband, David, of Red Bread — a lacto-fermented, sourdough-infused, social justice-spiced bakery/market/community space that's about to open on Washington Boulevard in Culver City. (The opening date is still TBD.)
If you ask Lawrence how she got the name, Red Bread, she'll tell you. “Red registers like no other color in the mind. Bread has the power to sustain, uplift and nourish. Also, they're my two favorite things.”
Says Lawrence, “I went to law school to become a human rights lawyer.” But what she found was that combining her love of food and her knowledge of human rights law made a pretty good pairing. “I want to show everyone that good food is simple and accessible. We are activists. We believe in education and good food for the people.” Serving nourishing and sustainable food and teaching others to make it with simple and fresh ingredients became her greatest form of social activism.
On Wednesdays at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, you'll find her oatmeal and chocolate chip “Cracked” cookies (a recipe she took three years to perfect), homemade chili pepper marshmallows, loaves of wild yeast sourdough bread, as well as her signature pectin-free jams, including the seasonal Strawsilberry — a dark and beautiful blend of strawberry and basil — and other impressive pastries.
If you can't make it to the Lawrences' booth, and you happen to live or work between Montana Avenue in Santa Monica and Marina del Rey, you may even partake in Red Bread's electric-bike delivery service.
Lawrence says the coming Red Bread brick-and-mortar shop in Culver City will be open for breakfast, lunch and tea — offering a daily sandwich, soup and salad, in addition to the vast array of breads, cookies, scones and other treats. In the evenings, there will be cooking, baking, preserving, jam-making and charcuterie classes, as well as pop-up dinners and occasional live music from local artists.
“In our fridge and freezer, we'll have homemade cheeses, small-batch ice creams, yogurts, pastas, and meats from nose to tail from a local butcher. On our shelves, made from produce boxes from local farms, we'll have chef-curated local produce, too,” Lawrence says.
In the meantime, Lawrence is holding a fundraiser on Kickstarter to raise funds for finishing touches for the grand opening — such as utensils. Viva la revolucion.
Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook, and follow C. Pete Lee at @cpetelee.