Q&A with Sorella’s Emma Hearst & Sarah Krathen

Chefs, Meet, Uncategorized

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Famous for authentic northern Italian fare, family-style spirit and old-world glamour, Manhattan’s Sorella is a neighborhood restaurant that has garnered legions of admirers who come for the inspired homemade pastas, creative cocktails and easy conviviality. We talked with owners Emma Hearst and Sarah Krathen about their cooking philosophies, where they find inspiration and their cocktail-naming prowess.

 

Q&A with Emma Hearst

 

How did you get your start in the culinary world?

I started cooking when I was four. I used to watch cooking shows instead of cartoons and would play restaurant instead of house.  I began working in restaurants in high school and then went to college for it when I graduated.
Who (or what) are your culinary influences?
The little old ladies of the world who cook with soul.

 

What is your cooking/food philosophy?

Keep it clean and most importantly tasty.

 

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in my cravings, going out to eat and through different ingredients I see.
How have your travels in Italy influenced what you cook at Sorella? How are you influenced by Piedmont specifically, and how would you define “contemporary Piedmont”?

The mindset of the people we came across while in Italy really stuck and resonated with us. Everything is made by hand with integrity and love. That certainly influenced the cuisine at Sorella the most. We wanted people to taste the love in what we were providing them.

 

What ingredients should home cooks use to create Piedmontese/Italian meals at home?
An abundance of good quality dry goods and beautiful fresh produce.
How did you and Sarah meet? How did you decide to open a restaurant together?

We met in college.  We decided together that we didn’t want to work for anyone but ourselves and figured out how to make that idea work.

 

What are some items on the Sorella menu that you could eat every day?
Pasta, pasta, pasta! And dessert.

 

There’s a section in the book that talks about how you and Sarah find balance through exercise. How do you find the time? Why is it important?
Exercise is important for our minds and our body…both of which you need in great condition to be on top of your game.

 

What’s in your fridge right now?

Lots of vegetables, dog food and a few bottles of wine and a lot of condiments.

 

What’s for dinner tonight?

Something vegan and delicious.  My boyfriend and I cook almost every night at home…another bonus of not cooking professionally anymore…having the energy to enjoy cooking at home. (Emma left Sorella over a year ago.)

 

Q&A with Sarah Krathen

 

Hospitality is a big part of the Sorella experience. What does hospitality mean to you personally, and how does that play out at Sorella?

Hospitality is a lifestyle, and a commitment.  I am commited to being hospitable, and keeping Sorella hospitable, and I think that is the key to longevity.

 

What is the atmosphere you are trying to create at Sorella? 

I want people to feel comfortable and at home.

 

Tell us about your background. How did you become involved in the restaurant business? How did you meet Emma? 

I started working in restaurants when I was 15 because a classmate’s parents owned one.  I got hooked fast.  I met Emma during my fellowship at the CIA.  She was a student, and ironically we hated each other at first.

 

How is the cocktail menu at Sorella created? 

Spirits and seasonality.

 

Of the cocktails you’ve named, what are some of your favorites (names)?

The Honeypot, Radish is the New Beet (failed cocktail, great name), THEBIGAPPLE, Hot Date, The Ron Burgundy and The Cherry Godmother.

 

Tell us about your wine philosophy, and what you consider when creating the Sorella wine list. How does it compliment the food at Sorella? 

I like off the beaten path varietals and I am a sucker for a good story.  I think about balance.  Balanced wines compliment balanced food, and our food is just that.

 

What are a few of your favorite wine pairings?

Lambrusco and salumi.  Sparkling Erbaluce & Acciughe al Verde. Moscato d’asti and my pastry chef’s grilled peach pie.

 

What is the one thing on the Sorella menu you could eat every day?

Broccoli Fritto.

 

What are some of the best nights you’ve had at the restaurant? Some of the craziest?  Best?

The first night, the first kinda busy night, the first time Danny Meyers came in, the first night after we got reviewed in New York magazine…and that one was defintely the craziest as well.

 

What’s in your fridge right now?

Water, yogurt and a green juice.

 

What’s for dinner tonight?

Something light…had an epic sushi dinner at Neta last night.

One comment about “Q&A with Sorella’s Emma Hearst & Sarah Krathen

  1. GIVEAWAY: Two Copies of Emma Hearst & Sarah Krathen's Sorella Cookbook ($70 Value) - The Town Dish

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