Ivan Orkin’s story is one of legend in the food community:
A self described “Jewish Kid from Long Island”, Ivan realized his dream of cooking while doing it in Japan on his terms.
Armed with a degree in Japanese from the University of Colorado Boulder, Ivan immediately moved to Japan upon graduating and cemented his love of everything Japanese.
He returned to the US in 1990, and after some career experimentation, found his way to the Culinary Institute of America where he finally found his calling.
Upon graduation from the CIA and stints at Mesa Grill, Lutece and Restaurant Associates, Ivan returned to Tokyo to rediscover his Japanese “roots”. He taught cooking classes, explored his options and enjoyed his time as a stay at home dad. Ivan eventually realized it was time to combine his love for Japan and cooking, and in 2007 the first Ivan Ramen was born.
This move seemed destined for failure in a country where ramen has a cult status. Ivan not only succeeded, but became one of the top ramen shops in Tokyo, an unheard of accomplishment for a foreigner. In 2010 a second shop, Ivan Ramen Plus, was opened. In 2012, Ivan returned to NY with the hopes of opening a business back home, while continuing to operate his two shops in Tokyo.
His first venture in the US, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, opened at the Gotham West Market in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of NYC on 600 11th Avenue in November of 2013.
Soon after, his 50-seat US flagship, Ivan Ramen opened at 25 Clinton Street on New York’s Lower East side