Chef Sarah Stegner Culinary Journey: A Spotlight on Sustainable Food and Women Empowerment”

Every week on The Dining Table podcast, host Chef Sarah Stegner David Manilow delves into his personal experiences at some of Chicago’s finest dining, drinking, and shopping destinations. Crain’s reporters provide expert insights into every aspect of the city’s vibrant restaurant and food scene. Additionally, we feature interviews with chefs, culinary experts, cookbook authors, bartenders, business owners, and more to uncover the secrets behind their success.

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Meet Chef Sarah Stegner

Chef Sarah Stegner boasts an extensive career in the Chicago food industry. Her journey began as a 19-year-old intern at The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, where she dedicated long hours to tasks like cleaning fish. Undeterred by the demanding work, Stegner’s perseverance paid off when, at the age of 27, she ascended to the role of chef at The Dining Room.

Stegner’s culinary talents have earned her prestigious accolades over the years. In 1994, she was named Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, followed by Best Chef of the Midwest in 1998. Crain’s recognized her as one of the 40 Under 40 in 2000.

Throughout her career, Stegner’s influence has expanded significantly. She is a co-owner and chef at Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, a founding member and former president of Green City Market, and a founding member of the Abundance Setting, a nonprofit supporting women and mothers in the food industry. Additionally, she co-founded the philanthropic nonprofit Chicago Chefs Cook, which has raised over $1 million for humanitarian relief efforts through culinary events.

Stegner is renowned for her advocacy of the organic sustainable food movement in Chicago. In her recent appearance on The Dining Table podcast, she discusses the movement’s growth, the success stories of various nonprofits, and strategies to address the underrepresentation of women in the culinary field.

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