HEARTH | New York City
Marco Canora's contemporary Italian dishes at Hearth
are a direct reflection of his sincerity and passion for his
craft. Learning to cook as a young boy working alongside his
Tuscan mother and aunt, Canora eventually traveled to Florence,
Italy, where he apprenticed at Fabbio Picchi's renowned Cibreo.
As the original chef at Tom Colicchio's restaurant concepts
Craft and Craftbar, Canora focused the spotlight
on the highest quality ingredients, and influenced a new trend
in simplified American dining. In 2004, he opened Hearth,
a cozy neighborhood restaurant with a menu that showcases
his extensive knowledge of ingredients and traditional Italian
Fava and Pecorino Salad with Smoked
Marco Canora of Hearth- New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs.com
- 4 cups blanched shelled fava beans
- 2 cups young pecorino cheese, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 cup spring onion, minced
- 3 Tablespoons dried Sicilian oregano
- 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried pepperoncini, finely chopped
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil to cover
- Kosher salt and large cracked black pepper
Large mix bowl, combine all ingredients. Season with kosher
salt and large-cracked black pepper. Cover with extra virgin
olive oil. Marinate at least 1 hour, up to 3 days.
SC: Did you
attend culinary school? Why or why not? Would you recommend
culinary school to aspiring chefs today?
MC: I didn’t go
to culinary school. I went to business school. I’m not
very impressed with culinary grads. A year stage produces
SC: Can you talk about
MC: Fabio Picchi of Cibrao in Florence. He taught me
the concept of deep, layered flavors. It’s not about
foams and jelly; it’s about wholesome good food. Tom
Collichio helped me learn to look at the business end of it.
SC: Are there any secret
ingredients that you especially like? Why?
MC: Preserved lemon helps
any dish: fish, meat. The ultimate condiment is a spicey olive
oil—young and peppery. The kind that burns the back
of your throat.
SC: What is your most
indispensable kitchen tool? Why?
MC: A stainless steel
food-mill. It’s the most universal tool.
SC: Is there a culinary
technique that you have either created or use in an unusual
way? Please describe.
MC: I put all my fish
scraps through the food-mill and create an unbelievable fish
puree that I use on my crudo plates. Also the use of soffrito
in unusual ways.
SC: What is your favorite
question to ask during an interview for a potential new line
MC: I always do a trial
where I access knife skills and fundamentals. Line cooks are
tough to find.
SC: What tips would
you offer young chefs just getting started?
MC: You better be prepared
to work a lot: 70 hours a week. Realize it is about sacrifice.
Saying no to friends and family. It’s a big commitment.
Forget sports. There’s no time.
SC: What cities do
you like for culinary travel?
MC: Tokyo. I’ve
been there twice. They have a respect for their food that
doesn’t exist anywhere else. They appreciate subtlety
and quality. Also Florence. I love the freshness, the artisan
SC: What are your favorite
restaurants in New York?
MC: Al di La in Brooklyn.
Café Boulud: there wasn’t a foam or micro-green
on the plate. It was incredibly satisfying; what food should
be. Bar Piti for their veal meatballs, bread soup.
SC: Where do you see
yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
MC: Dead! Burnt-out.
This is a slippery stone. I’d like to have more restaurants.
I love the excitement of creating new concepts, new restaurants.