Like many chefs, Jamie Lauren, whom The San Francisco Chronicle named a “Rising Star Chef” in 2005, fell into her profession by accident. She started as a restaurant cashier in college, “but it didn’t work out because I just didn’t really deal with people so well,” she says. Working in the back-of-the-house as a prep cook at that restaurant proved to be more her style. Soon she was promoted to line cook and then decided to leave the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, ...

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