Saturday, August 31, 2013

Adventures in the Family Kitchen

Ambrozia has a wine-focused bar with a wide variety of "hand-picked, food friendly" wines

    I promised myself I would wait a while to do a food post because there’s the possibility that once I blog about food, I may never go back. I love to eat. I love to write. So naturally, I love writing about food.
    This summer, Asheville had the pleasure of seeing the opening of a new farm-to-table style restaurant, Ambrozia Bar + Bistro, owned and operated by Chef Sam Etheridge. Most people know Sam as a charismatic gourmet chef, but I just know him as Uncle Sam. 

    As you can guess, having an uncle who has owned a five-star restaurant makes holidays quite special, particularly when he makes an enormous pumpkin trifle for Thanksgiving. So, imagine my excitement when I heard he planned to open a restaurant right here in Asheville.
    From the opening, Ambrozia has attracted an eager clientele ready to chow down on any of the creations from local ingredients on the rotating menu. From Wine down Wednesday to Family Sunday Brunch to” simple” week day dinners, Ambrozia creates an inviting family atmosphere full of “hand-picked, food friendly wines” and southern-influenced food. 

  Colorful creative cocktails and craft beers are also available.

     A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hanging out in the kitchen to take some food photos for the restaurant’s website (Ambrozia Asheville.) I’ve taken food photos quite a few times, so I knew what to expect on the technical end. But, as the only things I know about restaurant kitchens come from the Food Network, I expected the shoot itself to be punctured by barked orders, curses, and almost-disasters.  As it turned out, the only almost-disaster was when I contemplated running out the door with the all the delicious dishes.
    I set up in the center of the kitchen on the counter, ready to snap a few shots of each dish my uncle passed to me before waiters whisked them off to the dining room. The most difficult part of shooting food photos is picking the right angle and lighting to showcase the dish, but Ambrozia’s colorful and beautifully crafted plates made my job easy.

Vermouth cured sockeye salmon, beet cakes, vodka crema, dill pollen.

     As we were wrapping up, I shot the Stuffed Pork Roast and commented quietly how fantastic the dish smelled. To which my uncle told his sous chef to cook up another plate of it just for me! I ended the evening with the pork roast, sockeye salmon, and chocolate bomb dessert. They had to roll me back out of the restaurant I was so stuffed with wonderful food.

Sausage and corn bread stuffing, grit cakes, Whiskey sourghum glaze, garlic greens

 The dessert was, as usual, my favorite part of the meal. The Chocolate Bomb is a play on a bar drink, The Irish Car Bomb. Flourless chocolate cake, Irish cream mousse, Whiskey caramel, Guinness ice cream.

 Ambrozia is located on 1020 Merrimon Ave. Beaver Lake Shopping Center, Asheville, NC 28804.