IVAN RAMEN, New York City
Ivan Orkin is the chef/owner of Ivan Ramen in New York. He was born in Long Island, New York, Ivan Orkin studied Japanese at the University of Colorado Boulder and, after graduation, moved to teach English in Japan. He returned to New York a few years later ready for a change, and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 1993 and externing under Bobby Flay at Mesa Grill. After working at Lutèce and as a corporate chef, Orkin returned to Japan with his wife and child, where, in 2007, he opened the first Ivan Ramen in Tokyo. Despite being a foreigner tackling one of the country’s favorite foods, Orkin quickly found success.
He opened his second location, Ivan Ramen Plus, in 2010 before returning to NYC to open Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop and the flagship Ivan Ramen in 2013 and 2014, respectively. There, he serves the namesake noodles—made out of rye and whole wheat—that have made Ivan Ramen a hit in two highly discerning cities. Recently, he has appeared on Netflix’s Chef’s Table.