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h t i w e at hom STEPHANIE IZARD The A-list chef invited FW: Chicago into her home to discuss her career, her laid-back life at home with her husband, and the magic of giraffes. by Jennifer Smith Tapp Jaded or not, most of us harbor a certain fascination about where and how famous people live. When our crew arrived at the Little Italy home of Stephanie Izard, we were immediately greeted by her dog, Burt, excitedly clutching a bright orange ball between his teeth. As far as he was concerned, new people meant more chances for a game of catch. The home­—which Izard shares with her husband Gary Valentine, a beer consultant—is warm, quirky, and interesting—perhaps made even more intriguing by the fact that a world-renowned chef lives there. Anyone who follows the culinary scene even in passing is familiar with Izard and her superstar restaurants, Girl and the Goat and Little Goat. The Evanston-born chef has made a name for herself providing solid, unpretentious food for which fans have gladly waited months to secure reservations. Moving back to the area in 2000 after studying at the University of Michigan and attending culinary school in Arizona, Izard went to work at Spring. Owned by then-Chicago chef Shawn McClain, Spring gave Izard the opportunity to work her way up the ranks to sous chef. She decided to leave and landed at a small restaurant in Andersonville named La Tache. It was at La Tache that Izard found herself doing everything from learning how to order to running the kitchen. It was another cook on the line who mentioned to Izard that she should strike out on her own. “One day, one of the cooks was like, man, you should just open your own restaurant. So I quit my job the next week,” she recalls. Just a year later, Izard opened Scylla, a Bucktown spot, in 2004. For the three years that Scylla was open, Izard did a dizzying amount of the work herself. “I was the owner and the chef. I would do the hosting, calling back

FEBRUARY 2016

fw: chicago

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Chicago Woman February 2016 Issue  

Chicago Woman (formerly FW: Chicago) February 2016 Issue with Stephanie Izard

Chicago Woman February 2016 Issue  

Chicago Woman (formerly FW: Chicago) February 2016 Issue with Stephanie Izard

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