|About City Grit||CITY GRIT is a culinary salon – a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine taste.
The brainchild of Sarah Simmons, recently named one of America’s Greatest New Cooks by FOOD + WINE Magazine, CITY GRIT offers food-culture events anchored by dinners that feature a pre-actualized tasting menu around a particular theme or ingredient.
The dinners are created and conceptualized by perennial host Simmons with her signature Southern influence. In addition to Simmons' menus, CITY GRIT hosts a series of well-known and emerging guest chefs from around the world looking to showcase their culinary talents in New York City.
Through its carefully cultivated relationships, CITY GRIT is more than just good food; it’s redefining the American dining experience. It is idea and resource sharing at its best; chefs discovering vendors, creating dishes for new audiences and offering diners a new experience to stimulate all the senses on every visit.
|About Sarah Simmons||Recently named one of “America’s Greatest New Cooks” by FOOD & WINE Magazine, Sarah Simmons is the founder and chef of CITY GRIT, a culinary salon in Nolita. Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of FOOD & WINE, has referred to CITY GRIT as “one of the most exciting and unique dining experiences in Manhattan.”
CITY GRIT offers ever-changing menus of Simmons’ own creation, as well as providing a platform for chefs the world over to showcase their talents and cook for a New York audience. While the menu is constantly shifting, Sarah’s Southern roots shine through in every CITY GRIT experience, with its focus on warm hospitality and top-notch service. Sarah’s dishes are always Southern-inspired, whether she’s cooking a traditional Sunday supper, a dim sum feast or a Shabbat dinner.
In addition to scouting up-and-coming chefs to add to the CITY GRIT lineup, Sarah spends much of her time sourcing new purveyors, focusing on the artisan food-maker community, and stocking the kitchen with their ingredients to introduce to the visiting chefs. “CITY GRIT really hits the high points of what dining ought to be: sharing, interacting, community. And Sarah is right there in the middle of everything,” said John Currence, JBF Best Chef South 2009.
Raised in North Carolina, Sarah spent much of her childhood learning fundamental kitchen skills from her mother, a former caterer. She moved to New York City in 2004, where she worked as a retail strategist for Fortune 100 companies, but kept her love of food at the top of her mind as she traveled the world eating at top restaurants and sampling new flavors. Between trips, she would prepare meals inspired by her travels for friends and family in her apartment. In 2010, she was named “America’s Home Cook Superstar” by FOOD + WINE Magazine as part of its search for the nation’s best home cook. This recognition inspired her to leave the corporate world to pursue cooking full-time and focus on bringing the CITY GRIT concept to market.
Since opening CITY GRIT in September 2011, Sarah has hosted and cooked alongside award-winning chefs as well as emerging talent, including Sean Brock, April Bloomfield, Marc Vetri, Paul Qui, Cathy Whims, Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo, Aran Goyoaga and Mike Isabella, among others. She has been recognized by the Charleston Wine + Food Festival as a “New & Notable” chef and will join a select group of rising chefs to prepare a dinner of the same name for the 2013 festival.
Photo courtesy of Donny Tsang