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.
The New York Times referred to CITY GRIT as the Off Broadway version of the James Beard House that has “quickly become a magnet for out-of-town talent.” Simmons provides a platform for chefs from all over the world to showcase their talents and cook for a New York audience in addition to ever-changing menus of her own creation.
While the menu is constantly shifting, Sarah’s Southern roots shine through in every experience at CITY GRIT, with its focus on warm hospitality and top-notch service. Sarah’s dishes as well 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.
Since opening CITY GRIT in September 2011, Sarah has become an industry tastemaker and a frequent source for recognizing new culinary talent. She has hosted and cooked alongside both award-winning and emerging chefs, including Sean Brock, April Bloomfield, Marc Vetri, Paul Qui, Cathy Whims, Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo, Mike Solomonov, Gerard Kraft and Jason Vincent. Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of FOOD & WINE, has called CITY GRIT “one of the most exciting and unique dining experiences in Manhattan.”
In 2013 Sarah was recognized by the Charleston Wine + Food Festival as a “New & Notable” chef, and she was named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” byFast Company magazine, which called her “the chef cooking up the most exciting dining experience in New York.” CITY GRIT was named by Zagat in 2014 as “One of the Most Innovative Restaurants in the Country.” She will be opening her second concept, Birds & Bubbles in 2014, which will focus on fried chicken & champagne and serve elevated southern dishes.