Chef Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde Restaurant and Pastificio has won nearly every restaurant award under the sun and if you’ve ever visited Monteverde, you can see why. The care and attention behind every dish is simply impeccable and the experience always leaves you full of spectacular pasta and joy. Chef Grueneberg recently took some time to connect with Here Here Market and we could not be more excited to share her story with you!
What's the most overrated kitchen tool?
zesting fruit to mincing garlic.
What is your "must have" kitchen tool?
What ingredient is always in your pantry?
Chef Sarah Grueneberg loved cooking from a young age and you could often find her in the kitchen at home while growing up in Houston. After culinary school, her adventures in the industry began at Brennan’s of Houston where she became their youngest female sous chefs (at the time) ever. She has had a love affair with noodles and pasta since the beginning: the first dish she learned to make was macaroni and cheese – cooking with her own pasta of course. Her best advice for making great pasta:
Fresh pasta knows when you are scared! Be confident with that pasta roller, working through mistakes can be a great way to learn. Also, be sure to let the dough rest before rolling, if the dough is pulling back when being worked it did not rest long enough.
Chef Grueneberg finds inspiration from cookbooks and collaboration, and especially from looking at produce. Monteverde sources their produce from Green City Market and Chef has spent many a morning browsing and taking in all the potential from the incredible farm selections. Her dish ideas often begin with the “sides,” or the vegetable component. She has fun looking at a vegetable’s flavor potential and building from there.
Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was from my mentor, Tony Mantuano. He said, “The only thing you can count on is change.” Boy was he right! Change is inevitable, but it can also bring greatness. Being willing and able to roll with whatever life has to throw at me has led me great places.
It is always Chef Grueneberg’s goal to make sure diners feel the love that she puts into their food. The pandemic has been a struggle for her extroverted side because she deeply enjoys visiting guest tables in the dining room and seeing the joy on diners’ faces. She is also committed to supporting the industry’s survival by inspiring and mentoring young cooks. Chef Grueneberg is thankful for the camaraderie among chefs within Chicago and throughout the US. Those connections make the industry very special to her and she wants to make sure that others feel the support that she has experienced.
There have been a lot of changes in the restaurant and the industry as a whole, but Chef has had a lot of fun feeding the Monteverde community in a different way! Since re-opening in May, Monteverde has made great strides in their online ordering capabilities and Chef Grueneberg has enjoyed the creativity of crafting the mercato menus. And perhaps best of all, you can now purchase Monteverde produced and sourced products at Here Here Market! She is certain that there is more change to come, but Chef Grueneberg looks forward to meeting them head on and partnering with Here Here Market as we look to the future!