Cassandra (Cassie) Piuma is a native of Duxbury, Massachusetts. She graduated with honors from Johnson & Wales (where she met her husband and now business partner at Sarma) and completed her final semester at the Sunrice Academy in Singapore. She honed her culinary skills at the acclaimed AL Forno in Providence, Rhode Island, and then moved to Boston in 2002, where she worked at the French bistro, Sel de la Terre, and as a sausage maker for Barbara Lynch at the Butcher Shop. She spent the next 11 years with James Beard Award winning chef Ana Sortun at Oleana, learning the nuances of Middle Eastern cooking and working her way up the ranks from line cook to sous chef and ultimately chef de cuisine for her final 7 years. In 2013, Cassie opened her dream restaurant, Sarma, in Somerville, Massachusetts (with her husband, Matthew Piuma, and business partners Ana Sortun & Gary Griffin) where she cooks her version of modern Middle Eastern meze in a casual, upbeat, neighborhood setting.