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Ember and Ash: a “nose to tail, root to leaf” sustainable dining experience in East Passyunk
Lifestyle

Ember and Ash: a “nose to tail, root to leaf” sustainable dining experience in East Passyunk

Interesting and unusual menu items introduced to patrons at Ember and Ash.

While many restaurants have adopted farm-to-table methods, Ember and Ash goes even further by challenging people’s perceptions of food and what it means to eat sustainably.

Executive chef Dave Feola says, “to me sustainability doesn’t have to be what’s necessarily in season, it’s using everything from every animal and making sure nothing goes to waste.”

While sourcing locally, the chefs also strive to use every piece of the animal and the vegetable, without any parts going to waste. Ember and Ash’s menu offerings include lamb tongue, beef shin, and a blood gelato for dessert.

For their current half-dozen oyster dish, Ember and Ash sources oysters from 60 miles away in Brigantine, New Jersey. Chefs Scott Calhoun and Dave Feola’s mission only starts there.

They also pickle, ferment, and preserve ingredients. They plan to start preserving cherries now during peak season, which will ensure no inventory goes to waste and allow them to have cherries in mid-December when other restaurants might not.

These methods also open opportunities to create uncommon combinations, like orange and blueberries that do not share a growing season. 

Feola said this makes them more creative, “we’re not just ordering strip loins and products… we have to think about what we’re going to get and then think about how people don’t necessarily want to eat, tongues, cheeks, and hearts.”

The unusual menu did pose a fear that patrons might not be interested in the non-traditional dishes. Dave Feola said, “We knew when we opened that this wasn’t for everybody. And it wasn’t going to be a universal home run.”

Despite the non-traditional menu items, the reception has been mostly positive according to Feola. It’s a good sign for the sprouting popularity of peasant-style; whole animal foods are usually seen as unusual in our culture.

Ember and Ash is open Wednesday through Sunday. Visit their website or check out some of their dishes on their Instagram @EmberandAsh.

Cover photo: Ember & Ash on Facebook


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Sophia Healy is an editorial intern with Green Philly. She is a writer and environmentalist from South Philadelphia and a graduate of Temple University. She enjoys exploring the nature of Philly and discovering the many opportunities the city has to offer. View all posts by Sophia Healy

1 thought on “Ember and Ash: a “nose to tail, root to leaf” sustainable dining experience in East Passyunk

  1. Do they return the oyster shells, so that they can be reused by the he next generation of oysters? Or at least for erosion control?

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