About

in the beginning…
stephanie izard was born in the chicago suburb of evanston but grew up in stamford, connecticut, where her parents got her hooked on food with their themed dinner parties, weekly menus posted on the fridge and a life-changing trip to epcot where steph couldn’t wait to get home and recreate the crepes she ate in “france.” as much as she loved cooking (and eating), she went the traditional route first and got a sociology degree from university of michigan. pretty quickly after that, she discovered that all she really wanted to do was cook. after graduating from the le cordon bleu program at the scottsdale culinary institute, she worked at the camelback inn resort & spa, as well as a couple other restaurants, but then made the very spur-of-the-moment decision to pack up and move to chicago in 2001. she’s been in love with the city ever since.

early career…
after landing in chicago, stephanie got a gig as garde manger at jean-george vongerichten’s chicago outpost of vong. (this was where she met fellow “top chef” contestant dale talde, as well as her cookbook co-author heather shouse.) After leaving vong, steph worked as a roundsman at spring under shawn mcclain and then sous chef at la tache with dale levitsky. in 2006, she branched out on her own with the bucktown restaurant scylla, which was quickly named one of the 10 best restaurants in the country by bon appetit. being both owner and chef of her own place was a huge learning experience, but she opted to close in 2008. around the same time, stephanie was picked to compete on bravo’s emmy award-winning series “top chef: season four,” which she ultimately won, becoming the only woman in the history of the show to take the title.

the goat…
with the “top chef” win under her belt, stephanie assembled an amazing team with kevin boehm and rob katz of the BOKA restaurant group and the trio opened girl & the goat in chicago’s west loop in summer of 2010, and is now open seven days a week. the restaurant has received amazing local and national press, including four out of five stars from time out chicago and three out of four from chicago tribune. it was also the subject of saveur magazine’s first-ever restaurant review, which dubbed girl & the goat “america’s best new restaurant.” girl & the goat was also nominated for the 2011 james beard best new restaurant award, right around the time stephanie was named one of food & wine magazine’s best new chefs. you could say it was a good year. 2012 continued strong, with a james beard nomination for “best chef: great lakes,” and was again nominated in the same category in 2013.

girl in the kitchen…
in october of 2011, stephanie released her debut cookbook with friend and food writer heather shouse, girl in the kitchen: how a top chef cooks, thinks, shops, eats, and drinks and finished up the goat tour to promote the book and help raise money for share our strength.

little goat…
in november of 2012, stephanie officially opened the doors the first part of her second collaboration with boehm and katz, little goat bread, where all of the breads for both little goat and girl and the goat are made daily. little goat bread also has sandwiches, snacks, coffee, pastries, bagels and of course… a full bar. the following month, in december 2012, stephanie opened the diner portion of little goat. the next part to open will be the classroom portion called little goat kitchen where stephanie will teach classes and cook for groups like she was in her own home. looking forward to an exciting rest of 2013…