Lauren Sloan, my niece, is a professional baker and one of the few people I know who knew what they wanted to do when they were quite young and then proceeded to methodically succeed. In high school, Lauren shared that she wanted to be a pastry chef and worked very hard toward that end. A favorite culinary memory of mine are her infamous “smookie” cookies. Neither of us can find a photo, but let me give you a visual. Two half dollar size chewy chocolate chip cookies with a perfectly toasted full size marshmallow squished between. Talk about decadence!
Lauren graduated with honors from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island and has been building her portfolio ever since. After stints in NYC where she perfected making macaroons, gelato and specialty pies and cakes, she is now working with Fi’lia, located in Miami’s luxury hotel, SLS Brickell. Fi’lia is the brain child of Michael Schwartz, a James Beard Award Winning Chef & Restaurateur. Here she assists in preparing fresh rustic baked breads along with desserts such as tarts, gelatos, crostadas and breakfast pastries.
I am so proud of Lauren and I look forward to following her culinary career.
Follow her on Instagram @laurensloan93
Advice to your younger self: I would tell myself "don't be afraid to be yourself and to push your boundaries". I've recently learned that being myself completely has left me a lot happier than I've been in a while. I've become less shy and apologetic for who I am, and I've made some great lifelong friends. Pushing boundaries is a way to allow yourself to find who you are as well. Making the last second decision to move to a new state almost 2 years ago for a job has helped shape me, and I don't think I would be where I am now in my life, career, and relationship if I stayed.
Last meal on earth: Hands down my last meal would be my father's pot roast, mashed potatoes, and large salad with extra crisp lettuce.
Favorite cookbook or recipe: My favorite recipe would probably be a peanut butter cookie recipe. My dad and I found the recipe in a Better Homes and Garden magazine, Christmas edition, in 2004. We made the cookies together for the first time and I have used it every year since. It's the recipe I use when baking with my younger siblings and in my current job.
I love my............. Family. Living so far away from my family can get rough sometimes, but we are so close knit, that I know they are only a phone call away if I need any of them. The time of day or night does not matter. Going home is something I always look forward to.