Manhattan chef and restauranteur, Emma Hearst, is taking a break from biting into the Big Apple and is ready to dig in to a more chill locale — Hawaii.

Hearst, 26, bought her first house last November overlooking the Pacific Ocean on Oahu’s North Shore. While the area is famous for its world-class surfing and laid back lifestyle, Hearst feels its cuisine has a little catching up to do. “I have a book of ideas of things I could do on the North Shore business wise, so there is a lot of brainstorming, but not one idea is set in stone,” she said. “I don’t want to jump into anything too quickly.” She’s tossing around many ideas, including the possible opening of an Italian restaurant not to mention the possibility of a television show.

Hearst’s new potential venture would draw upon her plethora of culinary experience. She started cooking when she was four years old and starting working in restaurants at 13. She and fellow Culinary Institute of America grad, Sarah Krathen, became business
partners and opened the Italian restaurant, Sorella, on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan after extensive hands-on research.

“We, Eat, Pray, Love’(ed) our way through Italy,” she recalled. It was in the Piedmont region, tucked away in the Northwestern part of the country, where they drew their culinary inspiration for Sorella.

Hearst is also the youngest chef to have appeared on Iron Chef America and was named by Forbes to be one of the top 30 chefs under 30. The cleaver necklace that dangles midway down her chest is instant proof that her love of all things food related runs deep. If Hearst opens a North Shore restaurant, you can be sure her aim will remain the same as at Sorella: striving for her restaurant goers to feel the emotion in the food.

Hearst believes any new Hawaiian venture has to be the done with the right timing. Right now she’s too back and forth between the North Shore and New York City working on a book due out in October. The book will be called “Sorella Means Sister” and share the story of how her and Krathen’s Manhattan restaurant came to be. The recipes will teach at home cooks how to approach cooking with their intuition and cover the reasoning behind their movements.

Despite her action-packed work ventures, Hearst is pretty stoked to be living a more domestic life. “I am loving living there and can’t wait to be able to enjoy it on a more of a full time basis, which should happen in a few months,” she wrote in a recent e-mail from New York, where it was three degrees. Hearst’s favorite part about owning a home is having space and acting domestic, especially doing her own laundry. When she’s at her apartment in New York, she sends her laundry out, never cooks and enjoys her favorite restaurants Gramercy Tavern and Franny’s in Brooklyn where “they treat their ingredients right.” But now being part of a neighborhood and smaller community is pretty sweet, too, she admits. “I live on a special street with a lot of great people and I feel very lucky for that.”


As for us, we can’t wait to see what, Hearst brings to the table so to speak on the North Shore.  And right now, Emma Hearst, is the freshest ingredient.


This story was written by Jennifer Ginsberg