updated 05/12/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/12/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Lauren Kaye, 25, was hired as chef for New York City Mayor Edward Koch in much the same way Ruby Keeler used to get the lead in all those '30s musicals. The Long Island native had been acting as general office manager for the Cordon Bleu Institute in New York when she was asked by one of the school's French chefs to help out at a private party where the hostess had broken her ankle. The guests included Koch, a bachelor who had just fired his second cook in 20 months, and he offered the job to the French chef right after the veal with grape sauce and raspberry sabayon. She declined, but recommended Kaye to head the kitchen at Gracie Mansion (below). The daughter of a lawyer and his art teacher wife, Kaye graduated in 1976 from Montreal's McGill University with a degree in art history and anthropology. She then took off for Paris, where she enrolled at the famed La Varenne cooking school. Now Kaye rises at 6 a.m. and often works until midnight preparing meals for visiting dignitaries from Rosalynn Carter to the cast of Annie. Someday Lauren hopes to run an inn of her own, but she doesn't complain about her $225-a-week pay (plus free room and board). After all, there is lots of time off when the mayor is out eating knishes, kielbasa or crow.