Ana Sortun and Sally Sampson are two of Boston’s most powerful women in food. Arguably, Ana is this Examiner’s “top chef” – maker of magic at Oleana, Sofra and Sarma – and Sally, profiled last month in 10 questions for a food entrepreneur, is the visionary creator of quarterly kids cooking magazine ChopChop. Both have snagged James Beard Awards for their efforts.
Bold, brilliant border-crossers both, it’s no surprise that they’re also good friends and colleagues. They share a mission to connect kids with kitchens to seed food love young. And as with all good serial entrepreneurs, they also share the persistent desire to create something new.
To these two ingredients, add one: Farmer Chris Kurth. A classic restaurant romance (if you don’t know the story), Ana and Chris met at the back door to Oleana. Chris was the farmer who knocked; Ana, the chef behind the door. Now the farm that feeds all of Ana’s restaurants, among others across Boston, is named for Ana and Chris’s daughter Siena.
Next month, Ana, Sally, Chris and their teams will launch the first ever Siena Farms Kids’ Share – a “backpack” onto an already robust 750-member, year-round CSA program. Kids’ Shares will be sold and distributed through the farm’s existent CSA infrastructure. The Why of the Kids’ Share is to dispel the notion that kids don’t like healthy food – that they won’t eat fruits or vegetables. Ana and Sally dreamed up the pint-sized CSA, and 9-year old Siena gave her stamp of approval (and designed the logo).
Aimed at children 6-12, each week, the young shareholders receive tote bags filled with recipes, kitchen accessories, games, toys and other items – all in addition to the expected produce. Weekly themes and recipes change, corresponding to what’s fresh off the farm that week. (Ana and Sally will be creating the recipes together.) Young shareholders also receive a year’s subscription to ChopChop as well as the ChopChop cookbook.