Slow Food for Fast Times

At Urban Hearth, we are guided by the principles of the Slow Food philosophy. We "envision a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it, and good for the planet." 

It's a simple idea really, but it profoundly shapes how we see ourselves as chefs and members of the community.

"Slow food" goes beyond simply making thoughtful choices about the ingredients and products we source. It's about stepping

back from the intensity of our day-to-day lives, and

recognizing that there is much to be learned and joy to be

had from sitting at a table together. 

Erin Miller

executive chef | owner |

camp counselor

I have built my culinary career around a simple concept - that there is much to be learned and joy to be had when we gather around the table together. Urban Hearth began as a culinary event company in Brooklyn, NY over 15 years ago. Since then, I have continued to bring people together to share wholesome, creative, seasonal fare, sourced locally and respectfully.  


A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, Erin worked in New York kitchens, including Blue Hill, and private residences before starting Urban Hearth in 2003. Her personal cooking style is influenced by flavors and techniques of the Mediterranean, North Africa and Middle East, as well as the flavors and memories of her Southern roots. At Urban Hearth, all of the chefs bring together their own culinary interests and experiences to create a unique, globally-inspired approach to New American cuisine.  


Urban Hearth opened its doors in North Cambridge in 2016. The restaurant has quickly become a favorite gathering spot and is consistently chosen by Open Table diners as one of the top restaurants in New England. In 2018 Erin was the WGBH Culinary Stewardship Award winner. 


Erin loves being a part of the vibrant Cambridge community with her husband and two sons. Originally from the Blue Ridge mountain town of Floyd, Virginia, Erin still loves spending time in the mountains of her new Massachusetts home. Time away from the busy restaurant usually means exploring and foraging the New England woods and shores. 

Paul Nadjarian

sous chef | cure-master |

remote sous vide operator

Leah Shapiro

chef | potter | mermaid

I started cooking at a young age with my Mom and Nana. I suspect it was a ploy to keep me busy so I would stop driving everyone crazy with all my questions. I’m grateful for this strategy because it made cooking a very relaxing and satisfying activity for me. As I got older, I cooked to be helpful and if I was bored.


My first career was in the Restaurant business. I started working at Friendly’s when I was 18 and in college. By the time I was 19, they had recruited me into their Management program.

I ultimately ended up going back to school for a BA in Sociology and working at the Capital Grille. I started out as a line cook and soon was running the line, and working as Assistant Kitchen Manager. I ultimately moved to the front of the house and after 18 years in the industry, armed with my BA, finally left to open my own business as a life coach.


Fifteen years later, I’m back in the kitchen. It feels like home. What I like best about working at Urban Hearth is I get to use all my front of the house and back of the house skills. I’m constantly learning new things and given the opportunity to be creative.



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