Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Lauren Mozer, who launched elle cuisine to offer one of the most refined and interactive culinary experiences on the Toronto events scene. We caught up with her to find out what advice she has for other young professionals and, of course, what would be her last meal…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
elle cuisine is a full-service food and event management company that offers interactive and personalized culinary experiences. From intimate private cooking classes and multi-course tasting menus to large-scale corporate affairs and weddings, elle’s mission is to serve the finest food and create engaging atmospheres in which moments are shared and relationships flourish.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
Growing up cooking for family, friends, and myself, I was always inspired by the art of being a good hostess. Having grown up with a mother who didn’t cook and a father who worked a ton (film industry), I had to fend for myself in the kitchen early on (or survive on President’s Choice and Kraft Dinner).
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
It’s so hard to name just one. Having to purchase three cars (secondhand) in one month to facilitate the quick growth of the biz is definitely up there on the list!
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Not sure. For me, that’s an unrealistic question. My business goals change constantly, depending on the challenges and opportunities that we’re presented with on any given day.
Instead, I like to plan 1-2 years ahead. In the next 1-2 years, I see myself and elle cuisine moving into a bigger kitchen, office space, and potentially running a venue space downtown.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
1. Don’t under-estimate the power of hard work and believing in your product. Don’t settle for anything less than your vision (even if it’s ever-changing).
2. Hire talented people. Most importantly, hire people who can envision the future as you see it and people who will work tirelessly to ensure you get there as soon as possible.
On a side note, also make sure that your employees understand and respect your managing style and work environment. It’s important to surround yourself with people you enjoy working with (and people who enjoy working with you).
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
We sponsor and work with a variety of charities that are close to our hearts. CAMH, Free The Children, Breast Cancer Foundation, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and many more.
7. What does the word notable mean to you?
Something/someone that is worthy of attention as a result of successes.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
The answer to this question is ever-changing. That being said, my go-to restaurant at the moment is Union on Ossington. Their menu changes constantly and they have a cute patio in the back that’s perfect for working lunches.
I live in Leslieville and my favourite neighbourhood spots are Enoteca Ascari (fresh pastas are to die for), and Goods and Provisions (for amazing cocktails and the best bone marrow in town).
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser?
Google and Chef Steps.
3. Who’s the one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
I really love following my friends and family, especially since I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. It means I can stay in the loop with regards to their lives.
4. What’s your favourite cocktail?
Maple bourbon sour.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Seeing the photos of old university friends travel the world for months at a time. I can manage a week vacation, but could never run away for longer than that.
6. What would be your last meal? And don’t hold back…
Minimum 65-day dry-aged steak (strip or rib eye) topped with foie gras, and a cheeseboard for dessert!
7. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Poutine and Channing Tatum movies, all at the same time.