Ayala Donchin

Founder & Executive Chef, Evelyn’s Kitchen

Works in Food & Beverage

Can advise in Building a brand; Hiring, managing, & maintaining employees; Securing capital; Partnerships; Marketing; Negotiating contracts

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As the Owner and Executive Chef of Evelyn's Kitchen, Ayala Donchin and her team work culinary magic in their East Harlem kitchen, where they manage catering and tetail Divisions, an e-commerce business powered by their partnership with Goldbelly and a Café serving lunch and dinner 6 days a week. 

After graduating from the University of Illinois, Ms. Donchin earned a Masters Degree in Administrative Social Work from the University of Michigan. She moved to New York in 1994 and served as Executive Director of three non-profit organizations, focusing primarily on youth development programming for at-risk high school students. In 1999, Ayala became the Director of Community Relations for the New York Knicks, overseeing all aspects of the organization’s community efforts and creating nationally recognized programming for the players and the brand. She left the Knicks in 2002 to start the successful consulting firm, The Sandbox. Known for developing and executing community impact programs for athletes, celebrities and the brands that do business with them, Sandbox clients included Magic Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Carmelo Anthony, ESPN, Gatorade, the NBA and the NFL. 

In 2010, after ten years in the Sports and Entertainment Industry and with an influential network of support in place, Ms. Donchin followed a life long passion for entertaining and launched Evelyn’s Kitchen, named for her Godmother, the late Evelyn Satinoff. Ayala holds a lifetime of fond memories of Evelyn and recounts the many late nights spent in Evelyn's warm kitchen for Sunday dinners and holiday gatherings filled with good food, laughter, wine and great conversations. Evelyn's kitchen was not just a physical place, there was a spirit to it and Ayala has worked tirelessly to create that same spirit in her business. A sign is hung in the cafe states simply “Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often”. 

Evelyn’s Kitchen has been featured in People Magazine, US Weekly & Oprah’s ‘O’ Magazine, The Cooking Channel, Food Network and Crain’s Business New York. Clients include Madison Square Garden, Gayle King, the NBA, Moet Hennessy, America’s Got Talent, Adele, E! Entertainment, NBC Atlantic Records and numerous celebrity fans including Chris “Ludacris’ Bridges, Nick Cannon, Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & Chris Paul. In 2016, their signature line of 'Pudgies' and Sliders' were featured in QVC and in 2018, Evelyn’s Kitchen partnered with the Whole30 program to launch NYC’s only Whole30 Approved Meal Delivery Service. 

Ms. Donchin is a 2012 graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and Columbia Business School’s Community Business Program Initiative and the proud mama of her 5 year old daughter Brooklyn.