Chef Schafer is often called a “chef’s chef” due to her classical French training, respect for her purveyors, and quiet daily pursuit of excellence.
Sarah’s love of food can be traced to her childhood in Boston, where she was immersed in a world of cooking by her mother and great grandmother, both ardent fans of Julia Child. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Sarah worked for Chef Ken Orringer in Boston, then in New York City at Gramercy Tavern, for Chef Tom Colicchio, who quickly promoted her to Sous Chef, giving her the distinction of being the first female Sous Chef in a Danny Meyer restaurant. She then opened Eleven Madison Park as Executive Sous Chef where she remained happily until accepting an offer to work as Chef de Cuisine for Chef Daniel Patterson at Frisson in San Francisco, and became Executive Chef upon his departure. While in San Francisco, Sarah was named Executive Chef at the new Anchor and Hope, a New England style fish house. After 2 years there, she accepted the opportunity to move to Portland, Oregon to open Irving Street Kitchen and lead as Executive Chef, where she remains today.
Sarah’s understanding of the important relationship between restaurant and community, she credits to her long working relationship with iconic restaurateur Danny Meyer, whom she considers her mentor. Sarah’s commitment to community includes acting as Chef Chair for Taste of the Nation Portland, and hosting the annual Fall No Kid Hungry dinner at Irving Street Kitchen, both of which benefit Share Our Strength, whose mission it is to end childhood hunger in America. To date, her efforts have raised over $250,000. By using her talents to help benefit the community, Chef Schafer’s love of cooking comes full circle.
Chef Schafer is known for her soulful approach to food deeply rooted in slow cooking and for her unwavering commitment to the highest standards of conduct.