Greg Silverman ’94


Greg Silverman ’94

What started as a job in the IC dining halls turned into a lifelong culinary passion for anthropology and politics double major Greg Silverman ’94. His hunger for political justice was ignited by professors Asma Barlas and Garry Thomas. Silverman went on to open Stella’s Kitchen and Cocktail in Ithaca, and then traveled the world, serving a two-and-a-half-year stint in Mali as a Peace Corps volunteer, helping restaurant owners and community groups there build their revenue models.

After returning to Ithaca, Silverman opened Olivia, one of the first farm-to-table restaurants supporting local growers. He ran three restaurants and catering businesses while serving on the board of Loaves and Fishes of Tompkins County, Ithaca’s soup kitchen, making sure community members had access to healthy, local, tasty food and support.

He left Ithaca with his partner and now spouse, Dr. Lauren Houghton (IC 03) to move to the UK where he received a master’s degree in food policy from City University London. While there, he worked for the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, helping low-income families learn to cook healthy food on a budget.

After returning to the U.S., he joined Share Our Strength, the national organization working to end childhood hunger and poverty. He became the chef leader and face of the Cooking Matters program, which teaches parents and caregivers with limited food budgets how to shop for and cook healthy meals, and he also helped lead the national Chefs Move to School Program one of the core Lets Move initiatives of former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Now living and working in New York City as the CEO/executive director of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger,( Silverman combines the insights learned while traveling, the culinary skills he gained as a chef, and the business acumen he developed as an entrepreneur to feed its 50,000 customers, who are food-insecure New Yorkers. He manages a $6 million budget a staff of 30, and a network of thousands of volunteers who have been working, day in and day, out all throughout the pandemic to make sure all New Yorkers have access with dignity to a choice of healthy food and supportive services.