BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

About Laura McCandlish

with 30 comments


Atop Mary’s Peak, the highest point in the Oregon Coast Range (just outside Corvallis).

Laura McCandlish is a freelance radio producer/host and food writer based in Corvallis, Oregon  Brunswick, Maine. She relocated back East this fall after living in the Pacific Northwest for four years, where she gained food as her beat. In Oregon, she produced radio stories and co-hosted the “Food for Thought” show for KLCC, the NPR affiliate in Eugene. She has written for NPR’s Kitchen Window column, NPR’s “The Salt” food blogThe Oregonian, Edible Portland and Mother Jones. She got her start in radio hosting the Food Show on KBOO, Portland’s veteran community radio station.

At The Sun in Baltimore, she first reported on farms while covering county government in rural Carroll County, the suburban bureau where Alma is booted in the final season of The Wire! Laura was then promoted to the business desk, where she covered the shipping and airline industries. In her spare time, she volunteered to co-direct a Saturday high school journalism program for minority students. Her students went on to other prestigious programs, such as the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program and J-Camp.

A native of Virginia, Laura attended Davidson College in North Carolina and taught high school English in the Bronx upon graduation. During college, she studied abroad in China and spent a summer teaching at-risk youth in Hong Kong. She embraces the food culture wherever she lives. She’s equally at home eating Hanover tomatoes in Virginia, Puerto Rican mofongo in the Bronx and soul food in Harlem, Trinidadian roti in Baltimore or Dungeness crab and marionberries here in Oregon. She relishes it all.

Laura is married to Daniel F. Stone, an assistant professor of economics at Oregon State University Bowdoin College. They shared a memorable Italian meal in New York on their first date.

Written by baltimoregon

September 7, 2008 at 11:29 pm

30 Responses

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  1. Laura – You might be better off w/out trick-or-treaters! We had quite a mob this year and despite buying 6 extra-large bags of candy, by 8:15 PM, we had run out. I blew out the candles in the pumpkins on our stoop and turned off the outside lights. We got one person (or group) who came to our door after that and rang the door bell many, many times. We turned off the lights inside the house and also turned off the tv. On Saturday morning, when I went outside to get our newspapers, I found that the pumpkin that Jeff had carved (a complicated owl against a crescent moon) had been stolen! My regular, happy-faced jack-o-lantern was still there but Jeff’s was gone! Who does something like that?! Aaargh. Love ya, Judy


    November 2, 2008 at 3:49 pm

  2. Hi Laura,

    A fellow blogger gave me your name as a potential contact who might know folks in Corvallis who keep ducks and chickens. I’m putting together a tour for Master Gardener Mini-College in August. If you know of folks, could you please send them my way?

    BTW – love the blog name! My family is from Highlandtown, South Baltimore. I grew up in Pasadena, and now live in Corvallis.


    Gail Langellotto

    April 23, 2009 at 5:49 pm

  3. Laura,

    I enjoyed your article about iFarm Oregon that appeared in the Oregonian FoodDay and visted your blog. Based on your interest in local foods I would like to send you a press release about culinary tours of sustainable farms and ranches. FYI – I also live here in Corvallis!



    June 25, 2009 at 9:58 am

  4. Laura, I read the article regarding Jamming for food banks. Do you know of anyone in the Portland area that is doing this. I would like to volunteer as a helper. There is nothing more gratifying that taking a flat of messy oozing fruit and turning it into beautiful jewel like jams in jars. I am not a master preserver, consume only 2-3 jars of jam per year, but am willing to help others make jam.


    July 23, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    • Thanks for your comment Sherrill! I would contact the Portland Fruit Tree Project or Preserve in Portland. But I don’t think there’s anything similar in Portland yet.


      August 4, 2009 at 8:28 am

  5. Dear Laura,
    I’ve enjoyed your show on KBOO. I just wanted to inform you of our upcoming pre-Thanksgiving market, November 24th, 3-7PM held inside (yes!) the Boys and Girls Club at 7119 SE Milwaukie Ave, in SE Portland. There you can find fresh produce, cranberries, lambmeat, sheeps cheese, baked goods, cider hard and sweet, jams, honeys and other specialty and gift items such as chocolate, vinegars, centerpieces, and beeswax candles. We will be holding a winterwear drive for the youth community of Boys and Girls club.

    Laura Wendel

    October 26, 2009 at 12:17 pm

  6. […] chestnut woods” and they stretched from Maine to Florida.  As Oregon freelance writer Laura McCandlish says in an article published yesterday on the NPR […]

  7. just picked up the latest fooday, wit the article about truffle-hunting dogs, and the comment from the truffle orchard owner that “Now, we just need about 998 more (dogs),” – as someone with a 4-month old lab pup who would love a job, id be interested in knowing more!


