STARCH is a collaboration between two friends who are enthusiastic about all things food.
We both grew up in small midwestern towns and have a deep appreciation for home cooking. But we’re not just meat and potato girls! While we still love to cook simple, traditional foods, we have left those small towns and enjoy making food our own. One of us draws inspiration from vegetarian and gourmet street food trends from that weird city in the Lone Star State and the other is influenced by Italian and New American fine dining under the Gateway Arch. Hence, the blog’s name.
Laura MacDougall (ARCH)
- Profession: Physical Therapist
- Hometown: Freeburg, IL
- Living in STL with husband, Trevor and dog, Miller
Love of cooking runs in my family. Not only are both my Grandmas excellent cooks, but my mom can turn a nearly empty pantry into a tasty meal. I grew up in a home with nightly family dinners, but not the kind that you pretend to eat or hand scraps under the table to the family dog. The food was great, and if it needed some tweaking, we were all happy to tell the chef what he/she could do better the next time a particular dish was made.
I don’t exactly remember when I first began to cook, but I do remember playing in my Grandma’s backyard with a toy kitchen and cooking ‘hamburgers’ out of the rocks in her driveway. I was a whopping 2 or 3 years old. I have fond memories of picking elderberries and peaches with my grandpa on the family dairy farm and walking them back for my grandma to make into her famous pies. I looked forward to spending time there; we always had a new food adventure. From shelling corn and gathering eggs and fresh milk to butchering cows, pigs, deer and chicken, my eyes had been opened. I thrived on our visits.
Several years ago, when I moved to St. Louis for college, I missed my families home-cooking, but the STL has opened my eyes to a larger culinary world. Although I cook mostly healthy food, comfort food still finds its way onto my plate.
Kristine Waggoner (STAR)
- Profession: Chemist/Web Designer/Blogger
- Hometown: Wellsville, MO
- Current City: Austin, TX
My earliest memories of food at random: Cooking pancakes and eating lima beans with my mom (not in the same meal!). Frequenting Mexican and Chinese (Yum’s Oriental Buffet) restaurants while living in Phoenix. My grandma’s coconut cream and banana cream pies. Fried green tomato sandwiches, compliments of grandpa’s garden. Picking and eating blackberries right off the vine with my dad. Anticipating my aunt’s pickled okra and summer salsa.
When I began college in St. Louis, my food world expanded considerably. I fell in love with Mediterranean cuisine and those flavors are probably the most prominent in my cooking today. I also enjoy cooking Indian and Asian influenced fare.
These days, I’m a very active person with an insatiable hunger for long-distance running and biking. This passion has made me more aware of what I put in my body–whatever it is, I want it to help me be a better athlete. In many of my recipe posts, I will attempt to convince you to eat the dish, not just because of its flavor factor, but also because of its nutrition factor.