ShareThis Page
Food & Drink

Verona-based chef Hegarty makes Zagat's 30 under 30 list

Mary Pickels
| Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, 11:39 a.m.
Becca Hegarty, chef/owner of Bitter Ends Garden and Luncheonette, is among Zagat's recent '30 Under 30' compilation of 'rock stars.'
Ross Mantle
Becca Hegarty, chef/owner of Bitter Ends Garden and Luncheonette, is among Zagat's recent '30 Under 30' compilation of 'rock stars.'
Recent Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette menu.
Recent Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette menu.
Chef de cuisine of Cafe Carnegie Becca Hegarty
Jared Wickerham | For The Tribune-Review
Chef de cuisine of Cafe Carnegie Becca Hegarty

A 27-year-old Pittsburgh-area farmer and chef is on the list of Zagat's first 30 Under 30 list honoring young, exceptional hospitality professionals nationwide.

Becca Hegarty, chef/owner of Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette, is one of four Keystone state nominees landing on the list, and the only one from its western end. The other three are based in Philadelphia.

A half-acre organic farm in Verona, the Bitter Ends Garden & Luncheonette grows specialty heirloom vegetables utilizing best practices in organic management, according to its website.

From May through October, Hegarty, a designated Zagat “rock star,” and her team take their edible show on the road to farmers markets in Bloomfield and pop-up events throughout Pittsburgh.

“We use produce from our farm to prepare sandwiches, salads and a variety of desserts. We bake naturally leavened bread fresh each day,” the website states.

According to a Zagat release, Hegarty's earliest culinary influence was her grandmother, a baker, who would make her a cake (with a flavor of her choosing) every birthday. She studied pastry arts at L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Md., and discovered during an externship at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore that though she loved baking, she was more passionate about the story of the ingredients. She worked with Sonja Finn at Dinette in East Liberty and The Café Carnegie at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland, then, realizing her aspirations were not to run or own a large restaurant, decided to start a small farm in Verona with her partner.

“It's always been my dream to eliminate any holes in the process of food, from the beginning of its life to the end when we serve it to people,” Hegarty says in the release.

She is in the process of expanding the luncheonette beyond the farmer's market, revamping a nearby diner that she recently acquired into a breakfast and lunch counter.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401, or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me