"When cooking, follow your own taste. When baking, follow directions."
From conceiving and planning food events to writing about trends, restaurants and food, Laiko knows the food world inside and out. For select clients she consults on branding, marketing, events and publicity. She is also the co-founder of Epicuring California, a website and newsletter featuring curated food experiences in Northern California.
Currently, Laiko works with a select group of chef, food, internet and restaurant clients on strategy, events, marketing, publicity and social media activity. Clients include: Gilt Groupe (Taste, City and Home) , San Francisco Cooking School (opening in Fall 2012), Cochon 555 and Cochon Heritage Fire, The Whole Beast, Patxi’s Pizza and R3 Builders/SF Chefs. Food. Wine. A few select articles she has been a part of are featured on this Pinterest Board.
Laiko worked for three years with Andrew Freeman as the lead Account Supervisor on the launch of the SF Chefs. Food. Wine. event in August 2009. Laiko strategized with the founding team, created the program vision and plan and managed the marketing and advertising partnerships and plans; media sponsorship; media relations and publicity. The media partners secured for SF Chefs were Gourmet magazine, Epicurious, San Francisco/Modern Luxury and San Francisco Chronicle.
Results Over the weekend 5,000 food and wine lovers and professionals attended. The total impressions through publicity were 233 million. 102 journalists attended (national; regional and local) and 179 stories were placed in print, online, radio and television. Impressions made through advertising and marketing efforts were 48 million. For the last three SF Chefs, Laiko has been the kitchen manager for the culinary demonstrations at the Westin St. Francis.
For nine years Laiko was the Bay Area Regional Consultant for the National Association of Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) where she wrote about the specialty food retail industry and produced educational programs for the annual Fancy Food Show. On the product side, she has garnered publicity for award-winning cheese companies including Neal's Yard Dairy, Delice de la Valee and Redwood Hill Farm. She planned the annual American Cheese Conference in Sonoma.
Laiko oversaw the publicity and product placement for Füri, the Australian maker of professional grade cutlery (and the favorite knives of Rachael Ray of Food Network, Nigella Lawson and numerous chefs and editors.) During her tenure she launched eight new products -- from packaging development through to media debut; produced the company's sponsorship programs at Aspen Food & Wine, South Beach Food & Wine; secured product placement on television shows like Nigella Feasts, Pairings with Andrea, Top Chef and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Secured media promotions with Food Network, Good Housekeeping, Everyday with Rachael Ray and Cooking Pleasures. She launched the trade marketing program introducing products to influential chefs, television producers and writers. As manager of community outreach for Füri, Laiko secured the partnership with Share Our Strength and Rachael Ray to promote a knife set benefiting the organization and promoted exclusively on Food Network, which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization. She planned and executed a media soiree in New York announcing the partnership with Füri, Rachael Ray and Share Our Strength.
In her career, she has planned over 100 food and wine related events, including industry conferences for Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, American Cheese Society and two James Beard Dinners. She has consulted for authors from the food world on their events, including with Joanne Weir, cookbook author and PBS television host; Susan Hermann Loomis, best-selling author of the food memoir, "On Rue Tatin" and the owner of On Rue Tatin cooking school in Normandy. A personal highlight was planning a small dinner for "The Making of a Cook" author Madeleine Kamman at Beringer Vineyards.
Laiko is a third generation Californian and resides in San Francisco just off of Fillmore Street.
Expertise in: Mailchimp, Vertical Response and Wordpress blog pages, sites and tools; as well publicity for online flash sales.
How to find Laiko:
Blogging at Epicuring.com
At POW WOW gatherings, Bay Area Marketer Meetings and PR Diva confabs.