Faces of Portola Valley

Post image for Cordon Bleu chef Claudia Geoly is now a baker of Noble Treat dog biscuits

If it’s food/cooking/baking related, do all roads lead through a combination of Jesse Cool/Flea St., Chris Rivera/Angel Heart, and Beth Ann Goldberg/Studio Cake?

That seemed to be reaffirmed during a recent visit with Cordon Bleu chef Claudia Geoly during a dog biscuit baking session at Studio Cake’s kitchen in Menlo Park.

Yes, you read that correctly, dog biscuits. But Claudia’s local journey began with a five-year stint at Flea Street Cafe followed by teaching cooking classes in Angel Heart’s kitchen.

“When I wasn’t teaching a class, I’d test stuff,” explained Claudia. “And that’s how the dog biscuits came about.”

She adds that she had further motivation to make a healthy and tasty biscuit while attempting to train her rescue dog Diego. “I  was working so hard on getting him to do what I wanted him to do,” she recalled. “I’d make some chicken liver bacon pâté, saved it, and made a dough out of it.”

Her Noble Treat dog biscuits continue to be made with human grade ingredients that include bacon, unbleached flour, chicken liver, chicken broth, fine corn meal, egg whites and parsley. They come bone-shapped or as training strips and are available every other week at the Portola Valley Farmers’ Market (she’ll be there this Thursday, Sept. 7) and also at Bow Wow Meow in Menlo Park as well as seasonally at Neiman Marcus during the store’s Santa Paws event.

For the record, Claudia has not abandoned cooking for people entirely. She teaches classes out of her home kitchen and does small event catering (under 25 people). “I love to cook and teaching and doing a bit of catering keeps me sane,” she said.

Photos by Robb Most (c) 2017

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Talking farm management (and sports!) with fourth generation Webb, Atlee Frechette

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We’d driven out to Webb Ranch to talk with Atlee Frechette, a fourth generation Webb who earlier this year got involved in the farming side of the business — there is also a horse side — for the first time. Along the way we talked volleyball and baseball. About the latter, Atlee is indeed named […]

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Hey Baby Boomers, time to dust off those memories and share on MyRetrospect.com

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Talking with the founders of Retrospect Media — Susan Hansen, John and Patricia Zussman — it’s easy to see what drew them together to start their latest venture. They are all Portola Valley residents. John and Patti (as she’s known) are married to each other. Patti and Susan went to Mills College together. Then there’s their […]

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Alan McGee’s photographs examine landscape as metaphor

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“Beauty and Terror: Landscape as Metaphor” by photographer Alan McGee of Portola Valley is the featured exhibit at Portola Art Gallery (75 Arbor Road) in March. A reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, March 18, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. The show features photographs from 35 years of Alan’s explorations on the beaches […]

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Sculptor Roger Stoller’s giraffe installed at El Paso Zoo

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When photographer Irene Searles and I visited sculptor Roger Stoller at his home in Ladera last February, he was working on a sculpted giraffe for the El Paso Zoo. Roger let us know that after two years in development, the giraffe is now installed in the African Exhibit and renamed Lmara, the colloquial name for giraffe used by […]

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Jen Ratay leads the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund in support of nonprofits and social enterprises

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An East Coast transplant, Jen Ratay now couldn’t imagine living anywhere else but here. “I deeply love the outdoors, and this area is so beautiful,” said the Ladera resident. “People are passionate and intelligent. And there’s no better place to do social innovation work.” The latter is key as Jen is the Executive Director of the […]

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Spotted: Portola Valley artist Drue Kataoka proclaiming “Now Is the Time” at Hillary fundraiser

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Portola Valley artist Drue Kataoka, who graduated from Sacred Heart Prep before attending Stanford, came dressed Wednesday afternoon for a local fundraising lunch for Hillary Clinton as she did at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. She explained:  “I created this  artwork [pointing to her t-shirt)] that celebrates the 240-year journey towards electing our first […]

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A visit to The Hawthorns, a bit of history hiding in plain sight in Portola Valley

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We were in good and knowledgeable hands during a walking tour of The Hawthorns in Portola Valley, thanks to Alex Von Feldt (left in photo above), who is both a town resident as well as Director of Grass Roots Ecology, formerly known as the Acterra Stewardship Program. An engineer by education with a professional background in high tech, […]

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Linda Fornaciari and Di Gow: The forces behind the Ladera Crier

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Both attorneys by profession — although no longer practicing — Ladera residents Linda Fornaciari (on left) and Di Gow sort of fell into taking over editing and publishing their neighborhood newsletter, the Ladera Crier, five years ago. They’d both moved to Ladera in the 90s. And both were very involved volunteers at Menlo-Atherton High School where their children attended. So, it was […]

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Brian Tetrud draws on family granola recipe when founding Ladera Foods

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Brian Tetrud is a Ladera born and raised guy who grew up eating his mother’s homemade granola. So it’s no surprise that he’s named his company Ladera Foods and the first product was granola based on her recipe, now called Almond Pecan Granola. “She still bakes her own granola,” he says. “I made it for roommates […]

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Woodland School student selected to perform at Carnegie Hall

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Alexa Brown, a student at Woodland School in Portola Valley, has been selected for the 2016 Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. She will perform as a First Soprano at Carnegie Hall in June 2016 with the Honors Junior Choir. Participation in one of the three Honors Ensembles is limited to the highest-rated […]

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