After leaving university to pursue her culinary passion, Lauren Eldridge’s talent and determination has given her an impressive career at a young age. In 2016 she was awarded both The Good Food Guide Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year as well as the Gault & Millau Potentialist of the Year.
Training under acclaimed chef Mark Best at his Sydney fine diner Marque, Lauren worked her way from apprentice to Head Pastry Chef. Later she travelled to Europe to work at the Parisian three Michelin-starred restaurants Le Cinq and Guy Savoy before heading to Italy to work with internationally renowned chef Massimo Bottura, when his restaurant Osteria Francescana was named number 1 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List.
Upon her return from overseas, Lauren rejoined Best at Pei Modern before joining the Van Haandel Group in 2017 as Group Pastry Chef. Eldridge works closely with her team across all venues, regularly travelling to Stokehouse Q in Brisbane from her home restaurant Stokehouse St Kilda. She believes in setting high standards for those around her and developing creativity in junior chefs.
Lauren designs desserts that focus on seasonal produce and enjoys the challenge of finding unique ways to showcase the best of local ingredients. She is always conscious of finding ways to utilise everything and minimise waste, in line with the Stokehouse initiative to reduce their environmental impact.
Lauren credits her unique, lateral approach to her training opportunities, working closely with both savoury and pastry chefs while also pushing to discover new cooking techniques and ideas herself. Her creations are born first from concept, working to transform the recognizable to the unusual, cleverly appealing to sensorial nostalgia with an added contemporary twist.
An advocate for gender equality in hospitality industry, Lauren has contributed to Australian hospitality groups including Fully Booked Melbourne and Women in Hospitality as well as international platforms Parabere Forum and Creative Services Support Group- an Indian charity that saw her travel to New Delhi to work with underprivileged young women. She has also participated in panels for the Women in Foodservice Awards and Colemans Academy as well as supporting the Two Good Co. and The Starlight Foundation through her services.