Mrs FrogLegs.jpg

The French savor frogs legs, the Chinese feast on chicken feet, and here in America, we devour chicken wings. De gustibus non est disputandum, as they used to say in Rome. I could go into a long disquisition about other countries that eat frog legs (Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, even northern Italy). But for some mysterious reason, it's a delicacy most often associated with France. (The Brits, who don't eat frog legs, call the French "Frogs." The French respond by calling the Brits "Les Rosbif." But then, we don't call the Japanese "sushis," or Italians "pizzas."

Moving on, some frogs are actually kinda cute. They hop around, they croak ("Ribbit !"), they eat bugs. There's a chain of restaurants called Señor Frog's; a hotel in Cancun, and a line of clothing, too. Pepe the frog was hateful, but Kermit the Muppet is adorable.

Which brings us to a woman in Kirkland by the name of Laura Vida whose nom de grenouille is "Mrs. FrogLegs." One of four girls in an active family, Laura was the one who ended up in the kitchen. In college, she worked for a four-star hotel'; then she dove into the maelstrom of the corporate world: Starbucks. Caribou Coffee, Tully's, Seattle's Best. In 2002, she started her own cookie company, Firefly Fandango, sold it five years later and moved to Sur La Table as a consultant and culinary instructor.

With three kids of her own, Mrs. FrogLegs also started a cooking school in her home for tadpoles: nothing terribly complicated for the three-year-olds (decorating cupcakes, say) moving up to age-appropriate cake-baking classes, donuts, veggie burgers, and so on. Makes a great birthday party, by the way. This season, unicorn and rainbow cakes are particularly popular.

Grownups (unaccompanied or chaperoned) are more than welcome, too. Classes include French bistro, Italian pastas, tacos, pies, macarons, knife skills. ("The better to dissect those grenouilles, my pretty. Heh heh heh.")

FrogLegs Culinary Academy
501 Market St., Kirkland.
A second store in University Village opened this month.at 2543 NE Village Lane.

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