Rising Star Chef Cassie Piuma of Sarma - Biography

Somerville, MA

January 2015

A native of Duxbury, Massachusetts, Cassie Piuma is as locally bred as a chef can be (with a brief stop overseas). After graduating with honors from Johnson & Wales, where she met her husband and future business partner Matthew, she completed a final semester at the At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy in Singapore. Fortunately for Boston, the rest of Piuma’s culinary growth would take place back in New England.

Back Stateside, Piuma honed her skills first at Providence institution and proving ground for great chefs Al Forno, playing in various pockets of Italian regional cuisine. Moving to Boston in 2002, Piuma dove into French cuisine at Sel de la Terre. Piuma next took a job as sausage maker at Barbara Lynch’s Butcher Shop. But no doubt the most formative of her career choices would come next, when Piuma took a job with StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Ana Sortun at Oleana.

Piuma worked with Sortun for 11 years, learning the nuances of Middle Eastern cooking while she worked her way up the ranks from line cook to sous chef and ultimately chef de cuisine for her final seven years at the restaurant. It was this experience, and Sortun and Gary Griffin’s backing, that helped Piuma and her husband open their dream restaurant, Sarma, bringing Piuma’s vision of inspired, spice-driven Middle Eastern cuisine to a neighborhood not very far from home. In 2015, Piuma earned a StarChefs Rising Star Chef Award for her work at the restaurant.