Chef Cassie Piuma, a Massachusetts native, grew up with a love of food and restaurants. Though she originally set out for the University of Vermont, she quickly realized that a future in medicine (her pre-destined career path at the tender age of 18) was not for her.
Piuma attended Johnson & Wales University to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts, and it was there she met her future husband (now Sarma Co-Owner & General Manager) Matthew Piuma. During school, Piuma landed a cooking job in the kitchen of famed Providence restaurant, Al Forno, and later moved to Boston stints as line cook at French bistro, Sel de la Terre and sausage maker at Chef Barbara Lynch’s beloved South End neighborhood spot, The Butcher Shop.
Most notably however, Piuma has spent over a decade working with Chefs Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick of the groundbreaking Middle Eastern restaurant, Oleana, in Cambridge. Learning the nuances of spices and exotic ingredients while under Sortun’s tutelage, it was at Oleana that Piuma earned her chops as a chef. Over the duration of her time at Oleana, Piuma navigated her way through the kitchen, from line cook, to sous chef, and finally to Chef de Cuisine, garnering the support of Sortun and the attention of the Boston restaurant community.
In autumn of 2013, Piuma and Sortun opened Sarma; a dream Piuma has been striving towards her entire culinary career. Sarma is the culmination of years of hard work in kitchens, as well as food-related travel, study, and meticulous research. At the Somerville restaurant, she weaves together elements and flavors of Eastern Mediterranean cuisine with her desire to provide a fun and casual – not to mention flavorful – dining experience.