Chicago native Lauren Parton, jump started her career on the culinary side of the food and beverage realm, working as a line cook in the renowned kitchens of La Tache and The Signature Room. Eager to pursue further teachings, Lauren then began the certification process for becoming a Sommelier in 2009. She then joined the opening bar team at award winning Drumbar, working as a bartender alongside famed bartender Benjamin Newby, where she developed a passion for fusing the worlds of food and beverage to create innovative drinkable and edible cocktails. From there, Lauren was instrumental in leading the award-winning beverage programs at the W Hotel and Loews Chicago. Described as the “Greatest Mixologist in the World” by Emmy-award winning daytime television host, Steve Harvey, Lauren soon after coined the term “Libationist,” a tongue in cheek play on made up words used to describe molecular bartending. Now, as Sommelier of Vol. 39, Lauren looks forward to bringing non-mainstream wines to the forefront of the sophisticated lobby bar’s expansive wine program in her efforts to make lesser known varieties easy to understand and digest. When she’s not behind the bar, Lauren enjoys tooling around her patio garden, traveling, and hanging out with her husband John and their dog, CK Dexter Haven.