Eat Your Heart Out

Ashley Dingeman: September 2011 Archives

Sorry this post is over a week after the event, but it's necessary that I highlight how AWESOME this event truly was.  Hosted by Chef Angelo Mazzone, Saratoga P.L.A.N put on it's 4th annual feast of the fields, and event dedicated to featuring local chefs prepare our local farmers produce!  Hattie's, Prime at Saratoga National Golf Club, Maestro's at The Van Dam, The Beekman Street Bistro, Sperry's, 9 Miles East Farm, Augie's and The Cupcake Lab were all participants.

As much as I enjoy dining in the heart of Saratoga, I look to venture out beyond the area sometimes to try different restaurants and see how they compare.  I am always up for trying new things, so when my brother suggested going to Sunset Cafe on Front Street in Ballston Spa, I was excited and ready to go.

Story of my life:

Yupp, yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Italian wine and food festival at spac.  With two tents filled with hundreds of vendors, it was a wine/food lovers dream come true.  I myself enjoyed the opportunity to taste dozens of wines from various regions while also tasting samples of food from some of Saratoga's finest restaurants.  Unfortunately my hands were pretty full most of the day, so I apologize for the lack of images in this blog, but there were some items I definitely want to highlight.

Friday night I ventured to Duo on Broadway in Saratoga for dinner.  Upon entering the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised with the changes they have made since the last time I had been in there, prior to it being Duo.  The ambiance is intimate, with dim lighting and a spacious set up.  The waitstaff is extremely attentive, handing out warm towels to clean your hands when you first sit down.  It's really a nice atmosphere, whether you're with a friend or on a hot date.

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Ashley Dingeman

My name is Ashley Dingeman and I am in love with food. A recent SUNY Geneseo graduate and Saratoga Springs native, it has always been a dream of mine to have the opportunity to do the two things I do best: eat & write. Just like in a Disney movie, I guess dreams really do come true.

First off, can I just say that my passion for food goes way beyond simply loving to eat. For some, eating is eating and food is food, but to me, it’s so much more. Every element of the food experience, I love.

Perhaps the profound effects of growing up in an Italian family have rubbed off on me. If there was one thing I learned in the process, it was that food brings people together, and where there’s food, there’s family. No, I didn’t grow up in The Olive Garden, but I did grow up privileged to have an incredible Grandmother, and the best cook I’ve ever known. To this day no one will ever be able to replicate her Sunday “gravy”, even though all grandchildren have come close (and some closer than others [me]). It was she who inspired me to begin cooking in the first place, and it is in her honor that I continue on in hopes of inspiring others the same way.

So I invite you now to revel in my words, devour my descriptions, fantasize over my photographs, and maybe just maybe, you’ll be move enough to go out and try something for yourself. Project “Eat Your Heart Out” starts now.