\When humans consume at Andrea Foster’s new eating place, she wishes them to feel love. It’s Thanksgiving at grandma’s residence. n“One element I usually inform human beings is once you consume with us, you’re family,” said Foster. “I have put little recommendations of love, own family, and beauty into the eating place. I want it to experience like a fancy dinner with Grandma.”
This weekend, Foster will debut her already-popular restaurant, the Preserver, in a prime spot in Birmingham’s Five Points South. She has been “wowing” crowds with her best-eating soul food cuisine for the reason that Preservery first opened at Pizitz Food Hall, remaining 12 months. Foster will welcome her guests to enroll in her for dinner on Saturday nighttime or brunch on Sunday at her first brick-and-mortar restaurant, occupying space within the identical 1920s-era building as celebrated eateries Highlands Bar and Grill and Chez Fonfon.
Foster, who serves Southern soul food with a global aptitude, stated customers would see the dishes they have grown to like and many new ones on the menu. She combines flavors from domestic and round the arena via dishes like jambalaya fried rice and braised veggies in wontons.
“Food is the first-rate equalizer,” Foster stated. “No count what subculture human beings are from, there’s a ‘feel accurate dish they love. I continually say they get that ‘slump on’ while they may be ingesting something good.” Although she has been cooking for a maximum of her existence, Foster is a relative newcomer to the eating place enterprise. She is an alumnus of Create Birmingham’s entrepreneurial opposition, the Big Pitch, and winner of its People’s Choice Award.
With that fulfillment, she becomes invited to come to be a chef within the REV Birmingham culinary incubator, Reveal Kitchen. As a part of that application, she opened at the Pizitz last February, where she has been introducing her one-of-a-type dishes to the metropolis.
“While we had been at Pizitz, the hardest part for me turned into trying to shove a high-quality-dining idea right into a casual fast-food stall,” Foster said. “But even though we needed to placed our meals into plastic to-go containers, I wanted to make certain it become high-quality, right-tasting food that looks appealing. I constantly knew I wanted an exceptional-eating eating place. But while the Reveal Kitchen possibility came up, I had to take benefit of it.”
After eight months at the Pizitz, Foster changed into prepared to step out on her own. “The Pizitz became a terrific region to get out in the front of quite a few humans every day in place of introducing my food at events,” she said. Foster said her restaurant “pays homage” to her dad and grandmother, the 2 greatest impacts in her existence as a chef. Forster grew up in California, the “melting pot” of the state. There, she attempted meals from around the world, way to her dad. He cherished preparing dinner, particularly global dishes, and shared that passion along with his daughter.
As a young girl, Foster said she turned into her dad’s “cordon bleu.” It became her activity to slice, cube, and chopped the components. I always informed my dad that after I retire, we might open an eating place together,” stated Foster. “Then, he passed away with most cancers two years in the past. It made me realize how mortal we are and how lifestyles can bypass us by way of, so I determined not to attend.” Foster’s dad brought her to meals from different cultures. But she found out the art of making the conventional Southern soul meals in her grandmother’s kitchen in Clanton.
Foster stated one of her most treasured reminiscences changed into getting to know to make preserves from her grandmother. It turned into those memories, together with the “soul meals heritage” that her grandmother handed down to her, that inspired Foster to name her restaurant the Preserver. “I’ve found out from every person around me and the generations that had come before me,” Foster stated. “I’m cooking the matters I noticed growing up and placing my spin on it.”
Foster said growing specific dishes comes clearly.
“My dad would take us to distinctive worldwide restaurants, and he could tell me to guess what turned into inside the dishes,” Foster said. “I discovered to apprehend flavors. It has served me properly due to the fact now I’m truly at placing flavors collectively that human beings may not assume cross collectively.”
Foster is “maintaining” her recollections and circle of relatives’ background through the décor and trimmings of her new 2,000-square-foot eating place. It is adorned in the army, her dad’s favored coloration. Foster additionally honors her dad, who spent his profession within the U.S. Navy, with a nautical subject matter, together with a relevant anchor in the brand and deliver wheels in the chair backs.
The dishes will be served on fashionable baroque-style china and crystal, similar to that utilized by Foster’s grandmother. “It jogs my memory of while my grandmother would host a holiday dinner,” Foster stated. “She might use a stylish hodgepodge of china and crystal. Of course, it might not all match. However, it appeared lovely while she placed it together.”
Foster stated she is asking ahead to the beginning day on the Preserver and inviting old and new clients. “I love all my customers,” Foster said. “It method plenty for me to consider them and build relationships, so while they arrive right here, it’ll be like they’re at their home desk.” To reserve a gap for this weekend’s establishing, call 205-201-4147. Dinner is served on Saturday, July 20, from five to nine p.M. Brunch is Sunday, July 21, from eleven a.M. To three p.M.