Lauren DeSteno

“I’m lactose-intolerant. I was a pastry sous chef at Eleven Madison Park, so that made daily existence … really interesting. And here, it’s the same thing. It’s nice though, because when cooks make something for family meal, they’ll give me [a plate] and say, ‘Chef, this is yours. I didn’t put cheese on this one.’

“I wasn’t [lactose-intolerant] until I graduated college. I can eat it here and there, but some things affect me worse than others.

“That’s why I’m like, ‘I’m going to make a vegan pasta.’”

Lauren DeSteno is the Chef de Cuisine at Marea

Interview and photo by Kara Chin