President + Creative Director, by CHLOE.
Let us introduce you to Samantha Wasser: she's not only the beauty and the brains behind the ever-so-trendy vegan concept by CHLOE. (note her titles: President, Co-Founder + Creative Director), but she's also the Co-Founder of the much anticipated casual Italian resto The Sosta, and she's the Creative Director of E2 Hopsitality. The takeaway? Sam's the epitome of a superwoman — she can do more than the imaginable and she kills it, too. We can only assume how much she has to travel (and does it in serious style!) to find some inspo for all of her projects. So when we had the opportunity to pick her brain, we jumped on it as quick as we can scarf down by CHLOE.'s Classic Burger... In an exclusive interview, Sam gives us the low-down on what it takes to do it all, her secrets to snacking while in transit, the top tables she'd fly to try, and how she takes 'Instagrammability' into account in all of her work.
VacationStyle: Can you tell us a little bit about what goes in to your day-to-day job as a Creative Director for ESquared Hospitality and by CHLOE.?
Samantha Wasser: Every day is a little different! Most days I am running from meeting to meeting. Since the opening of Sweets by CHLOE. a few weeks ago, I try and stop by every day to make sure all is going well. Some days there may be an interview or photoshoot, others I’m running around checking out potential new locations, meeting with potential collaborators, and have meetings with our different designers and new partners for a few exciting projects we have on deck for next year including the opening of an Italian fast-casual concept, The Sosta, opening in Nolita in early 2017. I’ve been spending a lot of time working to finalize the branding, design, packaging and more for The Sosta, which has been really exciting.
VS: Where’s your favorite place to travel to?
SW: Tulum! I love how easy it is to get to from NYC - if you know me you know I am not a great flyer and by not great I mean the worst flyer ever! Tulum really offers a little of everything from amazing beaches for when you want to relax and cenote caves for when you want to be a little adventurous. Plus, the food is so fresh and delicious!
VS: What are your go-to hidden gems in Tulum?
VS: If you could pinpoint the best meal you’ve ever had – anywhere in the world – what was it, and why?
SW: Pad Thai at the Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai on my honeymoon - we even took a cooking class there so we could make it at home!! (It hasn’t happened yet, but maybe for our 4-year wedding anniversary ha!)
VS: Any restaurants you’d fly to try?
SW: I would have loved to visit Noma in Copenhagen before it closes. I would also fly in a heartbeat to try Osteria Francescana from Massimo Bottura. But really, when I travel, I love to find places as I go, I love just stumbling into a cute spot and falling in love. Open to ideas!
VS: If you have a long traveling day ahead of you, do you have any secret snacks you pack?
SW: by CHLOE. Matcha kelp noodles are my go to travel aid. The packaging is compact so I can throw it in my purse, and they taste great at room temp so they’ll be ok through security and travel to the airport. I also love Matcha. My friends at PANATEA Matcha just came out with an instant matcha powder – that will definitely make it in my travel bag on my next trip!
VS: How would you describe your style? Does it differ when you’re on vacation?
SW: I would describe my style as classic with a fashion-forward edge. On a day to day for work its mostly simple, t-shirts and sweaters with special accents like a coat or pair of shoes. On vacation I like to take a few more risks, adding prints and fun pieces with a bit more of a relaxed vibe.
VS: Go-to brands?
VS: What are your top tables in NYC? Outside NYC?
SW: Right now I’m digging Pasquale Jones, Lilia, Ruccola and by CHLOE. (duh!). Outside of NYC I had an awesome meal at Jon & Vinny’s when I was in LA for the opening of our by CHLOE. in the 365 by Whole Foods Market in Silverlake. Also loved the ricotta toast from Sqirl; it really does live up to the hype!! So good.
VS: When designing a restaurant, do you take into account the Instagrammability?
SW: Yes! It’s literally all I think about (ha!) – from the lighting to the table tops, to the height of our chairs. Instagram, and social media in general, have become an unspoken necessity for the success of a restaurant. I paid extremely close attention to every detail when we were building by CHLOE., down to how the food looked in the to-go containers – I wanted to make sure that the food not only tasted great, but photographed beautifully! As I am working on The Sosta, the instagrammability of the space and food is that much more important to us after seeing the huge impact it has had on by CHLOE.’s success.
VS: Best advice you’ve ever received?
SW: Trust yourself.
3 items always in your travel bag? Morgan Lane eye mask, my pillow, May Lindstrom the blue cocoon beauty balm
Underpack or overpack? OVERPACK (I should star on a show called “Extreme Overpackers”)
One-piece or two? Two
Kaftan or sarong? Sarong
Hair-up or down? Down
Flats or heels? I like the best of both worlds
Jewelry or no jewelry? Jewelry
Kindle, iPad, or hardcover book? Hardcover, I’m old school
Detox or retox? Hmm can’t a girl have both?
Stick with what you know or try something new? Total creature of habit, unfortunately
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