Sarah Schafer has spent most of her life working in kitchens, from her first job at a local bakery where she learned to make wedding cakes at 14, to having the pleasure to work alongside some of the great chefs of this generation in many of the finest restaurants in the country.
Sarah was born in New York and raised in Boston where alongside her Mother and Great Grandmother she recreated the recipes of Julia Child. After a high school immersed in the arts, she attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY.
After graduation, Schafer worked for chef Ken Oringer in Boston. Chef Oringer recognized the talent in his young cook and encouraged her to go to New York City where she was hired by Chef Tom Colicchio at the famed Gramercy Tavern and quickly worked her way up to sous chef, then executive sous chef, positions never before held by a woman in the Danny Meyer organization. After several wonderful years at Gramercy Tavern, Sarah left to open Eleven Madison Park as executive sous chef where she remained happily until leaving to work next to Chef Daniel Patterson in San Francisco, becoming executive chef upon his departure.While in San Francisco, she caught the eye of SF restaurateurs Mitchell Rosenthal and Doug Washington who asked her to open their next venture, Anchor and Hope, a New England style fish house which spoke to her roots on the Cape. When Mitch and Doug decided to open Irving Street Kitchen in Portland, OR, Sarah accepted the position of executive chef/partner where she has been joyfully since it’s opening in 2009.
Sarah’s understanding of the connection between restaurant and community she credits to her long working relationship with iconic NYC restaurateur and visionary DannyMeyer whom she considers her mentor. To date, through her efforts she has helped raise almost $350,000. for charities at the local and national level including a long relationship with Share Our Strength.
Chef Schafer is known for her quiet daily pursuit of excellence, and for food rooted in slow cooking and classic technique. She is a passionate advocate of using the finest,cleanest, most sustainable food available.