We wanted to take a moment to propose a toast to Emma Hearst, who is, above all else, a brilliantly talented chef and a cherished customer of Hearst Ranch Beef.

The New York Observer saluted Emma in December 2009, and we wanted to include that piece here.

If you are in New York City, do yourself a favor: go down to 95 Allen Street and have a meal at Sorella.


Emma Hearst, 23: Chef-owner, Sorella

In this town, comely young members of the Hearst clan usually pass the days modeling or at Marie Claire, looking as if they could use a good meal. But Emma Hearst, great-great-granddaughter of William Randolph and chef-owner of the tiny Italian restaurant Sorella on the Lower East Side, is more Lidia (Bastianich) than Lydia, spending long nights on the line turning out signature specialties like chicken liver mousse on duck-fat–enriched English muffins with candied bacon and fried eggs. With no PR and a small, all-female staff, none older than 26, her restaurant has attracted glowing reviews and enthusiastic customers since opening a year ago. Brunet and modest in self-presentation, Chef Hearst grew up in unglamorous Albany, where she attended the Albany Academy for Girls (which she hated); she’s worked in restaurant kitchens since she was 13. “They’re my distant cousins,” she said of her New York relations. “But I do something completely different from what they do, so I don’t have much contact with them—if you know what I mean.” Which is not to say her Hearst-ness hasn’t come in handy: She flies in “gorgeous” beef from her family’s 85,000-acre ranch in California, and was recently named one of New York’s hottest (meaning cutest) chefs by the popular food blog Eater, though, she’s quick to add: “That’s not why I got into this business.”


Hearst Ranch Beef Carpaccio, from Sorella