When Sierra Laumer’s sister, Jenna, was battling cancer in 2009, the sisters dreamed of opening a restaurant once Jenna was back on her feet. Jenna lost the war in 2010, and Sierra knew she had to make the dream a reality because, all too clearly, life is too short to play it safe.
Sierra and her good friend, Leah Heisel, opened ForkHeartKnife (1437 Main Street, Over-the-Rhine, 513-381-3451) in May of last year and business has been booming ever since. Once you eat there, you’ll know why. Sierra and Leah have a passion for cooking good, honest food in their tiny kitchen and their menus are often surprising and wonderful. Sierra blogs about what’s happening in the kitchen and what she’s making at home, as well as special events and things she finds inspirational (forkheartknife.wordpress.com).
I stopped in on a Wednesday afternoon and chatted with Sierra and Leah as they prepped for dinner.
CityBeat: Where was your last great meal and what was it?
Sierra: I go to (Newport’s) La Mexicana probably twice a week and I get the asada torta every time without fail! I don’t know if that’s the “best” meal I’ve eaten … I went to Daveed’s while we were on vacation and that was a pretty incredible meal.
Leah: I haven’t really gone out much lately. I think the last meal out that I had was at (downtown’s) Nada for our holiday party with the people who help us out here and we really over-ordered and we got a ton of food and we passed everything around and it was great. But we’re going next week, for my birthday, to a progressive thing — it’s too bad you didn’t ask us then! We’re going to (Jean Robert’s) the Table and some other places.
CB: What is your favorite thing to cook?
Sierra: That’s pretty hard for me. I’m really intrigued by the idea of Spanish tapas. We can’t really do them here, but I like thinking of things in terms of tapas, in terms of how can you just sit down and taste a bunch of stuff. I know my portions don’t reflect that I think that way but I do think that way! I really like vegetables in general, too. There aren’t many places you can go to get well-prepared loads of vegetables.
Leah: I really like making dips! I don’t know why, I just really like dip. They’re pretty satisfying to do and there’s so much you can do with them.