Good Taste – Smithers Interior News
– Words by Susan Lundy Photography by Darren Hull
born and raised In the small farming community of Punnichy, Saskatchewan, Amber Roy is an operating partner and head of Station Hospitality Group. She has worked for Mid-Town Station since its purchase in August 2019 and previously worked at the Train Station Pub.
Why did you decide to become a chef?
As a small child growing up on the farm, I always had a passion for being in the kitchen. Watching my parents and grandparents harvest vegetables and raise our own chickens has always interested me. It was as simple as running around the garden to grab vegetables for dinner or picking up fresh eggs every day. It never occurred to me that I was eating organic and free range chicken or eggs until I moved to town. Everyone in my family is an excellent cook, and learning the basics with them made me want to learn more. I took the plunge and decided that was what I could do every day. It’s not just a passion, hobby or life skill; it’s something I gravitated toward with the artistic spirit as well. Becoming a chef allowed me to be creative with flavors, colors and presentation.
How does Mid-Town’s menu reflect the restaurant’s theme?
Mid-Town is located in the Landmark District of Kelowna. It is the heart of many companies that have great connections and enjoy a social atmosphere. The restaurant leans towards a modern industrial vibe with a touch of class and warmth. The room itself inspired me to create dishes that would lend themselves well to healthy, quality eating on your lunch break, sharing appetizers after work, or even coming in for a date. We specialize in creating a comforting and accessible experience, not only with food but also with our service.
What is Mid-Town’s specialty, food and drink?
We are known for a few items on our menu. Customers return time and time again to enjoy our Crab Cakes and MTS Burger. As for our specialty drink and one of my favorites, it’s our Old Stationed. This is a version of an old-fashioned cocktail, where we introduced our own alcoholic cherries and a syrup prepared from a mixture of honey and sugars.
What is the ingredient you can’t live without?
The vinegar! There are many versions of vinegar that can take a dish to the next level with just a dash or two. Vinegar can enhance flavors, balance your palette or, in the world of food science, make your pie crust super tender and flaky. The only vinegar I can’t live without is my own red wine vinegar, harvested from the grapes in my garden. Just a drop on fresh greens, in a dish of braised beef, or simply on roast potatoes makes my mouth water.
What would be your last meal?
Hands down, my mom’s cabbage rolls. I grew up with a Polish and German background, and for every special occasion or request, my mom would make the most amazing rice and beef cabbage rolls. The sour cabbage gives the perfect flavor to the whole dish, and I can’t get enough of it.
What’s the best recent food trend?
Fermentation is popular again, along with canning and preserving. We’ve seen a huge upsurge in this technique during the COVID-19 shutdowns, and it’s allowed us chefs to support our local farmers. We were able to buy ingredients the farmers had on hand, although we weren’t able to use them in the kitchen due to the pandemic food restrictions. I think many of us have fallen in love with this way of preparing food.
What is a simple good advice for pairing wine and food?
To keep it basic, pair the wine with the sauce in the dish. Rich sauces go well with rich wines, delicate sauces go well with light wines. It may sound cliché, but drink what you like. Everyone has a different palate and reacts differently to wine.
What do you like in the kitchen?
Cook to create a memorable experience. Cooking is my way of showing gratitude and love for others.
When are you happiest at work?
When I see the success of others growing in the position in which they find themselves. Strive to be the best you can be and become something even greater.
When are you happiest outside of work?
Playing golf with my husband as much as possible makes me the happiest. It’s our way of relaxing and enjoying the Okanagan scenery.
Check out the menu and more at Mid-Town Station Kitchen + Drink’swebsite here
Story courtesy of Boulevard magazine, a Black Press Media publication