“I don’t ever assume about it. For those who do, it’ll simply make you mad.” So says chef Sara Hauman, one of many Portland culinary scene’s freshest faces. She’s labored at three Michelin-starred eating places within the Bay Space, was named an Eater “Younger Gun” in 2015, and now runs the burners at Arden Wine Bar & Kitchen, the women-owned-and-operated restaurant which lately held a tender opening within the former location of the Pearl’s Coppia (née Vino Paradiso). That remark alone conveys how exhausting it’s for girls cooks to work—not to mention shine—in an business primarily constructed by males.
“It’s tougher for girls than it’s for males, and it at all times might be,” Hauman says. “And, sure, it has modified—however it’s at all times going to be tougher for girls.”
Certainly, she wouldn’t have landed her earlier job as lead chef at San Francisco’s Octavia if it weren’t for that double customary. Octavia’s proprietor, Melissa Perello, was an everyday of Hauman’s when she ran the kitchen at Huxley, and was so taken together with her type of cooking that she requested Hauman to take the reins at Octavia for a motive that many cooks will immediately acknowledge: Perello wanted break day to plan her wedding ceremony, a luxurious many ladies cooks can’t reap the benefits of, until they’re house owners.
Sommelier Kelsey Glasser and Chef Sara Hauman Aaron Lee
“Most male cooks in San Francisco have a girlfriend or a spouse, however most feminine cooks don’t have companions—I believe that claims so much,” she provides. “It’s not conducive to having a household, and if you need a household, simply depend your self out.”
In a world wherein San Pellegrino affords a listicle of the globe’s finest cooks, but additionally names, individually, one of the best “feminine” chef, Hauman says we nonetheless have a protracted technique to go. Within the meantime, nevertheless, she desires her cooking to do the speaking, and she or he’s bought a small however spectacular group on board: Sous Hannah Johnston (Century) assists within the kitchen whereas Kelsey Glasser and Alex Marchesini, the facility couple who opened Thelonious Wines in the summertime of 2016, cowl the entrance of the home.
For sure, it’s exhausting work with lengthy hours.
“If I don’t work a minimal of 12 hours a day, then the meals’s not going to be the standard I need. Different cooks may delegate from afar and so they most likely have a greater private life than I do,” she says, laughing.
Hauman describes her delicacies as “rustic” and influenced by recipes from outdated cookbooks. She cooks what she likes: “easy meals, basic combos, stuff that’s comforting, relatable.”
And also you by no means actually know what you’re going to get, as a result of Arden’s small open kitchen rotates dishes out and in every day.
Current dishes have included burrata with sorrel, asparagus, morels, brown butter, and almonds; roasted duck breast with fava greens, pistachio, and rhubarb; smoked Persephone beets with sesame labneh and hazelnut dukkah; and porcini black pudding with black trumpet mushrooms, a fried egg, and stinging nettles. The restaurant’s four-course prix fixe dinners begin at 5 pm, and the à la carte lounge menu begins at 4 pm.
Glasser says she suspects that Hauman’s wine-centric prix fixe dinners will earn her a spot in Portland’s pantheon of notable cooks. She was fortunately satisfied after she and Marchesini flew right down to San Francisco late final 12 months to dine at Octavia after Hauman utilized for the place on-line.
And whereas Hauman makes no bones about shifting to Portland to finally begin her personal restaurant—the start-up prices in San Francisco are, you guessed it, prohibitive—Glasser says she hopes to make her a associate, and plans to sooner or later give all her workers possession within the enterprise.
“We would like individuals to be glad and to wish to keep right here,” Glasser says. “With an open kitchen, there’s no actual divide between the front and back of the home, as a result of we share the identical room.”
The large image, they are saying, is to offer the sort of work surroundings the place the employees isn’t there 12 hours a day, six days every week—a frenzied schedule which might result in cuts and burns, as a result of they’re shifting too quick.
Hauman says she additionally desires to run her kitchen the way in which her higher bosses did: humbly. She’s labored with sufficient “My manner is the correct manner” cooks to understand how disagreeable an expertise it’s. The opening menu could also be solely of her personal design, however going ahead, she desires the kitchen group to dream up their very own dishes, too.
“I need everybody to have a voice,” she says. “It’s a group effort. If you don’t enable your self to adapt [to others’ input], you’re doing your self a serious disservice.”
Sommelier Kelsey Glasser Aaron Lee
Till then, Hauman says she’s going to maintain her head down and let her meals discover its manner into Portland’s hearts and mouths. In truth, it’ll be down so low, she gained’t even care when you mistake line prepare dinner Justin Ramirez as the top chef. (This occurred with nice frequency at Huxley, the place Hauman labored alongside a male sous—which is how she realized to let such slights roll off her again.) Simply don’t ask her if she likes her job as a result of she’s not smiling whereas concentrating on ensuring your meals is excellent—as a result of sure, that’s occurred, too.