Laura Pensiero - Gigi Hudson Valley Hudson Valley Mediterranean by Laura Pensiero
Gigi Hudson Valley Team

Laura Pensiero

Chef | Dietitian | Restaurateur | Author

Laura Pensiero is the founder, owner and creative force behind Gigi Hudson Valley, a Hudson Valley and national brand.  Laura’s background as a chef and nutritionist combined with the culinary bounty of the Hudson Valley creates the perfect union for modern dining.  Pensiero strongly believes that local food in season is the basis for healthy and flavorful eating. This reflects the Gigi Hudson Valley style of cooking, marrying what is fresh and in season with the simple, yet bold, and warm flavors for the Mediterranean. 

When the doors opened in 2001, Gigi Trattoria, was one of the first contemporary restaurants in the Hudson Valley to source the bulk of its ingredients directly from local farmers, ranchers and food artisans.

Laura is also a partner of Just Salad, a collection of healthy “quick service” salad restaurants in NYC, New Jersey, Kansas, and Chicago, and licensed outlets in Hong Kong and UAE. For 10 years, she developed the menu and recipes and provided oversight of quality and nutrition for the brand.

A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, Laura is also a registered dietitian. In 2009, she authored Hudson Valley Mediterranean: The Gigi Good Food Cookbook (HarperCollins) sharing her flavorful and practical approach to wholesome and healthy eating. She also co-authored The Strang Cancer Prevention Center Cookbook (McGraw-Hill 2004; Dutton 1998) and contributes frequently to national magazines as well as sharing recipes and cooking tips on her blog.

Laura’s focus is on supporting her community via Gigi Hudson Valley and through her work in writing and education. She believes the best education is the practical kind; the food on a plate. She aspires to teach people that eating healthy can be delicious, without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction. Her efforts were recognized in the Fifth Anniversary Issue of O when Oprah Magazine named Laura among the ‘Five Most Giving and Gifted Food Professionals’ for her work as a nutritionist and culinary educator.