    January 19, 2010 at 11:25 am

  8. Just saw your article on the slaughtering of bunnies, which you said you feel no ” guilt” about. What an awful article .The way you are so cold and callous about the horrible people who ” breed” these rabbits for food, you should be ashamed of yourself. You actually seem to find it amusing. Rabbits are companion animals, like cats and dogs. Maybe you should ” embrace the food culture” a bit less.

    Simone Atkinson

    May 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

  9. Hello – I will be relocating to Corvallis from Middletown, CT this summer – with my husband and 7 month old daughter. We are classical musicians – violin and cello. I just found your blog, and I love it. Do you keep chickens? Hope to run into you sometime.

    Anthea Kreston

    June 4, 2010 at 6:38 am

  10. Great to hear from you, Anthea! Let me know when you get to town. We’d love to meet up. My uncle teaches at Wesleyan in Middletown. And no we don’t have chickens, but we know a lot of people who do. We’re in and out of town a lot so it would be hard. But there are lots of good farm-fresh egg suppliers at the farmers’ market, food co-op, Corvallis Local Foods (, etc. Look forward to meeting you!


    June 4, 2010 at 8:39 am

    • Hello Laura! We have finally made the move – have been here since the 1st. We live right downtown – 9th and Jeff – it was so nice to meet you for that moment at the concert this summer. Jason and Tzippy and I could love to have you and your husband over for a drink and bite sometime. We are adjusting just fine – don’t miss Middletown, CT yet. We even convinced two of our friends to move with us last minute – people you might like. Our friend is from Zimbabwe – used to be a lawyer – and her high-school aged son. Give me a shout sometime – or phone – 860 834 6028. If you don’t mind a messy house filled with boxes – you should drop by!



      September 16, 2010 at 11:02 pm

  11. Hi:
    You did a piece on getting a henna tattoo. Do you have contact information for the artist?

    David Neiman

    July 6, 2010 at 10:52 pm

  12. Hi Laura: I teach reporting in the New Media program at OSU and would like to invite you to speak to my students next term. Best date would be Wedn, Feb. 23 (evening). I’ll provide details if you’re interested. Thanks. Peter.

    Peter Ogle

    December 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm

  13. […] Laura McCandlish, a freelancer from Corvallis, Ore., is a unique kind of journalists.  She writes, she records radio spots, she blogs, she creates multimedia presentations, and she does it all while getting her hands dirty and revealing the essence of the topic she is covering. […]

  14. Hi Laura – I am enjoying your blog. I thought you and your readers might like to know about Kneading Conference West, an event in Mount Vernon, Washington, September 15-17. The events attracts bakers (home and professional), millers, researchers, food writers, farmers and people who come because they enjoy eating handcrafted breads. The idea is to restore local and regional grain cultivation – safer, healthier, tastier, funner.

    Here’s the website:

    Wendy Hebb
    Program Director

    Wendy Hebb

    April 7, 2011 at 9:31 am

  15. Hi Laura,
    Yuval Zaliouk was a world renown musical conductor ( and for the past two decades has been the owner of Almondina ( Zaliouk’s company is based in Ohio and his Almondina cookies are sold in all 50 States and several foreign countries. I have also taken the liberty of attaching the brief history of this successful selling cookie.

    Can I send you some samples for your consideration? And the heartwarming back story?


    Frank Gelman

    May 18, 2011 at 11:26 am

    • Thanks…but I’m pulling back on food writing now as I prepare to go on maternity leave. I’ll keep you in mind in the future:) Thanks! Laura


      May 18, 2011 at 2:43 pm

  16. Stumbled onto your wonderful blog while on hunt about foraging for ‘rooms in Oregon.Miss Corvallis-lived in West Hall in the eighties as a foreign student. Miss picking blackberries along the river while watching the rowers.Didn’t even mind the wet days coming from a tropical country.If I had known about ‘rooms I would’ve been out there dancing, screaming with glee and a basket.Used to pick ‘rooms from the landscape around my house in Malaysia as young a girl after a thunderous torrential rain, which was often.

    su Matsuno

    May 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm

  17. Hello Laura – from Australia.

    I’d like to chat with you about a book I’m writing about soul food. Please shoot me an email to:

    I’ve also eaten roti in Trinidad and yeah, it’s good! :) although I’ve eaten better Jerk Chicken in Harlem than in the Carribean :D

    cheers, awia


    October 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm

  18. Hi Laura,

    I loved your piece about fresh bamboo shoots. My boyfriend has a small orchard in Penryn (Foothills of the California Sierras), that was planted by a Japanese American man, and it includes a quarter acre of sweetshoot bamboo. So far we have mostly used the bamboo as a great roosting place for songbirds and as a source for the drying poles we need for making hoshigaki (hand-massaged whole dried hachiya persimmons), but we had been talking about trying to sell the shoots, and your article gave us the added motivation to go ahead. So thank you for the inspiration. You can see the orchard at Also, let me know if you are interested in writing about hoshigaki, I can get you a sample.

