It’s a rainy Thursday afternoon at Over-the-Rhine’s forkheartknife, and owners Sierra Laumer and Leah Heisel Grande banter as they pick seeds from pomegranates. The two lifelong friends had long talked about going into the food industry together but kept putting it off. Then, in January 2010, Laumer’s sister Jenna died after a nine-month battle with leukemia. Sierra had also discussed opening a restaurant with her sister. “Jenna’s passing was a catalyst,” Grande explains. “We always thought, ‘Maybe one day.’ Then something like that happens, and you don’t really have that fear anymore.” Four months after Jenna’s death, forkheartknife opened.
Laumer’s and Grande’s cooking ethos is simple. Use the best fresh ingredients from local vendors to make creative, low-maintenance food. Today, for example, they’re fighting the dreary weather with prep work for Thursday night’s colorful menu: bright green edamame dip, a curried and roasted cauliflower soup, pomegranate orange spinach salad, and—most exciting for Laumer—purple vegan beet cakes.
“There was definitely this sense before we got started of, ‘Is this right?’ ” says Grande. “But there is also this extreme feeling that this is exactly what we should be doing right now. It makes us feel close to Jenna.”
1437 Main St., Over-the-Rhine(513) 381-3451www.forkheartknife.com
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