Sarma Melngailis –- the brilliantly witty and sexy co-founder of Pure Food and Wine, CEO/founder of One Lucky Duck Holdings, LLC, and author of Raw Food/Real World and the forthcoming Living Raw Food -– first moved to New York City in 1994 after graduating from University of Pennsylvania (where she earned a B.A on top of her B.S. in Economics from Wharton). After making a name for herself on Wall Street at Bear Sterns, Sarma moved to her hometown of Boston to conquer Bain Capital Inc. by evaluating businesses for private equity investment. Desperately missing the sights and sounds of NYC, Sarma returned to Gotham in 1998 and joined a high-end investment fund at CIBC... but within no time she decided to court her passion for food and consequently graduated from the French Culinary Institute in 1999. After working on various restaurant and cookbook projects, Sarma recognized the value of raw and vegan living. Taking advantage of her business and culinary skills, Sarma soon became a groundbreaking pioneer of the haute raw food movement.
Name: Sarma Melngailis
Location: Gramercy Park, Manhattan
Chosen occupation: Restaurateur, entrepreneur, cookbook author
Unchosen occupation: There’s nothing else I’d be doing. Although part of me has always wanted to play bass in a metal band or be a restaurant critic.
Side-gig: I don’t really have much time on the side, but I love being my boyfriend’s girlfriend, and his biggest fan.
Best spring of my life: Hopefully this one!
SARMA'S SPRING PICKS
Park for picnicking: Battery Park, because I like the views and being near the river.
Stroll route: Walking across town and out on the pier over the Hudson near 10th Street -- it’s very therapeutic to be in the breeze over the water (even if it is the Hudson River).
Wax: Shobha for their sugar wax
the best bikini waxes
Massage: Anyone who will come to my apartment
Haircut: Koti at Salon Insitu on 77 Irving Pl. He gives the best blow drys of all time.
Pet groomer: My cats groom themselves, all day long.
Upcoming event: Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation [in NYC on May 20]
Spring salad: Organic greens with spring greenmarket add-ons and argan lemon dressing from One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway (126 E. 17th St.)
Outdoor café: The back garden at Pure Food and Wine, of course!
Springtime cocktail: Muddled strawberries, lemon juice, basil leaves and sake over ice at Pure Food and Wine (54 Irving Pl.)
Farmers market: Union Square Greenmarket, it’s only a block away.
Spring flower: Pink peonies from LMD Floral Events on 437 E. 12th St.
SARMA'S SPRING ESSENTIALS
Jeans: Seven for All Mankind (394 West Broadway)
Underwear: bgreen organic cotton with the lace trim or hot pink Cosabella thongs
Basic T-shirt: Hanes, the short boxy V-necks -- I’m still looking for the perfect organic cotton T-shirt.
Soap: Skinny Skinny lime & mint. I love how they wrap the bars.
Lipstick: RMS Beauty lip2cheek in the color “muse” and the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer is my all time favorite all over skin shimmer.
Mascara: Any of the drug store brands that have the white lash extender on one side and black color on the other.
Moisturizer: Alkaitis Day Cream and Night Cream for face (nothing compares!) and Simply Divine Botanicals How Now Brown Cacao for body it makes you smell like a chocolate bar!
Hair product: Arimino Spice Water Wave Style from Japan
Springtime fragrance: Anything from D.S. & Durga. It’s all natural, intoxicating, in cool bottles, and made by one of my favorite waiters at my restaurant. [available in Manhattan at In God We Trust, Freemans Sporting Club and Earnest Sewn]
Springtime candle: In The Raw candles in the nectarine basil or Indian summer scents
Sheets: Anything made of bamboo
Stationery: Hemp stationery from Green Field Paper Company. It’s really soft and feels nice to write on with a ball point pen.
New episodes of: Is there a new season of Top Chef coming this Spring? I love watching that show, probably because I miss cooking. [ED: Season 6 just completed casting!]
Film release: I have no idea what’s coming to the theaters!
Spring escape: Carbondale, Colorado
Spa weekend: Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos. I’ve been dreaming of going back there for seven years.
**Previously featured on "Spring Cleaning With..."