Lauren DeSteno was born and raised in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Growing up in an Italian and Spanish family, she was exposed to the importance of food both in celebration of heritage and providing a base for social interactions. Lauren became a fixture in her kitchen at eight years old and never looked back. At age sixteen, she completed her first paid private catering event. Coming from a family so grounded in food culture and tradition, it is interesting to note that Lauren is the only one who made a career out of it. Lauren received her Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Spanish from Fairfield University in Connecticut. During that time she spent a semester abroad in Seville, Spain immersing herself in Spanish language and culture. After graduation, Lauren went back to Europe and traveled extensively before enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park.
Lauren’s formal culinary education led her to the highly-lauded kitchen of Eleven Madison Park where she worked as both a savory and pastry sous chef. After a short hiatus spent food styling and recipe testing, Lauren joined the Altamarea Group at Marea just three days after opening in May 2009. Lauren’s passion and incredible talent fueled her ascension at Marea from her start as chef de partie of Garde Manger to the role of Chef di Cucina. Lauren is presently the Corporate Executive Chef of the Altamarea Group, where she works with the myriad properties, various special projects, and provides culinary support to Chef Michael White.