A Virginia native, some of Mike Stark’s earliest memories involve afternoons spent laughing while preparing and enjoying a meal with his family. At age 18, he took his first restaurant job as a prep cook and instantly fell in love with the hands-on fast pace of the kitchen. Not long after, he enrolled in culinary school at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. Upon graduation, Mike joined Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s South End mainstay, Coppa, where he found great satisfaction and still considers his three years there as some of the most formative of his career. After moving to the duo’s popular tapas restaurant, Toro, he was quickly promoted from Sous Chef to Chef de Cuisine. With six years under Oringer and Bissonnette Mike accepted a position at Tiffani Faison’s Southeast Asian concept in Fenway, Tiger Mama. Fast forward past the joys of becoming a father, Mike was ready to get back into the hustle of the industry and enthusiastically accepted owner Brian Moy’s offer to become the Executive Chef of his three Chinatown hot stops; Shojo, BLR by Shojo and the group’s new Pan-Asian noodle bar Ruckus. With a unique role at the helm of three different locations, Mike thrives off the challengers and excitement that each day brings, and works to instill in his staff that no request is too large!