Aug 10 - 2021

Chef Lawrence Duran: Cooking for Life and Mark Wahlberg

About the Episode

We often do not see the opportunities that will grace our lives and take us on a path far better than we could ever dream of and for Southern California native Chef Lawrence Duran, that is exactly what happened. Becoming a Chef was inevitable, but becoming a personal chef for The Wahlbergs was destiny. As a child growing up in the valley of the Angels, before he could call himself ‘Chef’’, Lawrence Duran endured the subtle pressure of cooking for himself. With his mother working long hours and a grumbling tummy, he knew he had to eat. McDonald’s would suffice many nights, but his taste buds yearned for more – something home-cooked, so he rolled up his sleeves and went to work. His hands were his tools and his imagination was the fuel to his kitchen masterpieces.

He drew inspiration from Julia Childs and Thomas Keller while they played on the television, but his biggest inspiration is his grandmother. He remembers being on the kitchen floor playing with pots and pans while she prepared and cooked for their family. “We have a large family. With 7 kids of her own and several grandchildren, she was always cooking. Every time someone would walk through the door, she would make sure they had something to eat”. 

As Lawrence grew older, he continued to learn his grandmothers’ methods of cooking and incorporated them into his own unique style, ultimately moulding him into the chef he is today. During the latter years of his education, Duran transferred to high schools and went on to live with his father. Entering a new high school was not the most ideal situation for him, but little did he know, he was exactly where he was supposed to be. He befriended a boy named Christian, who happened to be the son of the owner of a very well-known catering company in Los Angeles and after graduation, Lawrence began working for Christian’s father’s catering company. Simultaneously he worked in construction which funded his time at The Kitchen Academy in Hollywood in the evenings. Juggling construction and culinary school were difficult, but he knew nothing great comes without hard work, so he resiliently continued.

As fate would have it, Mark Wahlberg was in need of a private chef and was friends with the owner of the catering company Duran worked for, Mario’s Catering Company. Mario highly recommended Lawrence to Mr.Wahlberg and Mr.Wahlberg agreed to let Lawrence demonstrate his skill level. He would work construction from 3 am – 1 pm then prep and serve The Wahlberg’s from 3 pm-7 pm for 6 months until he became full-time and quit construction. “Time management is extremely crucial when you’re preparing food for multiple people or preparing certain dishes. Giving yourself ample time, even down to one-tenth of a second, to get each task done is very important and that’s why I love my MTM Predator Watch,” says Duran. “The three chronographs assist me often and allow me to work faster and more precisely. Sometimes I feel like I’m a professional multi-tasker” chuckles Duran. “Sure, I know my ingredients beforehand, but everything needs to cook for an exact amount of time. My Predator keeps me on top of it. I rinse off food without the worry of getting it wet, I can bang it on literally anything and it doesn’t get scratched or break. This thing is stylish and rugged, that’s why I really like it. Special Operations don’t just happen on the battlefield, they happen in the kitchen too!”

For more on Chef Duran, read up on these Messermeister and Spiceology articles on his renowned cooking skills, or follow him on Instagram. 

See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

More episodes

Subscribe Now!

Which newsletters would you like to receive?

Yes! By providing my email address, I agree to receive communications from Crier Media (this can be changed at any time). Please take a look at the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more details.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.