Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. I was born holding a spatula and a set of mixing bowls ... I have been cooking since I was old enough to cream butter and sugar until fluffy! I
Marie Louise Ludwig has been cooking since she was old enough to join her tiny Italian grandma and namesake, Marie, in the kitchen, adding “ a pinch of this and a handful of that” while perched on a speckled red kitchen chair! Her passion for baking, most especially, came around the age of three as she delighted in being rewarded for being her grandma’s helper not only in getting to lick every cake batter bowl clean, but also in rolling out her first pie crusts. Grandma let her do EVERYTHING in the kitchen, including making a mess! She was a great scratch baker and home cook and a wonderful and patient teacher!
Marie Louise learned from the best!
As the years went by, she continued to be the chef in everyone’s kitchen, making great meals inspired both by family traditions and with her own creativity. She began entering national recipe contests while in college in 1983. She won her first contest “Chef Boyardee Pizza Cook-Off” while a senior at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. In 1989, she went on to take the grand prize, a tomato red Chrysler Convertible, in the “Hunt’s Great Recipe Hunt” with her “4-alarm Chili Mac.” In 1995, she took top honors in the Bays English Muffin recipe contest with her “Jumpin’ Jack and Pepper Pizzas,” and won a first class cruise around Greece and Italy. A month later, she won $15,000 for charity in the “Newman’s Own Recipe Contest” with “The Left Handed Gunslinger’s Grilled Gazpacho with Gunpowder Croutons.” That same month, she won first place in the Family Circle Magazine Bread recipe contest using hot dog buns as a basis for a cute twist on French toast, “Berry Banana Split French Toast.”
Her love for food and cooking wafted her into the restaurant business where she was both manager and pastry chef for one of the busiest gourmet mall restaurants on the east coast. Later, she went on to host her own cooking show, “What’s Cooking,” for several seasons in the Philadelphia Market. Her breakout in national TV came in the fall of 2000 when she was granted her “Food Fantasy” on the Food Network. She was given the dream to cook for a hungry table when she was taken to a lumberjack festival where she whipped up her famous Chicken Fried Steak, buttermilk biscuits and peach pie for 15 strapping and starving competitors – on a stage and in the middle of a crackling thunderstorm.
In December 2000 she was asked to be a guest for kitchen items on QVC, where she has spent the last 23 years and over 4,000 airings as a kitchen product specialist.
In 2008, she was asked to co-host and contribute her TV talents to what has become one of the most successful infomercials in television history for Orgreenic Cookware.
In 2011, she became the host of a pilot for a home and lifestyle TV show on Comcast, “Life Around Home,” which married Facebook fans and TV. Not only did she lead, but she also was the show’s resident chef.
In 2012, she was crowned “Mrs. Holiday” for Taste of Home Magazine, the largest food and entertaining magazine in the world. Her recipe for “Grandma C’s Snowglobe Cake” and her two minute video promoting her love for the holidays took the top national prize of $50,000.
When not on QVC, Marie Louise joins her husband Andy as the pastry and sous chef and director of marketing and social media for their thriving catering business, Valley Forge Catering Company, Inc. They reside on a small organic farm in Reading, Pennsylvania where they grow everything from 20 varieties of tomatoes to berries, lettuces, cucumbers, cabbage, corn and tons of daylilies. As the mother two grown sons and an adult daughter with severe autism, she is also a huge advocate for autistic adult care and founder of “Stephanie’s House,” a 501c3 non-profit raising money to fund and maintain LIFE homes for adults with autism. In 9 years, the organization has raised over $350,000 and in 2014 opened their first home for autistic women.