A Virginia native, Mike Stark dove into the restaurant industry and his first role behind the line was all the motivation he needed to instantly fall in love with the industry. He then enrolled in culinary school at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, and has continued to expand and define his culinary footprint since.
After graduation, Mike joined the team at Coppa, a Boston mainstay helmed by the James Beard Award winning Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. After three formative years at Coppa, Mike was ready for a change, but eager to continue under the tutelage of his mentors. Toro, the duo’s popular tapas restaurant, provided this change, where Mike was quickly promoted from Sous Chef to Chef de Cuisine, and honed his craft in a larger, livelier restaurant and kitchen.
With six years under Oringer and Bissonnette, Mike sought to learn a new style of cooking, and moved to Tiffani Faison’s southeast Asian concept, Tiger Mama. This shift in cuisine helped lay the groundwork for his current role; when Chinatown restaurant owner Brian Moy reached out, Mike was enthusiastic to accept a position.
As Executive Chef at Shojo and Ruckus, Mike is tasked with daily menu development and oversight of the company’s two kitchen teams. With a unique role at the helm of two different spots, and soon to be more, he thrives off the challenges and excitement that each day brings, and works to instill in his staff that no request is too large.