In The Kitchen With Sophia Roe: On Pet Nat Chili Crisp James Beard Awards

In The Kitchen With Sophia Roe: On Pet Nat, Chili Crisp + James Beard Awards

September 07, 2022 at 02:22AM



Brooklyn native Sophia Roe hits all our buttons. She’s got highly developed knife skills and personal style in equal amounts – and a take on food that nails the refreshingly unstuffy tone that only the best in our space do. Whether building bowls, fermenting things, or making functional sauces, Sophia manages to weave in tough topics like disordered eating and the politics behind our food.

We’re thrilled to host Sophia for a long overdue interview in our In The Kitchen series. Pulling insights from world-class chefs and wellness professionals, many of these interviews show you just how much overlap there really is between eating well and feeling good – living well, as we call it.

You can check out  Sophia’s Emmy-nominated show, Counter Space on VICE TV. She was, notably,  the first Black woman ever to be nominated in the culinary category!

In The Kitchen With Sophia Roe

Name: Sophia Roe

My business: All things edible (and even a few things that aren’t).

The best mornings start with…a kiss from my partner, Chris.


Morning beverage of choice: Room temperature water.

What I love most in my work: I love that my work encourages people to have fun in the kitchen, while also educating folks on the realities of global food insecurity.

How it started vs. how it’s going: It’s safe to say I’m still centering food, but in a larger, more art-forward way. I have other goals in mind that don’t solely center food, things like TV, writing, and production. However, food absolutely drives me and is a massive part of where my inspiration comes from.

In my kitchen you’ll find plenty of… The freshest produce possible. My partner and I go to the farmers market twice a week, minimum.

Staples always on hand: Good quality butter, salt, eggs, seasonal produce, and plenty of cracked black pepper.

Food philosophy in one sentence: Play with your food before you eat it.

Ingredient that makes everything taste better: Miso.

Favorite meal of late, at home: A massive bowl of buttered popcorn count?

Favorite meal while out: It’s summer right now, so I’m loving cold raw fish lately. Think oysters, crudo, etc.

Best food memory: Winning a James Beard award!

Favorite food cities/destinations: Osaka, Japan; Porto, Portugal; New Orleans, Louisiana; Toronto, Canada. Mexico City.

Essential reading: + On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
+ Objects of Desire by Clare Sestanovich
+ Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies by Seth M. Holmes
+ High on the Hog by Jessica B. Harris
+ Working by Studs Terkel

Food you love to eat with zero prep: Any and all fruit.

My go-to to dish to impress friends: Any freshly baked bread or a dessert with meringue.

Fave condiment: Chili crisp.

Fave veggie + what you make with it: Green beans or brussels sprouts in a scallion pancake! Yum!!

Craziest thing I buy at the market: There is no crazy in food, only delicious.

Your idea of an ideal dinner setting… Anything where the sun is perfectly setting, my partner and his son are with me, and we don’t have a curfew.

For last minute entertaining, I… run to the farmers market and grab as much fresh fruit as possible, and then Saraghina for olives to make a quick grazing board. I also always have some pastry in the freezer for making a quick tart if necessary.

Signature cocktail: A super cold glass of pet nat and I’m good to go. I also love drinking a Kin if I’m having an alcohol free night.

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Author Suzanne Hall |
Selected by CWC