Chef Laurence Peña. Courtesy photo
Chef Laurence Peña of Chartwells Food Services has been promoted to Director of Food Services for the K-12 program of Compass Group USA which services all seven school sites for Los Alamos Public Schools. He replaces Chef Mia Holsapple, who has taken a promotion within Compass Group.
Pena has a 20 plus-years career as a manager in the retail, hotel, tribal enterprise and restaurant fields. He has also served as a Tribal Council Member for six terms. He grew up in Southern California, going to college in New Orleans and returning to New Mexico influenced by his love of food.
His passion is creating menu items which are an infusion of Classic American, French, Creole, New Mexican and Modern American cuisines. Pena is the former Executive Chef of La Mesita Eatery and a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. He holds a degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management.
Chef Pena is from the Pueblo de San Ildefonso where he lives with his wife Melanie and their children, Taylor, Justin, Christian and Emelia.
Pena has plans to soon announce a free summer food program within the next two weeks. The program will feed children under 18 for free throughout the summer,