Lauren Marshall can remember the exact moment she knew she wanted to be a chef. "I remember one Christmas when I was very small, my grandfather lit a plum pudding on fire," she says. "He let me blow it out. That was the day I wanted to grow up and do what he did: Grandad was a cook in the Royal Canadian Navy and also had a catering company on the side. He was the hardest worker I ever knew."
Her grandfather's inspiration didn't stop there--- he also inspired her to travel. "Learning about all the places in the world my grandfather visited made me realize that I too could travel the world as a chef," she says. "I have been all over working in places like The Chanticleer, which is a swanky nouveau-French inspired restaurant on Nantucket Island. I also had the luck of working with a Ramsay mentored chef---Marcus Perigo---at a small European inspired restaurant in Belize." She also spent time in Melbourne and Montreal before landing at Morris East.
Education is also important to Marshall. After working as chef at Morris East, she enrolled at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition to study holistic nutrition. "I am addicted to learning and plan on never stopping," she says. But she also likes to educate: she currently demos healthy seafood recipes at Clearwater and teaches cooking classes at the Superstore. The lesson that is perhaps dearest to her heart is to "show people how surprisingly delicious vegan food can taste."
To that end, Marshall is now the chef de cuisine at enVie, the brand-new vegan restaurant on Charles Street in Halifax. "I am very passionate about vegan cooking and I am so excited to finally cook the way I eat at home in a restaurant. I plan on showing Halifax that nutritious food cannot only taste delicious but can also impact the way you feel.
"I would describe my cooking style as locally inspired-fusion with a healthy twist," she says. "I sleep with a notepad next to my bed and constantly am thinking of new ideas and how I can create them in real life." And just as family inspired her to be a chef, family still drives her. "I am inspired by the people around me: my friends, their children, my family members. I try to create food that suits their taste, with my own flair.
"Grandad inspired me to be the chef I am today and he would be very proud of me if he were still here," she says.