Flash forward 13 years later and now Izard, who heads a hugely successful business empire that includes multiple restaurants and product lines, per her website, is a celebrity chef in her own right. “It’s cool,” she said of the title. Izard noted that among the many benefits of her foodie fame are the multiple opportunities to work with chefs she admires at various charity cooking outings and during her continued television appearances, which includes taking on the role of Iron Chef (via Food Network). And unlike Izard’s pairing with Ripert, the interactions with her culinary heroes nowadays are far more relaxed. “I get to see them at events and just text them and you’re doing things with them,” she said. “You feel a little bit more of a peer while still always looking up to so many people in the industry.”
Izard also singled out a valuable aspect of being a “Top Chef” alum in particular: the lifelong bond she now shares with her fellow contestants. “I think that once you’ve done ‘Top Chef’ it’s almost like you’re in this weird little fraternity of people, of chefs, that have just gotten to know each other through that,” said Izard. “The chef community in general is really cool where you go to a city and you probably have a chef friend there and you can go to their restaurant and visit and things like that. But the ‘Top Chef’ community is an even more close-knit group where we all went through this crazy thing that you cannot understand unless you actually went through it.”
Make a reservation ASAP for Stephanie Izard’s red hot new restaurant, Girl & the Goat Los Angeles. And if you’re a home cook, take advantage of Stephanie Izard’s This Little Goat line of spices, sauces, and Crunches.