Ana Sortun

Chef & Co-Owner 

Oleana, Sofra Bakery & Sarma

"There are so many amazing restaurants and chefs in this city. Ten years ago, there was a disproportionate number of Italian restaurants, and now you can find incredible Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, Chinese, etc., with great resources of local fresh fish and vegetables."

Photo of Ana Sortun, owner of Oleana Restaurant.
Culinary - Ana Sortun

 

Ana Sortun is a native of Seattle, Washington, and graduate from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine de Paris in 1989. She opened her first restaurant, Oleana, in 2001 and was named Best Chef in the Northeast by the James Beard Foundation in 2005. That same year, she gave birth to her daughter Siena and wrote her first cookbook, Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean. In 2010, she opened Sofra Bakery and Café with business partner and Pastry Chef Maura Kilpatrick, and several years later, they co-authored Soframiz: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery. In 2013, Sortun partnered with Chef Cassie Piuma to open Sarma in Somerville, modeled after a Turkish meyhane or meze restaurant. Ana is a James Beard Semi-Finalist for Outstanding Chef in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019 and a finalist in 2020. She is known for bringing Middle Eastern flavors into the mainstream through her passion for Turkish cooking, spices, and her husband’s (Chris Kurth of Siena Farms) fresh, organic vegetables.  
Fun Fact—Oleana is Ana’s full/real name. Ana is a nickname. Oleana is an old-fashioned Norwegian name that has nothing to do with Turkish food or the Mediterranean, but it’s also a song and a story about a utopia or promised land.  

Accolades/Awards:  

  • James Beard Award 2004, Best Chef Northeast 

  • James Beard Finalist (Nominee) 2020, Outstanding Chef 

Restaurants

  • 134 Hampshire Street

At Oleana, vivid flavors, aromatic spices and a commitment to the freshest ingredients compose a menu that celebrates the cuisine of Turkey and the Middle East.

  • 1 Belmont Street

Welcome to Sofra, a Middle Eastern bakery, cafe and retail store. We offer sweet, savory, and contemporary interpretations of the traditional cuisines of Turkey, Lebanon, and Greece. Try some Middle Eastern cold salads and spreads from the Meze Bar or choose a flatbread or hot…

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