Lauren Bruhn

Coolstuff Team
June 14, 2024

Meet Lauren, a chef and writer based in Brooklyn. Lauren has served dishes at some of our favorite spots from LaLou to Dinner Party and is currently the chef in residence at the Old Chatham Country Store upstate. We caught up to hear how her family’s culinary legacy lives on through her food. • Photo by Shea Salisbury

Left photo by Shea Salisbury

What led you to start your career as a chef?

Well, as is the origin with many chefs, I grew up in the kitchen with my mom. Her father, my grandfather, came from Sicily and owned a diner in East Hampton through her childhood. Basically, we’ve been a food centric family for generations. I couldn’t escape how important I knew food was through many career changes in my twenties. When I moved to New York, I thought, it’s now or never, and enrolled in culinary school. Since before my first day of school, cooking and eating and restaurants has completely consumed my life. 

Tell us about your new venture, Fine Cooking!

I spent many years as a writer before I came to New York. I simply needed a thought outlet and sporadically started my Substack to talk about how food interacts with our everyday lives. It isn’t a food blog or recipe heavy, but rather a collection of stories where food is the focus. It’s free to subscribe and allows me to interact with other peoples questions and thoughts on the food they love and consume. 

What’s the best part about the New York culinary community? 

What isn’t the best part?! The most surprising part is how small it is. Cook’s tend to move around a lot, meaning that at any given moment I can coax a friend into getting me a seat at their restaurant. I just beam with pride when I get to see my friends or old coworkers cook and experiment. Plus, the eating options are literally endless and that’s a dream come true for someone like me who gets bored easily. I want every meal to be exciting and new, and living here definitely allows for that. 

Left photo by Shea Salisbury

How does living in NYC inform your palette and menus for pop-up dinners?

I grew up in the South, which meant that we didn’t have any access to a lot of foods. Specifically, seafood and fresh produce grown locally. I basically live at the fish markets in Chinatown and the many farmers markets. For a year I forced myself to eat everything that I thought I didn’t like, and it truly expanded my pallet in a way I am so thankful for. There is food inspiration within every corner store, butchers shop, bodega, and farmers market. 

Do you have any fun pop-up events planned for the summer?

For late spring and early summer I will be in upstate New York cooking at The Old Chatham Country Store as their resident chef. The five course fixed menu will change weekly and be hyper local. It’s the perfect time to cook with the seasons. I’ll be there until mid-June. After that I will be cooking in Paris for a month and then plan to continue with bi-weekly fixed menu dinner’s at my home. Dinner parties for a living! Dinner Party Dates and information can be found on my Instagram and Substack. 

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