Tamara Stanger is Chef of the Lakehouse at Deer Creek. She has spent her life working in restaurants with a deep passion for wild foods and local ingredients. Tamara has worked closely with the James Beard Foundation, competed on Food Network’s “Chopped”, and been named “Best Visionary” and “Women Who Move the Valley” by local publications. Her restaurants have been in the list of top restaurants in Phoenix for the past several years. Tamara’s menu has always centered around history and culture with a strong influence of small farms and indigenous ingredients.
Tamara was born and raised in Utah, living mostly in rural areas without public services, but plenty of wilderness to explore. Collecting and cooking food was a way of life. Her mother owned a restaurant, so Tamara was introduced to the industry early on. Tamara moved to Arizona in the early 2000’s and worked at many restaurants across the valley, three of which she opened. Tamara is now returning to Utah to rediscover her roots and help build a legacy at the Lakehouse combining her knowledge with foraged ingredients, as well as the history of the pioneers and the native people who first lived along the Wasatch Front.
Tamara is incredibly passionate about child nutrition and works very closely with groups such as the Blue Watermelon Project and Department of Education to bring heritage food into schools. Tamara is also devoted to sustaining local foodways and honoring regional terroir.