Chef Schafer is often called “a chef’s chef” due to her classic French techniques, dedication to her purveyors, and a daily pursuit of excellence. Sarah was born and raised in Boston, Mass. Her love of food and cooking can be traced back to a childhood immersed in it by her mother and great grandmother, both ardent fans of Julia Child. Schafer earned her stripes working with chef Ken Orringer in Boston, and in some of the most prestigious, Michelin star kitchens in NYC. Her talents did not go unnoticed while at Gramercy Tavern under chef Tom Colicchio, where she was quickly promoted to Sous Chef, the first female Sous Chef in any Danny Meyer restaurant. From there she opened Eleven Madison Park as Executive Sous Chef where she remained happily until deciding to go back to the west coast where she had done her externship upon graduating from the CIA. She worked in San Francisco as Chef de Cuisine at Frisson, becoming executive chef upon chef Daniel Patterson’s departure. Sarah opened the new San Francisco restaurant, Anchor and Hope, and after two years there was offered the opportunity to move to Portland to chef and operate Irving Street Kitchen.
Sarah’s understanding of the relationship between the restaurant, the customer, and the community, she credits to her long working relationship with the great NYC restaurateur Danny Meyer, whom she considers her mentor. The link between kitchen and community is of utmost importance to Sarah, and she is an active participant in many charities on the local and national level. She and her team host the annual fall “Share Our Strength/ No Kid Hungry” dinner at Irving Street Kitchen.
Chef Schafer is known for her soulful approach to food deeply rooted in slow cooking and a commitment to fresh, seasonal ingredients.