EXECUTIVE CHEF LAUREN CALLIGHEN - THE PALMS It’s a long way from Newfoundland, Canada, where fried moose is on the menu to wowing the crowd at Parallel23 with exquisitely prepared fresh local ingredients, but Executive Chef Lauren Callighen has made the journey in style. Born and raised in St. John’s, a small city in Canada’s most eastern province, she actually started out studying marketing with a business major and waitressing on the side. When the chef needed help in the kitchen one summer, it was all the inspiration she needed to pursue a career as a chef. After attending culinary school in Ottawa, she went on to work in some of Ottawa’s hottest kitchens including the elite Tulips and Maple Catering Company under Chef Timothy Wasylko. Lauren traded Canadian winters for the tropical shores of Providenciales in 2005. She joined the opening team at The Somerset on Grace Bay becoming Executive Chef in 2008. In 2012, Lauren joined The Palms Turks & Caicos team as Executive Sous Chef working under German Chef Ingo Möller. In the fall of 2013, Lauren took the reins of the kitchen team at The Palms as Executive Chef and is working her magic on the diners of Parallel23 and 72°West. Chef Lauren considers “recreating a feeling or memory through food” one of her proudest achievements. She enjoys the creative freedom to explore “off the wall” ideas, loves cooking fresh fish, and has a soft spot for soups, which she considers “an underrated art.” And she is the first to admit that becoming a chef is not for everyone. “You have to be a bit nuts working 10 to 12 hours a day in a hot kitchen!” Right now, diners at Parallel23 and 72°West are enjoying the results of those 10 to 12 hour days. 72°West will be serving up their award-winning conch chowder as part of a more Caribbean focus this season. And Parallel23 always pleases with local fish including grouper, wahoo and red snapper as well as aged prime beef. Considering that one of her favorite things is to create special menus for special events, why not put her to the test? Give her a challenge, and enough notice. We’re sure you’ll be delighted.
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