Emily Ferrara knew what a great place 19th Street was when she lived in the area in the early 2000s. So when a former rental house at 818 W. 19th St. popped up for sale, she described the opportunity to buy it and convert it into her business as a dream come true.
“We got lucky,” said Ferrara, who tried to preserve as much of the 100-year-old house as possible but made significant changes to add a commercial kitchen.
At Orange Artichoke Kitchen, which opened last week, Ferrara is selling pre-prepared meals, both by order and from a grab-and-go cooler. Food must be heated at home. Menus will change weekly.
A sample of the menu for the week of Feb. 27-March 5 includes grilled salmon filet with rosemary and garlic-roasted fingerling potatoes, sautéed broccolini and a basil pesto; chicken and cheese enchiladas; and turmeric-seasoned and seared tofu in a lemongrass coconut sauce with tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and fish sauce.
“I make what sounds good,” said Ferrara, who uses seasonal ingredients to help guide her choices. She shops at farmer’s markets and grocery stores and hopes to use a purveyor once she grows the business.
Ferrara started as a sous chef at the Daily Review and then moved to Shade, on 19th. That was when she also started a side business as a private chef. After a gig at Trevisio, now known as Third Coast, Ferrara made the transition to a full-time private chef for 10 years. Orange Artichoke Kitchen is an extension of her desire to make those meals available to a wider audience.
The kitchen opened Feb. 20 with no advance publicity. Ferrara said curious community members are starting to wander in and she got some online orders as well. She even sold out of some items. A grand opening is planned for late March. Starting soon will be next-day pickup for phone and online orders.
Ferrara said the main entrance is in the back of the building in order to maintain accessibility.
For more information, or to order, visit https://www.oak-heights.com/.