by Celia Sin-Tien Cheng
July 2, 2005
We crave something when we recall a meal that was really amazing. Marco Canora insists that "amazing" can only be when it is fresh and in season. He admits that New Yorkers are rather spoiled — we get what we want, when we want it. But the reality of food is that nature and geography really dictate what we are privy to, unless one has the means to travel the world at will or import delicacies directly. But what would be the fun in that? We would no longer have legitimate cravings, because everything would be at hand. One can’t serve fresh tomato and basil twelve months a year. We have to wait until August, when the tomatoes are beautifully ripe, and that’s obviously when it should be on the menu. The converse — tasting less-than-fresh or mediocre food, or dishes out of season — results not only in disappointed taste buds, but also dulls and confuses the cycle of craving and satisfied fulfillment. The reason why we love what we crave is because we have been deprived of it. That’s what a craving is to Marco.
While this idea of cravings may sound a little masochistic, it’s not. Marco makes it easy for patrons at Hearth by serving seasonally driven food in a hospitable environment, one in which customers can dine in a relaxing ambiance. Between May and October he gets most of Hearth’s produce from the Green Market. When a vegetable shows up in the market, he puts it on the menu.
Marco puts his heart and mind into his creations. It’s the combination of the food and atmosphere that warms your soul. I think the Hearth Manifesto appropriately sums it all up. It reads:
- buy it with thought
- cook it with care
- serve just enough
- save what will keep
- eat what would spoil
- home grown is best
Click here to read about our craving from Marco Canora at Hearth.