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About Lauren

"I can teach anyone how to cook anything and present it like a pro, including you! It’s all about technique, not torture." 
"There's a right way to cook, there's a wrong way to cook, and then there's my way."

Lauren Braun Costello is a classically trained chef, published author, cooking show host, and expert food stylist. She has helped countless people become better, more confident and capable cooks. As host of AOL's cooking series “Pantry Challenge,” Lauren logged more than 5 million views for her show in its first three months, becoming the most popular on AOL’s cooking channel, She also has made numerous television appearances as a guest on shows including ABC’s The View and WNBC’s Today in New York.


Lauren has published three books: the critically acclaimed Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide To An Essential CraftThe Competent Cook: Essential Tools, Techniques and Recipes for the Modern At-Home Cook, and an award-winning children’s book Eat Your Breakfast Or Else!. Her recipes and party-planning advice have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and New York Daily News.

In addition to her own media projects, Lauren has styled for some of the biggest names in the culinary and entertainment worlds from Tyler Florence and Alice Waters to Trisha Yearwood and Gloria Estefan on national shows for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and the Hallmark channel, as well as for print media. 

Lauren's culinary career began on a dare. She had been working on Wall Street and cooking elaborate meals in her spare time.  Her then-boyfriend-now-husband dared her to quit her job and go to culinary school. She enrolled in The French Culinary Institute (now The International Culinary Center), earned a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts with distinction, and never looked back. She launched Gotham Caterers as Executive Chef/Owner while simultaneously working as a private chef, teaching cooking classes, and pursuing her passion for food styling on live television.

Born and raised in New York, Lauren now lives in the suburbs of Connecticut with her husband and two sons.  Yes, she is that mom who makes over-the-top boxed lunches and weeknight dinners.  And she lives to entertain!  When people walk in her home they "ooh and ahhh" over the food and nothing brings her more joy.

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