Jersey Strong, Chef Lauren Van Liew a two-time Food Network winner of Chopped Champion and Supermarket Stakeout. A natural on TV, this passionate chef with a big personality just doesn’t cook for celebrity judges. Her business, Chef Covas Catering, is well known all over New Jersey for gorgeous food-focused events, seasonal ingredients and both large and intimate backyard parties. NJ Monthly
FOOD NETWORK CHALLENGE WINNER – ‘CHOPPED CHAMPION’ & ‘SUPERMARKET STAKEOUT’
Lauren grew up surrounded by a large, loving Portuguese family in Newark, New Jersey. In the Portuguese culture family, music and good food is everything. Cooking became her creative outlet and during high school she worked in several local restaurants, quickly earning recognition for her precocious approach to cooking.
She pursued her dream of becoming a professional chef and studied culinary arts at The New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier Vermont, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Culinary Arts. Her studies sent her to travel the country in an array of high-profile culinary settings. Lauren interned at the well-known Boca Raton Country Club and Resort in Boca, Raton Florida. She then headed west to Las Vegas where she worked as the only female chef at the well-established Picasso’s restaurant in the famous Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Armed with a great deal of experience, support and a widening skill set, Lauren relocated to Boston to manage her first restaurant, Mare in Little Italy. After three years at Mare, she returned home to New Jersey to pursue her dream of owning and operating her own restaurant, Chef’s Place. But after too many 17-hour shifts, Lauren decided to close her popular eatery to spend more time with her husband and young sons.
NEW JERSEY CATERER & TV CHEF
Chef Van Liew soon opened her family run catering company in 2013 and after years of producing five-star home-style gourmet food, Chef Covas Catering was voted Best Caterer in Monmouth County three years in a row Monmouth’s Best 2018 & Monmouth’s Best 2019 and she was featured in Health and Life Magazine as “2020 Women to Watch.” In addition to winning two Food Network shows, Lauren is often invited to appear on talk and new shows and has cooked on Inside Edition, Daytime and Good Day Philadelphia.
Lauren was recently awarded Chef de l’ Avenir – The Chef of the Future by the International Gastronomy Academy.
DONATED MEALS TO FIRST RESPONDERS DURING PANDEMIC
In addition to catering private parties, bridal showers, weddings and corporate events, Lauren expanded her business during the pandemic to include a dinner delivery service so that families can enjoy restaurant quality meals during quarantine.
Married to a Detective with the Essex County Sheriff’s department, she keeps first responders close to her heart. Donating meals to The Long brand Firefighters Union and Hackensack Meridian Health is Lauren’s way of saying thanks.