Los Angeles, California
Where can we find you?
Currently working as a private chef for Mark Wahlberg and based out of Los Angeles, California.
What is your favorite knife and usage?
Meridian Elité 10" Kullenschliff and the Meridian Elité Kullenschliff vegetable knife (too hard to choose just one) are definitely my go-to knives for absolutely everything. These two beauties travel with me full time and never leave my side!
What inspires you?
My grandmother is my biggest inspiration. As a child I was always in the kitchen with her watching as she effortlessly prepared meals throughout the day for our large family.
Born and raised in Southern California, Chef Lawrence Duran always knew he wanted to one day become a Chef catering to the stars. What he didn’t realize early on, was that the circumstances of his life growing up would lead him straight there.
Life for Chef Lawrence Duran wasn’t always easy. He was born to young parents who separated when he was very young. His single mother, worked long hours to support him, leaving him with no choice but to start cooking his own meals at a very young age. As he grew, the years of going back and forth between parents left him with a deep sense of instability. This is what drove him to want to push himself to someday reach his goal of becoming a celebrity chef. Inspired by Julia Childs and Thomas Keller he believed that if he worked hard, one day he too could reach their level of greatness.
In 2001 he decided to go live with his father and transfer from a public high school to a private high school. This is where he met Christian Gonzalez, a friend who would end up doing more for him than he could ever have imagined. As fate would have it, Christian is the son of the owner of one of the largest and best studio catering companies in the business: Mario's Catering. The Gonzalez family saw something in Lawrence and Mario’s Catering is where he got his start with no idea it would lead to where he is today.
For the next few years he bounced around from job to job, always remaining in the studio industry. Whether it was cooking, maintenance, or construction he somehow always managed to stay around celebrities. During these years as a studio laborer he attended The Kitchen Academy in Hollywood in the evenings. Working by day and going to school at night he graduated in 2007. He then decided to go into catering for himself but soon realized it was a lot more work with a lot less profit than he’d expected. At this point he went back to construction and maintenance work at Universal Studios Hollywood while continuing to work on his true passion of cooking on the weekends. He began to do pretty well for himself and would help other individuals with restaurant menus as well as overseeing various kitchens from time to time. Life was finally feeling comfortable to him.
This is when he received a call from his old friend Christian asking if he wanted to cook, as a private chef for a few days, for a certain celebrity. Initially Chef Lawrence hesitated, but after thinking it over he realized that even though life was going well and he was comfortable…this might be his way out of something his heart wasn't fully into. He decided to accept the offer and go for it. What was supposed to be a few days in the kitchen turned out to be a much bigger opportunity. It turned out to be a major career move that has led to life changing experiences and a young man’s dream come true.
Chef Lawrence Duran is currently the private chef for Mark Wahlberg and his family, cooking 5 days a week and loving every minute of it.