    Warm regards,

    Laurence Hauben

    Laurence Hauben

    March 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

    • Hi Laurence! Sorry I’m just getting back in touch. That’s great that you’re preserving the dying art of hoshigaki! I will let you know if I ever get around to writing about it. I think I do prefer my hachiya persimmons super-ripe, jelly-like and fresh. Keep up the good work on your orchard! Best, Laura


      March 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm

  19. Hi Laura,

    I caught your article in the Portland Phoenix about “Fashion Uji,” and I’d love to ask you a few questions. I’m a student at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies here in Portland. Can we connect?


    October 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

  20. Hi Laura,

    I caught your article about Fashion Uji in the Portland Phoenix and would love to ask you a few questions. I’m a student at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland at the moment. Can we connect?




    October 13, 2013 at 11:35 am

  21. Hello Laura,

    I just saw your archived Phoenix article from last September on apples. I am the farmer at Plowshares Community Farm in Gorham (mentioned by Renae Moran in your article), and we do indeed grow Goldrush! It is easily one of my favorites too! At first, I was skeptical about Goldrush, but the taste -and customer response- was so strongly positive that we have more trees scheduled to be planted. We are a young U-Pick orchard specializing in scab resistant (ie low spray), knock-your-socks-off varieties including a few antiques. Come by in late October for the beginning of Goldrush harvest. Or come earlier to try our other apples, or our shiitake mushrooms, U-Pick raspberries, etc.

    Steven Bibula

    January 31, 2014 at 11:51 am

    • Awesome Steve! Thanks for your feedback. I love Goldrush and will come look you up in October if not sooner! So glad to hear you are planting more!


      January 31, 2014 at 2:59 pm

  22. Hi Laura,
    My name is Lara. I grew up on Long Island, but moved to Oregon (Eugene and Hwy 36 area) in 1998 and stayed until 2011. I Loved Food For Thought! In 2011 I moved to Westport Island to join my folks at the Squire Tarbox Inn. My goal here is to take an already quaint and charming inn/restaurant, and turn it into a true Farm-to-Table experience. We are building the gardens up every year including plants like nettles, day lilies and calendula which I love to cook with, and each year adding more animals to our brood of chickens and retired goats. My education is a bachelor’s in nutrition from Bastyr University in Seattle. My goal is to provide nutritious decadent food that is healthy for us because it is well raised, including lots of good butter, cream, and the likes :) I order a lot of my seeds from Thyme Gardens and Nichols Nursery as I have quite a loyalty to them from my time in Oregon, and they have such a unique selection. I also am slowly relearning my foraging skills here in Maine, and enjoy cooking with ramps, fiddleheads, and our local mushrooms. I would love to invite you up for dinner one time so we can chat, and share our love of food! Please get in touch some time…207-882-7693. I enjoyed your column in the Source this week regarding ramps, and will now reconsider how I use them….Best

    Lara DePietro

    May 27, 2014 at 5:48 am

  23. As the founder of Maine’s first whole grain bakery, THE BAKERY PROJECT, I had to learn how people eat and how to change the way they eat.

    Whole foods need to be chewed slowly to be fully nourished, esp. converting complex carbohydrates into sugars. Most people gulp their food down; so in my presentations I had the audience take a big bite of whole grain bread and chew it 50 times and witness the transformation and how it satiated their hunger, in effect a diet.

    Other people have genetic dispositions to certain tastes. Ashkenazim Jews prefer sour and salty foods,for example; others want a certain taste like peanut butter or maple syrup. So you learn to compose a product with this in mind, for example, expensive ingredients, can be ‘washed’ over a product like a raspberry liqueur.

    Others are truly addicted like chocoholics. I preferred to turn them away as customers, esp. since they tended to be obese gluttons.

    Then there are people driven by fads…are yesterday’s macrobiotic seekers today’s gluten-free buyers; has spirolina been replaced with Kale?

    Learning how people taste food, how they eat, and how to meld your own standards and culinary philosophy to those of customers makes the difference between success and failure in Maine!


    February 2, 2015 at 8:02 am

  24. Hi Laura!

    I’m currently a student studying in Shanghai. I’m also from the states — LA to be exact. I recently came across your NPR article on Chinese cooking (featuring Cheng Cheng Ma). I’m interested in pursing a career in food (what exactly, I’m not sure yet!), and I was wondering if you could possibly put me in contact with her. I don’t mean to come across so straight forward! But I would love to meet her and learn some Hangzhou cooking techniques from her!


    April 15, 2015 at 2:28 am

    • Thanks for writing, Alan! Glad you liked the piece. Can you send me some more background info on yourself, and then I can try to get you an email contact for Cheng Cheng Ma. Are you a college student–what’s your last name, etc.? Any online profile of yourself I can send her? Where are you studying in Shanghai? Do you know about this cooking school in Chengdu, I think where Fushia Dunlap studied: Best, Laura


      April 15, 2015 at 11:35 am

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