Morels foraged from the hills, asparagus from the garden, eggs from the henhouse and local cream find their way into a seasonal quiche.

In Season & Fresh from the Garden, the Fields, the Orchards & the Woods


Laughing Duck Gardens & Cookery

About Us

How To Contact Us

Laughing Duck Gardens & Cookery LLC

PO Box 395

Washington, VA 22747


To contact us via e-mail, click here.

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French by Birth, Virginian By Choice, But Always A Cook And A Gardener!

Laughing Duck Gardens & Cookery is a venture of Sylvie Rowand.

A native of France, Sylvie has been cooking since she was 9. When she was 15, she was cooking meals for the family during the school summer vacations when her parents were working. Both Mom and Dad are wonderful cooks - each with their own specialties and style. And her two grand mothers truly made a wonderful “cuisine de bonne femme” - the true granny’s cookery.

Food gardening was a way of life: one cooked from what was available in the kitchen garden or in season from local farms & orchards. Sylvie spent her childhood and most of her teenage years on a tropical island - which explains her insistence on growing (or at least trying to grow) tropical fruit, veggies & plants, and her use of spices in the kitchen.

After settling in the US in Northern Virginia, Sylvie started to grow some of her family’s food: initially just a few herbs, salad & cooking greens, and few tomatoes & peppers - basically what was allowed by a busy career as a commercial real estate executive, and the constraints of a small town-garden. Shopping at Farmers’ markets helped to continue the traditions of cooking seasonally with ingredients at their peak of flavors. Throughout the years, Sylvie continued to cook, enhancing her repertoire which was tried out on willing friends through numerous dinner parties.

In 2006, she left a corporate career and life in the city, and with Keith settled in the country - in Rappahannock County, VA - at the foot of the Shenandoah Mountains. The first priority was to start establishing a large kitchen garden, filled with herbs, edible flowers, vegetables and fruit - many heirloom or uncommon (See a few photos here as well as on the blog). She built on her passion for food and gardening by starting Laughing Duck Gardens & Cookery LLC, offering cookery services, in-home catering, cookery workshops, food gardening workshops, private cooking lessons, and kitchen gardening coaching. With Keith’s occasional help (aka beekeeper, baker & pitmaster), Sylvie offers cookery services, grounded in seasonal local ingredients - perfect for clients who want the service of a personal chef for their dinner parties or special occasion celebrations as well as week-enders or vacationers wanting to enjoy vibrant fresh local food during their stay in the country - without having to shop, prep, cook nor clean.

Sylvie is also available for presentations to your club or organization on topics such as food gardening, herbs, cooking fresh, cooking for flavor, coldframe gardening, eating local throughout the year,  etc. You may find her writing and recipes on her blog, hers newsletter and Flavor Magazine where she currently writes the Seasonal Table column.

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