By Helen Mitternight
(Editors Note: Charleston is such a foodie town that food and beverage superstars are hiding in plain sight, out of the James Beard limelight, but still very much creating and serving amazing food and drinks. This series profiles Charleston’s “Hidden F&Bs.”)
Lauren Furey is a recent graduate from the College of Charleston, but she’s such a hustler — and that’s in the GOOD way — that it seems like she’s been in the industry for years. She’s a private chef who counts interning for culinary legend Nathalie Dupree and leading cooking classes at Williams Sonoma as past experiences.
Favorite Kitchen Tool or Gadget: A zester. I put zest in everything I can.
In My Refrigerator (3 Things): Greek yogurt, chocolate (any type), homemade hummus.
In My Pantry (3 Things): Polenta because it can be used in so many ways, creamy or crispy; almonds; and a nice bottle of wine because it’s fun on the porch.
Favorite After-Work Hangout: I love Carmella’s, because they’re really sweet to F&B workers.
Favorite Charleston Restaurant Other Than Yours: 167 Raw.
Comfort Food: Nathalie Dupree’s grits, which she makes in the microwave and they’re amazing.
Favorite Smell: Sauteed muschrooms and onions. My mom would always be sauteeing mushrooms for soups.
Favorite Drink: A margarita. It goes well after surfing.
Number of Hours You Work a Week: About 60-70.
Customer Pet Peeve: I love my customers. But I would say my time is valuable. For my business, I put a dollar sign on time and some people want to make five million adjustments to a menu.
Most Under-Rated Ingredient: Watermelon. It’s my favorite food. You can do so much with it.
Favorite Meal to Cook at Home: Chicken Agrodolce.
Best Advice a Mentor Gave You: Nathalie Dupree’s “Season it with love.” I think people can taste it.