International Women’s Day: A step into Siberia
With International Women’s Day coming up on 8 March, we are shining a spotlight on the inspirational women shaping Australia's hospitality scene.
One such woman is Elena Ambrose, Chef and Owner of Siberia, a fine dining restaurant which serves up authentic Siberian cuisine in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD.
Every year, Siberia hosts a special International Women’s Day dinner to raise funds for The Bright Eyes Organisation, an Adelaide-based charity supporting children and young women who have been or who are victims of abuse and exploitation. Limited spots are still available for this special dining event on Tuesday 8 March.
We talked to Elena about what ignited her passion for cooking, and how her fascination with old recipes and cooking techniques has inspired a truly unique menu at Siberia.
Pictured: Siberia Chef and Owner Elena Ambrose, with husband Serge
Tell us about your background
I was born, raised, and educated in Siberia. I migrated to Australia and fell in love with the city of Adelaide and its environs. I feel like I am in paradise every day I wake up.
Why did you start to cook?
As a young girl my father used to take me to the Siberian forest in the summer. His job was to do ecological surveys of the flora and fauna of various areas.
As you can imagine, in the Siberian forest there are no small villages or any civilisation. We needed to bring everything with us or find it in the forest. If not, we would go hungry.
When I completed my schooling, I went to University and completed a degree in the Economics of Hospitality and earned my Chef Qualifications. I have worked all over Europe and led the largest Siberian Casino Restaurant division.
What inspired you to open your own restaurant?
When I migrated to Australia my qualifications were not recognised. I completed my Tafe and worked in various Australian Restaurants. I was always searching for a place where I could cook the things I wanted, the way I wanted.
I would like to share some of what I have learned in my life of “Culinary” with my new city. It’s as simple as that.
What can diners expect when dining at Siberia?
Our restaurant has no recipes – it just has methodologies of cooking. It’s not to say you don’t write things down, but it is about the art and what products you have on hand each week.
I spend a lot of time going through old recipe books from the 1700s and 1800s and bringing them into the modern day. The idea is to bring the foods and the cooking methods of our forefathers to the table. It is our belief that using these time proven methods, brings a more realistic taste, enhancing the innate flavours of the ingredients and making it much more authentic.
We cater to all food groups, interestingly having our menu focused on forest style foods and accompaniments – the menu is almost entirely gluten free – the only gluten we have is in the black bread and crepes!
Tell us about your International Women’s Day event
On Tuesday 8 March, Siberia is hosting an International Women’s Day dinner in partnership with The Bright Eyes Organisation. Bright Eye’s mission is to prevent harm and abuse to vulnerable children and young women by supporting charitable projects which improve their lives, help with their mental and physical health and encourage them to get involved in their local community.
The night includes a 3-course set menu and will feature talks from three inspirational women - Founder and CEO Bright Eyes Karen Wren, former SA Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore and student and baker Lili Harrison. Tickets are $100, with all proceeds going to The Bright Eyes Organisation, with limited spaces still available.
Siberia is part of INSIDER by TheFork - a carefully curated selection of top tier venues, the ones with hats, the ones that make the top dining guides, and most importantly the ones we know you love! Explore more near you.
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