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Make Life Inviting with Chef Laura Calder (ep. 530)

Laura Calder

John O’Leary welcomes James Beard Award-winning chef Laura Calder on how to create a world where every day is more delightful on the Live Inspired Podcast.

Laura Calder is perhaps best known for her James Beard Award-winning television series, French Food at Home.

As a passionate home cook, homemaker and hostess, Laura is an enthusiast of all things art de vivre, or the French idea of getting the most out of everyday life by putting care into everything we do.

Whether it’s setting a lovely table, putting a bit of extra effort into making a sandwich, or just walking a little taller in the street, there are moments every single day that we can seize upon to elevate life.

Today, Laura reveals how cooking, feeding, and home-keeping can magically restore balance and calm in our out-of-sync lives.

And yet, my friends, today’s conversation is far more than hosting your next meaningful dinner party… it’s about how to live each day with a desire and determination to turn the ordinary into something lovely.

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  • In her first book The Inviting Life, Laura affirms the value of our everyday activities and shows how beauty, creativity, and delight have the power to change the world.
  • Laura shares that how we do seemingly small things affects our overall moral such as how we make a bed or plate food.
  • Many viewers found Laura’s French Food at Home cooking show as a comforting presence.
  • By hosting others in your home, you’re able to build up a trusting, more intimate connection versus restaurants or venues outside of the home.
  • In France, it’s considered rude to ask a dinner guest what they do for a living.
  • Meaningful dinner conversation: To promote engaging conversation, Laura suggests a total of six dinner guests.
  • Art de vivre, or the French idea of getting the most out of everyday life by putting care into everything we do.
  • Even if you’re eating takeout alone, Laura encourages us to plate the meal to prioritize an appreciation of life.
  • To get Laura’s dinner club menu, visit lauracalder.substack.com.
  • Get a copy of Laura Calder’s latest book Kitchen Bliss: Musings on Food and Happiness here.

Did you enjoy today’s episode?

You’ll love my conversation with MasterChef winner Christine Ha. After losing her ability to see at 20 years old, Christine found meaning while pursuing her life’s passion of cooking. It’s a conversation of resilience, courage and passion will speak to your soul. Listen to Christine on ep. 342.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.



  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. The Myth of Normal by Gabor Maté.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Fearlessness.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. My silver.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. The Queen.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. From my father, “To know thyself to be true.”
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Life is a work of art and you're the artist. Your life is for you to create.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. To become a place of oasis and place a of calm and stability