Chic Spotlight: Chef Lauren Brown

Chic Spotlight: Chef Lauren Brown

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101011SPOTLIGHT.jpgCincy Chic: Tell me about when your love for food began.
Lauren Brown: When I was around 10. My father had always been in the fine dining restaurant business since before I was born, so that’s always what I was around and knew. Every year, I always looked forward to "Take Your Kid to Work Day," because that meant I got to spend the evening with my dad at the Maisonette. I always loved to go see Chef Georges Haidon in the kitchen at Masionette.


Cincy Chic: What’s been your biggest inspiration?
Brown: Jean-Robert de Cavel has been one of my biggest inspirations. He invited me into his kitchen to teach me how to cook at the age of 13 and I loved it! I knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. From then on, I got the chance to work with David Falk of Boca and David Cook of Daveed’s. Both of them have also been great teachers and very supportive of my cooking.


Cincy Chic: Where did you study?
Brown: Midwest Culinary Institute


Cincy Chic: Tell me about how your career path brought you to University Club as Executive Chef.
Brown: My first job in 2002 was at Boca with David Falk when I was 18. It was located in Northside on Hamilton at that time. He pretty much taught me the basics from knowing nothing. The most important thing I learned from him was SALT and acid. If you’re food is not seasoned you pretty much don’t have anything. In 2003, I left Boca and went to work at Daveed’s at 934 with David Cook. I always felt that he had a lot to offer because of his French background and cooking techniques, but he never just stayed in one cuisine. He was always very knowledgeable in cuisines across the board. He also knows very much about wine, so I got the chance to become more knowledgeable in that area, too. I worked at Daveed’s for seven years. In my last year that I worked there, I also worked at Nada in the morning/lunch, another one of David Falk’s restaurants. I’d always been interested in Mexican food. I thought that it would be a good place to work that puts out a large quantity and quality food and at a fast pace. In November of 2010, I left Daveed’s and Nada and was hired at The University Club.


Cincy Chic: What’s your favorite meal to prepare?
Brown: Pasta. I love making fresh pasta dishes. I feel there is so much you can do with them all year around. Everything from fresh fettuccine with heirloom tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil in the summer time to fresh pappardelle with red wine braised rabbit, wild mushrooms, Parmigiano Reggiano and extra virgin olive oil.


Cincy Chic: What’s been a highlight of your career thus far?
Brown: I think since I’ve been at The University Club, I’ve had the opportunity to help by being apart of raising money for CFF and being able to cook for the events to raise money for their organization. I was one of the "Spotlight Chef’s for a dinner that was put on to raise money for CFF. I also love being apart of the 7Days for SIDS Brunch that is held every year and having the chance to help support there cause as well. It’s nice to be recognized of something that you are good at and that people want to use your skills to help raise money for a great cause.


Cincy Chic: What do you love most about your job?
Brown: I love that I don’t have to go sit at a desk in an office everyday. It’s almost like I get to go to work and get to play everyday. It gives me the chance to be creative with what I have learned in the past and to learn something new everyday about food and this industry. This is the type of job where there is so many possibilities with everything. In a way, there are no boundaries, which is something I love!


Cincy Chic: When you’re not in the kitchen, how do you spend your time?
Brown: Friends and family, as much time as I can outside, shopping, going out, and – of course – just sitting on my couch relaxing.