Lesley included a little blurb in a news roundup
had begun to serve gluten-free bread baked by Lauren Moskovitz of Little Mosko's Bake Shop
. That news piqued my interest, especially since Lauren is a fellow University School grad, and her parents Cindy and Scott Moskovitz used to run the beloved Rock Block shoplet, Mosko's. (Y'know, where those of us of a certain age might have bought clove cigarettes before sneaking underage into a Will Rambeaux show at the Exit/In.)
So I reached out to Lauren Moskovitz to find out more about her story, and it's quite a tale. Lauren's mother discovered an intolerance to gluten in 2009 and found out it could be hereditary. Lauren had herself tested and came back positive for celiac disease, a discovery that explained a lot about her past health issues. "I had been sick with something or another for most of my life," she recalls. "But I grew up in a house where the general remedy for any stomach ailment was a bowl of matzo ball soup and some saltines, a 'cure' which only compounded my problems."
As she sought to change her diet, Lauren discovered that finding gluten-free products would be a challenge. "Back in 2009, most of them were atrocious, really not worth eating. But I had lived in the Bay Area which was at the forefront of thoughtful eating." Without any formal training — "I studied at the Culinary Institute of Trial and Error," she jokes — Lauren started to experiment with creating gluten-free recipes in her own home where she could avoid the cross-contamination that her mother was more sensitive to than she was.
Concentrating on baked goods, Moskovitz developed her own proprietary blends of flours using rice, soy, tapioca, etc., and developed recipes for various cookies, cakes and breads. "I was cooking blind," she recalls. "Baking gluten-free involves using batters and dough that don't look at all like traditional recipes. A bread dough might look more like a cake batter, but then some magic happens in the oven and you get bread."
She began working front of house at Miel
"for like 20 minutes, but I hated it." But after she brought in some of her baked goods for the Miel staff, they immediately invited her to start working in the kitchen, where she successfully made her way through just about every station and still works covering shifts. Eventually, she decided to go pro and opened up Little Mosko's Bake Shop working out of her own certified home kitchen.