Amid the bustling culinary landscape of Cape Town, there’s a new star on the rise: Amori Burger. An accomplished Executive Chef and entrepreneur, Amori’s journey from humble beginnings to helming some of the finest dining establishments is nothing short of inspiring. In an exclusive interview, we sat down with the culinary maestro to learn about her culinary vision, the birth of her latest venture, Upper Union, and the unique approach she brings to the table.
A Journey of Flavors and Passion
Amori’s culinary odyssey began in the North West before she honed her skills at the renowned Silwood Kitchens in the Western Cape. Her love for hosting friends and family gatherings served as a foundation for her cooking style – a style she describes as simple yet bold, with flavors that pack a punch. Prior to her role at Upper Union, she showcased her talents at esteemed establishments like Relais, the River Café in Constantia, and the popular restaurant, Van der Linde, in Johannesburg.
The Genesis of Upper Union
Amori’s latest triumph, Upper Union, is the brainchild of a fireside conversation with Robert More, the CEO of the MORE Family Collection. As the vision for Cape Town’s culinary landscape was taking shape, an opportunity arose in the form of a vacant heritage building next to The Cape Cadogan Hotel. A match made in culinary heaven, Upper Union was born – the MORE Family Collection’s first independent restaurant.
A Culinary Experience Unlike Any Other
What sets Upper Union apart from Amori’s previous ventures is her desire to recreate the warmth and camaraderie of sharing food with loved ones. Drawing inspiration from the joy of hosting dinner parties and Sunday lunches, the restaurant exudes a familial ambiance where patrons can indulge in delightful conversations, relishing delectable dishes and enjoying a curated selection of wines.
Empowering Women in the Industry
As Women’s Month is celebrated, Amori reflects on her privilege of working with remarkable women in the culinary world. Her message to aspiring female chefs is simple yet powerful: be kind, be gracious, and lead your kitchen with compassion. She acknowledges the progress women have made in breaking barriers in a male-dominated industry and emphasizes the value of respect in cultivating a thriving environment for talent to flourish.
A Symphony of Sustainable Ingredients
Upper Union’s menu has garnered praise for its innovative use of ingredients. Amori’s approach to sourcing is a meticulous journey, considering both local and international suppliers to ensure the freshest and finest produce graces the tables. With a menu that evolves with the seasons, sustainability is at the core of the restaurant’s ethos, supporting small-scale suppliers and promoting a holistic culinary ecosystem.
Balancing Tradition and Innovation
Amori’s culinary prowess lies in her ability to strike the perfect balance between preserving tradition and pushing the boundaries of innovation. Having studied at the prestigious French Gordon Bleu, she brings time-honored techniques to the table while finding inspiration in everyday encounters. Whether it’s a bag of salt & vinegar crisps or the sights and sounds of vibrant markets, every experience fuels her creative fire.
A Collaborative Symphony in the Kitchen
Collaboration is the secret ingredient that infuses the kitchen with creativity and passion. Amori’s leadership fosters an environment where her team can experiment, innovate, and contribute ideas. Assembling a diverse and talented culinary team, she encourages camaraderie and believes that a happy and excited kitchen creates extraordinary culinary experiences
A Quest for Culinary Excellence
Driven by the thrill of creating new dishes, Amori delights in witnessing the joy her creations bring to diners. With an unyielding commitment to perfection, she welcomes feedback and continually refines her creations until they achieve culinary excellence.
Celebrating Diversity and Inclusivity
Upper Union’s success lies not only in its culinary prowess but also in its commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The team’s infectious energy, camaraderie, and warmth attract a diverse clientele, making it a haven where everyone feels welcome and cherished.
The Inspiring Journey Continues
As we bid adieu to Amori, her culinary journey shows no sign of slowing down. With exciting ideas simmering, she promises new culinary adventures to watch out for. For home cooks aspiring to create restaurant-quality dishes, she urges them to fearlessly experiment and invest time in crafting exquisite recipes.
In the end, Amori Burger stands tall as a culinary visionary, shaping unforgettable dining experiences at Upper Union. Her passion, innovation, and commitment to excellence have etched her name among the brightest stars in Cape Town’s vibrant culinary constellation.