Amber is synonymous with vegetarian cuisine in southeastern Michigan, having worked more than a decade at the premier plant-based restaurant Inn Season Cafe; opening her own plant based establishments, Cacao Tree Cafe, The Clean Plate and a catering business.
Her passion for providing well balanced, enriching and nourishing foods is represented by her involvement and commitment to her clientele and the community. Amber is involved with educational and instructional classes throughout southeastern MI, including the medical students at prestigious universities and corporations as reputable as GM and Wayne State.
She has recently been featured in the full-length documentary “Eating You Alive,” and has appeared frequently on Fox 2 News, Channels 4 and 7, as well as numerous articles in local publications.
When and how did you know you'd end up in the food business?
My first restaurant job was when I was 14, the Silver Spoon in Grosse Pointe. A family friend owned it and I was hired to pick basil for hours for their famous pesto pasta! Assuming restaurants would help pay my way through college, I stayed in the industry. However, once I changed my personal diet, the passion for healing with foods was born and I have been here ever since.
What is your favorite dish to cook?
I honestly love salads and soups. People get so easily bored of salad and I love how creative you can be with sweet and savory, light or heavy. I love the freshness of vegetables and fruits, and of course making dressings from scratch. Soups are so much fun because you can make virtually any flavor and use up any excess ingredients around the kitchen.
What is your favorite dish to eat?
Pizza for sure! I love loading vegetables on my pizza and try to avoid all the highly-processed vegan cheeses. I love making cashew cheese and vegan ranch dressing when I am craving dairy. Pizza is also great because of the variety of inspired flavors you can create. Fortunately, I am not sensitive to gluten!!
What was your most interesting dining experience?
I was fortunate enough to attend a relative’s wedding at The Henry Ford Museum. I had pre-ordered a vegan dinner and my food was more beautiful and interesting than the regular dinner and everyone at the table was admiring it! Then we spent the evening in the museum closed to the public. Seriously awesome!!
What do you love most about Detroit?
The rebirth. I have been a resident for more than 20 years and to see all the growth and development is very exciting! There is so much potential here and it is exciting to be part of the positive changes.
Who inspires/ed you?
My teachers have inspired me to always take the leap of faith for what I truly believe in. My dad has always taught me that no matter what you want in life, if you are willing to work hard enough you can achieve anything no matter what and where we came from. Many local restaurant entrepreneurs and chefs have inspired me and helped drive me to continue to work hard and become successful. Sandy Levine, Luciano Delsignore, Andy Hollyday and James Rigato are a few esteemed individuals I completely admire and respect.