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Culture Catalysts: Stephanie Izard

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Get to know the work of a different Chicago-based thought leader each month. Meet the artists featured in our Chicago Works series and others who influence arts and culture in Chicago.

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 she 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. Soon thereafter, 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 several restaurants, including the Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, before making the decision to return to Chicago in 2001. Stephanie is the winner of season four of Bravo’s Top Chef, owner and executive chef at Girl and the Goat, author of her first cookbook, Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats, and Drinks.

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Culture Catalysts: Stephanie Izard