It would not be a stretch to say that Lauren Furey ’19 is a born cook. She loves feeding people.

“I was hooked on cooking as soon as I could sit up on the counter with my mom when she was cooking,” Furey recalls. “I spent days on days watching Giada de Laurentiis with dreams to be like her one day – one step at a time.”

And Furey has now taken several giant steps toward achieving that goal.

Last month, Furey graduated from the College as a double major in business administration and hospitality and tourism management.

Lauren Furey launched her own cooking business while she was still a student. (Photos by Reese Moore)

While at CofC, she was able to land an internship with author, chef and cooking show host Nathalie Dupree – an invaluable experience that shaped Furey’s goals for the future.

“I assisted her with recipe photo and video shoots for The Post and Courier, live demos and recipe creation,” says Furey. “She taught me how to make organizational charts called time charts, which come in handy in my culinary business. She inspires me everyday, and her writing is beautiful. I am happy and excited to work on anything with her.”

Even before graduation day, Furey had a jump on her career path. While she was still a student, Furey started a company called Now We’re Cookin’!, in which she provides private chef services and cooking classes. She is not a typical caterer, though. Beyond making food, she aims to create unique and thoughtful experiences for her guests.

RELATED: Read about what inspired Furey to start her own culinary business.

Jeremy Clement, internship coordinator for the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, worked closely with Furey during her time at the College.

“Lauren’s passion for cooking, teaching and learning in the culinary and business fields are contagious,” says Clement. “Her knowledge and vast pursuits; her catering business; internship with Nathalie Dupree; cooking demos downtown; her work on food TV shows filming in the area; and an internship at a local the TV station are beyond impressive for anyone, much less a college student. Her desire and effort to keep learning and growing seem limitless and are nothing less than inspiring.”

Now that Furey is officially a College of Charleston graduate, she is ready to expand her career, specifically into the media and entertainment industries.

“My long-term goals are to continue to grow my personal chef, catering and cooking classes business with my developing culinary brand, which will include cooking videos, recipes and collaborations,” she says. “My ultimate goal is to create an umbrella brand that includes it all, preferably on television or an online video series. I aspire to be an approachable and youthful culinary personality sooner rather than later.”

But it’s not just about building her brand. Furey hopes to be a point of inspiration for others.

“I strive to help people utilize their passions and map out their careers step by step,” she says. “Life is a lot like cooking. There are many ingredients and in order to get to an end goal you should figure out a way for all the ingredients and steps to build on each other. Then, you’ll be stirrin’ that pot!”