Chef Sarah Thompson of Extra Fancy - Biography

Brooklyn, NY

October 2016

Sarah Thompson loves Arizona. She lived in Tuscon until she was 19. She hates Texas. Thompson studied international economics and Mandarin at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She lasted six months before heading back to Arizona and enrolling at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale. After graduation, Thompson moved to Palm Springs, California, to worked at farm-to-table Cheeky’s and later as executive chef of a steakhouse/noodle bar in a resort over the course of a few years. Eventually, she made it back to Tuscon, working six months for James Beard Award-winning Chef Janos Wilder. Then Thompson move to New York, cooking on the line at Colicchio & Sons. Transitioning out of the kitchen, she worked as a server while doing demos at Union Square Farmers Market. She met Chef Peter Hoffman at the greenmarket and cooked on the line at his Back Forty.

Through her farmerly channels, Thompson bought a deep saltwater aquifer on Long Island, and transported the water to a 5,000-square-foot, rooftop, solar salt farm. Producing 600 pounds of salt a month, Thompson’s clients included restaurants, bars, hotels, and retail shops. When the blizzard of 2015 hit, the farm was destroyed, and because New York farm insurance doesn’t cover snow damage, Thompson lost everything. Down but undeterred, Thompson jumped into consulting—until she landed at Extra Fancy, as executive chef of the Williamsburg mainstay in January 2016. Another salt project is in the works.