New Owner’s Italian Roots Will Guide Restaurant’s Direction
Chef Maria Hines today announced the impending transfer of ownership of Agrodolce, her Fremont restaurant, to her executive chef and protégé, Thomas Litrenta. Under Litrenta’s ownership, Agrodolce will continue as a Sicilian and Southern Italian restaurant serving cuisine that is deeply rooted in his upbringing and culinary career. Hines will maintain ownership of Tilth restaurant.
“I’ve always tried to grow my staff for success in their careers. Entrusting Thomas with Agrodolce is the ultimate passing of the torch and it’s a pleasure to give a young chef the opportunity that I received 12 years ago when I opened my first restaurant, Tilth. Thomas is incredibly talented and it has been his lifelong dream to become a chef/owner. I know he has a wonderful vision of where he can take Agrodolce and I look forward to mentoring him on a successful path of chef/ownership,” said Maria Hines, Chef-Owner of Tilth restaurant.
Selling Agrodolce will allow Hines to take on additional endeavors that showcase her culinary talents and allow her to further connect with food through consulting, brand development, cookbook writing and creating retail food products. She is also looking forward to projects that involve her personal dedication to nutrition and using foods to heal and increase mental and physical performance. She will continue to dedicate her time to food advocacy and access, while also taking on new opportunities. Hines will remain chef-owner of her award-winning restaurant, Tilth, which remains a consistent, critically-acclaimed restaurant in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.
Litrenta has been executive chef at Agrodolce for over a year. Over his 26-year professional cooking career, he was most recently sous chef at Westward, executive chef at Ernest Loves Agnes, and sous chef at Szmania’s in Magnolia. Litrenta, whose family hails from Napoli and Calabria, learned to cook from his Italian great grandmother, spending hours making handmade pasta and traditional Sicilian foods when he was young. Thomas plans to continue creating housemade pasta, including some house-milled flour, and offering additional Sicilian dishes, many in the same vein as Maria’s Agrodolce menu.
The restaurant sale is slated for next week. Agrodolce will continue to offer dinner seven days a week, weekday lunch and weekend brunch. The restaurant’s name, Agrodolce, meaning “sweet and sour” in Italian, will remain.
Agrodolce is located at 709 N 35th Street, in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood and can be found online atwww.agrodolcerestaurant.net. Reservations can be made online or by calling (206) 547-9707.