Going from waiting tables to landing an official deal with the AMC show "The Walking Dead," TV's hottest drama for five years running, seems like a dream. But chef, server, instructor and author Lauren Wilson made it happen.
Wilson got to write the newly released official cookbook for AMC's most famous show, titled, "The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide." She knocked it out in roughly three months, just in time to celebrate her 35th birthday.
But the process really began seven years ago when she decided to leave her nine-to-five marketing job to go to chef school.
Finishing her education as a chef led to writing about the food scene in Toronto. Then, like so many millennial adventurers, Wilson ended up in a tiny Brooklyn apartment where she learned to negotiate the rent-apocalypse by working multiple jobs.
Publishing her new cookbook, which is currently ranked in the top ten in sales in multiple book categories on Amazon, hasn't changed how she operates. Wilson is still a floor captain and server at Rose's Bar and Grill in Brooklyn and an instructor at Rustico Cooking in Manhattan, where she works alongside the James Beard Award-nominated author and chef Micol Negrin.
Wilson's closest analogue on the show is the sweet and sharp "Walking Dead" character Carol, who tends to fly under the radar. But Wilson has a love for zombies that the fierce Carol doesn't share. The first cookbook Wilson wrote was "The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse," and it was fueled by her early love for the undead.
Wilson blames her brother and his video games for her affection, specifically an early childhood experience with the Resident Evil franchise. She says she was entranced by the game.