Food Connect: Sorano India

Ever since our inception, our fist love has been working with Chefs. It’s a different vibe to craft tableware that can help Chef’s bring their food fantasies to reality. Over the past 5 years, our team has worked with chefs, restaurant chains, 5 star hotels and café’s of all sizes and forms, to create customized tableware for them.

Food connect is our endeavor to share stories and conversations with Chefs, Restauranteurs, and home cooks who have gone that extra mile and have shown immense patience towards working with potters and getting bespoke sustainable tableware crafted for their creations. Afterall, it takes a true craftsman to understand the struggles and passion that lies in creating and appreciating craft in different mediums, be it food or clay.

Sorano is a beautiful Italian restaurant in the quaint city of Calcutta, India. Known for it’s rich food heritage, Calcutta is a place to experience Indian heritage, culture and innovative food. So, when Sorano was voted one of the top 16 restaurants in India to dine in, by Vogue in 2022, we were overwhelmed with joy and chose this restaurant as the first story for Food connect.

We sat down with Saket Agarwal, Founder and Chef at Sorano, to get insights around his experience running one of the most popular restaurants of Calcutta.

What was your vision behind Sorano?

Sorano is an homage to Italian food and lifestyle. The authenticity of the food served, the beverage concept, the interiors and design sensibilities, Sorano is an amalgamation of these various touch points. We wanted to give the patrons a space that reminds them of summer holidays and wonderful memories.

 “Summer holidays and wonderful memories”, wow, that reminds me of Calcutta’s beautiful summers. Why Calcutta for an Italian restaurant?

I have been a food and beverage entrepreneur since 1999. Those days Calcutta, rather India was warming up to international food concepts. I was the first one to introduce a coffee shop culture in Calcutta and that was a huge success. It being my hometown has always been close to my heart, and after years of research, when it came down to open my restaurant, this was an obvious choice. I love Italy, and as a Chef, I have years of experience behind understanding and creating the hearty Italian cuisine, so it felt like a gradual progression to open something like Sorano and to bring a slice of Tuscany to the city of joy.

Surely, it is your passion that inspired you to open Sorano and we can see that in the mark Sorano has created in such a short span of time.

Tell us about what drove you to Nugu? How important it is for you as a restauranteur to source sustainable handcrafted dinnerware for your restaurant?

Sorano’s cuisine concept is deeply rooted into sustainable practices and locally sourced ingredients. We even make our own cheeses. We truly believe in reducing our carbon footprints. That is why we were aligned with Nugu’s vision that entails locally sourced clays to the collective imagination of indigenous craftspeople and specialists.

Our team of Chefs were focused to get handmade stoneware for Sorano as these days stoneware is becoming a popular choice for serving food. I mean food on stoneware looks good. There is no doubt on that. It was difficult initially to find the right pottery that could make the dinnerware as per our colour preferences, and within the timeframe we had in mind. Nugu offered us both, customization on colours as well as a very realistic timeline for development. We are happy we crafted our stoneware from them.

Chef’s experience of plating on handmade dinnerware. The dish he loves to serve on a Nugu dinnerware?

Our chefs believe that the visual appearance of crockery used to plate their creation plays a crucial role and helps improve the overall presentation of the food served, which thus leads to customer satisfaction. Particularly our Gnocchi Ripeni looks stunning in Nugu dinnerware. Our patrons always appreciate our crockery at Sorano, and it complements our dishes  beautifully. Nugu is like the perfect canvas for the art that is food at Sorano.

Restaurant Sorano:

Images by Sorano

Excerpts from our conversation with the founder of Sorano, Saket Agarwal.

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