First Name/Last Name: Lauren Kelley
Current City: Houston
Course of Study: Elite Diploma Cuisine
Year of Graduation: 2014
Current Job/Position: Owner of Lady Luck Catering
- What is your story? What did you do before culinary school? Why did you choose Culinary Institute LeNôtre?
I worked in Commercial Real Estate for 4 years after graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Degree in Food & Nutrition). I participated in team building at CIL in 2007. We did an Iron Chef competition in which I was the leader and I won! We made seared scallops with two sauces (beurre blanc & red bell pepper).
- What inspired you to become a chef?
I started cooking at a young age with my mom. As I always watched the food channels, my husband suggested I go to culinary school to pursue my dreams.
- How would you describe the impact of your courses at Culinary Institute LeNôtre on your daily missions?
I learned so many techniques that are now engraved in my head. I remember one of the Chefs telling me “a Chef does not follow recipes, it’s the techniques that matter” – which is very true. I loved having French Chefs teach me, that was my biggest draw to Culinary Institute LeNôtre. Chef Jean is my favorite! His passion for perfection has taught me a lot.
- Do you have other projects in mind?
Corporate catering (not the typical menu for lunches).
- Would you like to share an anecdote or a recipe with us?
I worked at Kris Bistro for a year and a half prior to starting my own business. Nina & Justin are great mentors. Kitchen experiences is needed to be great Chef. Repetition of techniques allows you to create your own recipes.
- Any words of wisdom to students pursuing a career in the Culinary Arts field?
Only commit to culinary school if you are mentally and financially able. Loans are expensive and a lot of students think or do not know that paying them off in 10 years is a very hard task. Also, determination to succeed is a must. Kitchens/Back Of House can be intimidating-if you can’t handle it, you may need to find a different career.
Check out Lauren’s interview on Local Houston Magazine!
– Photograpy by Kennon Evett –