Chef Sisha Ortúzar of Riverpark - Biography
New York, NY
Sisha Ortúzar grew up in Santiago, Chile, but he’s been cooking in New York City since 1996—and he’s played with some of the big boys. Ortúzar’s collaboration with Tom Colicchio began in 1997 at the acclaimed Gramercy Tavern. When Colicchio moved on to found Craft, Ortúzar followed, joining Colicchio’s team and playing a critical role in the growth of the Craft family of restaurants.
Growing both into and beyond his role within the Craft empire, in 2003, Ortúzar created the ’wichcraft concept and has since served as executive chef and partner, building on his original vision of serving hand-crafted food in unexpected flavor combinations. He also co-authored the restaurant’s cookbook ‘wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich into a Meal–and a Meal into a Sandwich.
As the executive chef and partner of Riverpark, Ortúzar developed the concept for the restaurant, and is the driving force behind its vibrant, modern American menus—and his work has earned the restaurant glowing reviews and two stars from the The New York Times. In September 2011, Ortúzar co-founded The Riverpark Farm at Alexandria Center, New York’s most urban farm. Temporarily built on one of New York City’s 646 stalled sites, the farm provides fresh produce to the adjacent Riverpark restaurant and is a leading example of an innovative use of urban space for the sake of local agriculture.