Zarna Surti welcomed us into her home for sparkling conversation, decadent berry-laden olive oil cake, and a few glasses of rosé. We had a fabulous time connecting with Zarna, the Global Editorial Director of Nike Women and founder of Tonal Journal. Read on for her hosting advice, guilty pleasure, and beautiful kitchen memories.
Q&A With Zarna Surti
Brightland: How do you have fun in the kitchen?
Zarna: I grew up hanging out in our family’s kitchen. My grandmothers, mom, and brother are all such amazing cooks, so I’ve always enjoyed being in the kitchen with the people I love. Whether it’s listening to Italian music and making fresh pasta with my boyfriend (he has a playlist for everything!) or learning a traditional Indian dish from my mom (no measurements, just a pinch of this and a little bit of that), it’s always a time I cherish.
Brightland: What do you cook for yourself when nobody’s looking?
Zarna: Cacio e Pepe. It is my guilty pleasure and takes ten minutes to whip up. And yes, the answer is always more Parmesan.
Brightland: What does living in a golden state mean to you? How do you live in a golden state in your kitchen?
Zarna: Living in a golden state to me is living in the moment and really engaging with the people and things physically around you. The kitchen is a refuge for me, it is a place for us to all get off of our phones and be together. There is nothing like having a delicious meal with the people you love - oh, and the more wine, the better :)
Brightland: What 3 words would you use to describe your cooking?
Zarna: Fresh, flavorful, and colorful.
"There’s nothing like having a delicious meal with the people you love—oh, and the more wine, the better :)"
Brightland: What is your night-time/wind-down routine?
Zarna: I wish I could say meditation and essential oils, but usually it involves taking out my contacts half-asleep, washing my face (I swear by La Mer cleansing oil at night) and lathering on Weleda’s Skin Food. I also love a matching pajama set.
Brightland: What advice do you have for the aspiring-but-overwhelmed home chef?
Zarna: My brother is the ultimate host. He has taught me not to worry about having everything perfect when people walk in the door, it’s more fun to get everyone involved. Have someone help put together a dip, cut a few fresh flowers, or top off cocktails. Our home growing up was always a revolving door of relatives and friends, and everyone pitched in, so we like to keep the family vibe going at all times.