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Chef, author, owner of Porchetta
The daughter of a foreign correspondent and a food writer, Sara Jenkins grew up all over the Mediterranean, eating her way through its cultures and learning to cook. She began her career in the kitchen under Todd English at Figs in Boston, then went on to work as a chef in Florence and in the Tuscan countryside, as well as on the Caribbean island of Nevis, before returning to the United States.
In New York City, Jenkins became chef at I Coppi, earning two stars within three months. After similar turns at Il Buco, Patio Dining, and 50 Carmine, she began work on her own cookbook, Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond.
In September 2008, Jenkins opened Porchetta, a storefront in the East Village focusing on the Italian roasted pork, typically sold as street food. Jenkins’ brick and mortar Porchetta has been wildly successful, receiving a four-star review from New York Magazine. In November 2010, Jenkins opened Porsena, where she draws on her Tuscan and Roman childhood with a pasta-centric menu. As Mario Batali put it, “She’s one of the few chefs in America who understands Italy and how Italians eat.”