Anakaren Ibarra grew up in a Mexican household in Kansas City,KS where she was surrounded by Aunts, Grandma and Mom cooking all the time.She learned early on that food had the power to bring people together and after cooking for some time as a hobby she decided to pursue it as a career.
She began cooking as an apprentice under Chef Joe Shirley, founder of the pop-up restaurant Uberdine. There he taught her for the next three years’ basic kitchen skills and the importance of supporting local restaurants. He eventually got her in contact with Howard Hanna, chef/owner of The Rieger, where he took her on as a line cook. For the next two years, she learned how to cook using in season ingredients, new techniques and came to understand the need to support local farmers.
After being introduced to Josh & Abbey Eans through The Rieger she decided what her next move would be, Happy Gillis Café & Hangout. It is there where she currently holds the Sous Chef position, learning new skills from management to front of the house hospitality. Her hope is to one day open her own restaurant where she will touch back with her roots and share her love of food with everyone else.