“Hi, my name is Ana.
I brought my spoons. I may be the only professional chef fixated on this one particular cheap spoon. And to me they are just as important as my knives.
Usually people are like, what’s the big deal about the spoon? Well, it’s amazing what you can accomplish with a spoon when it doesn’t have a lip. You can cut, stir, and then because it’s flat you can take the mixture and spread it onto a plate. Then take another spoon, go to your hot sauté pan and use it as a spatula to flip up a scallop, pick up some juices from the pan, baste and also taste. Then grab another and move on.
These spoons were discovered by mistake about ten years ago. We kept stealing spoons meant for the dining room. So one day I asked my sous chef, “Can you just call and try to find the cheapest spoon so we can stop doing that? These are what happen to come in and now it’s come to the point where I don’t go anywhere to cook without them. Whether its New York or Europe, I bring tons of these spoons as part of my tool kit.
It’s now evolved into this spoon that is placed at every position in the kitchen. If it doesn’t have spoons it is not considered a set up station. In my restaurants all of us agree-once you start using these spoons, you can’t go back. We have hundreds of them and now, when we order new spoons from our supplier, we just ask for Oleana kitchen spoons.”
Ana Sortun is the owner of three restaurants, Oleana being the original. She won the prestigious James Beard award in 2005 for her excellence. She’s married to a farmer who provides all the organic produce that her restaurants need. Farm to table is a family affair.