Owner and Executive Chef
Irving Street Kitchen
Executive Chef/Partner Sarah Schafer leads Irving Street Kitchen, guiding guests through a story of past and present via a marriage of her East and West coast influences. Schafer is one of Portland’s powerhouse female chefs, always on the cutting edge of the local food scene with standout, casually elegant American cuisine. Schafer’s training and experience provide the backbone of her thoughtful and collaborative menu.
Graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1993, Schafer immediately began working under some of the most respected chefs in the restaurant industry. Noting Ken Oringer, Tom Colicchio and Restaurateur Danny Meyer as her mentors, she became the youngest and first female Sous Chef at Gramercy Tavern in NYC. Schafer was also instrumental in the opening of Danny Meyer’s famed Eleven Madison Park. From there, Sarah made her way to San Francisco and to work as Chef de Cuisine for Daniel Patterson.
After several years in the Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest beckoned to Schafer and in 2010 Irving Street Kitchen was born. Schafer collaborates with every individual who has a hand in the restaurant’s day-to-day operations. She says leaving her mark in every area of a restaurant’s space – in both the food and design of the interior – is something she learned from her mentors on the East Coast.
Schafer has won several competitions including 2017 winner of Wild About Game, Nicky USA’s competitive game cooking competition between Portland and Seattle’s best chefs. She is passionate about local and national advocacy work and participates in many charitable events for non-profit organizations including No Kid Hungry, Self Enhancement Inc., p:ear homeless youth program, Rose Haven Shelter for Women and Children and St Andrew’s Nativity School. In her free time, she likes to garden and work to complete her urban farm. She also enjoys spending time with her wife and their little pug Olive.