Restaurant Partners

At the Chef’s Table

This month, Ivy Stark is At the Chef's Table.

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Ivy Stark

Executive Chef, Dos Caminos

Why is hunger an important issue for you?
As a chef, I of course make my living cooking for people, the nurturing aspect of that makes it unbearable for me to think about any person going without food. I think we are all obligated to contribute to society, and the opportunity to use my chosen profession to help feed someone in need is a tremendous gift. 

What inspired you to become a chef?  
I have always loved to cook, from the time I was a small child, at some point it just became a mission rather than a hobby, I couldn't get through a day without it.

What is your favorite type of food to eat?
That is a tough question for a chef! I like a lot of different types of cuisines, but probably eat sushi most often when I am not working.

What are you most looking forward to about the October tasting event, Bid Against Hunger?
The camaraderie with the other chefs, everyone is so busy it's often the only time we see each other in the year. I always run into former colleagues, cooks, sous chefs, externs etc and that is always fun. I also enjoy bidding on the silent auction items.

What is your favorite hidden gem of a restaurant?
I am a big fan of Takahachi in the East Village, no-frills, straightforward sushi made with the freshest fish and great people watching.

You are running in this year’s NYC Marathon on the City Harvest team. Any training tips for fellow runners?
Don't be too hard on yourself-a 14 minute mile is still a mile. Take it easy when you need to in order to stay healthy.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Anything covered in peanut butter.

What is something everyone should have in their kitchen?
A blender-great for making sauces, soups, smoothies, vegetable purees and frozen margaritas.

What’s in your refrigerator?
Typical chef's refrigerator-not much! Skim milk, greek yogurt, hummus, wine.

What is your favorite junk food?
Peanut butter stuffed pretzels.

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Chiles-both fresh and dried.

What traditions (in or out of the kitchen!) did you enjoy during your childhood?
I loved cooking with my mom-making my first potato salad with her was my cooking "eureka" moment-Christmas was always nice too, Mom made chocolate chip cookies while we decorated the tree.

What was the last best meal that you had?
I just got back from Turkey, where all of the food is great; but my favorite is Restaurant Sim in Antalya. It is a small 4 -table place that serves the best fava bean terrine, sigara boregi, and kofte (meatballs) in the world. Turkish wine is also amazing and pairs so nicely with the food.