Intended initially for July 2017, we palanned “Panza,” our Spanish inspired Paladar highlighting Chefs Ahly Amador, and Nate Overstreet (of Wheat and Sons Butcher) and then took a back seat. All of us had family emergencies and letting go of the summer Paladar became unavoidable. We named the event after Sancho Panza, a character in the novel Don Quixote who had a massive appetite. The menu was classy, sincere, and generous. Obviously Spanish influenced. Planning Paladars comes with its unforeseen adventures. The opportunity to experience the culinary expertise of these two before they get consumed by operating their restaurant in the old “Owl Grill and Saloon” location is fantastic. When one door closes, another one opens! Watershed at The Owl is on its way, and we get to taste the food before anyone else!
|THE OWL GRILL & SALOON
Closed abruptly last August in a commotion of broken glass and spilled alcohol. The place was trashed. Nate and Ashly were interested in leasing the 160-year-old building soon after The Owl closed, but were having difficulty getting a response from the owner. Finally, Nate wrote a note and slipped it under the door where the owner discovered it stuck to his shoe (because of the sticky liquor on the floor)! Now the work has begun. I walked in one day to see Ashly jackhammering old flooring up (like a badass) to reveal gorgeous original wood floors. They scored several items salvaged from the National Hotel’s estate sale for that Victorian vibe, a romantic lounge space will be the back room, and the open kitchen concept with a chef’s table is also in the works. I cannot wait to get dolled up and eat gorgeous food in Grass Valley!
|WHEAT & SONS
She was the collaboration of Ashly Amador and Nate Overstreet. The two Chefs met in a kitchen in the Bay Area and over the course of several years worked in many more, from Berkeley to San Francisco, and then San Raphael. After their long stint in the Bay, they decided to move to Ashly’s Hometown of Orange for the birth of their son Chambers. Soon after, Wheat and Sons was also born; a small Pop-Up and Pie shop at Local Orange County Farmers markets. Due to the inconsistency of pop-ups, markets, they decided to open a brick and mortar: a Butcher shop. Wheat and Sons Butcher gained a large following for their sustainable pasture raised meats but mostly for their artisanal sandwiches. Shortly after, the Pop-Ups started to pick up rapidly, both in notoriety and praise. Nate and Ashly decided to relocate to Nevada County with the dream of a full-service restaurant/bar. Watershed will highlight their extensive cooking backgrounds as well as the craft of butchery. Their endeavors would not exist without both culinary minds, which continuously support each other in the creative process making each dish an inspirational collaboration. The duo has been featured in multiple publications including the OC Weekly , and here , The Orange County Register , The LA Times , Chowhound , More LA Times , CBS Los Angelos , Marmalade , even more LA Times , Chowhound again , and of course the Orange Coast Magazine .
CHEF ASHLY AMADOR
The obsession with food and the company it keeps started at an early age for Ashly. Her best memories involve food. The first was the time she tasted smoked cheese and gravalox with her dad. The time she went on a day trip with her grandparents along the coast of southern California where she experienced her first bite of a scallop. The gatherings every Friday when her grandmother would cook mole, rice, and beans, while everyone drank, laughed and danced. These kind of stories were a constant throughout her memories of childhood and young adulthood. Young adulthood came around and the pressures of choosing a college/ profession, were stressful, so instead, Ashly graduated high school and went backpacking in Europe. Returning from her travels and still feeling lost, ‘once again it was the food and the company it keeps,’ that held her fondest memories. Ashly realized her profession had to involve food. In 2002 she enrolled in culinary school in San Francisco. After graduating culinary school, Ashly worked throughout the bay area, and Southern California. She would not be where she is today without the skills and knowledge gained from the restaurants, but it is her weird obsession, passion, palate, feelings, and memories for food that have brought her to this place at Watershed.
CHEF NATE OVERSTREET
A native to Nevada City, Nate started his career dishwashing as a teenager in the small kitchens of Nevada City and Grass Valley. As he moved up the ranks, what began as a job to pay for beer quickly turned into a lifestyle and obsession. Nate was prompted to move to San Diego and attend culinary school where the work in fine-dining began. Though he learned an extensive amount of technique and kitchen etiquette by working in those high-pressure establishments, he felt it not quite fitting to his style of cooking. The next best step was to get closer to the food by working directly with the people who were growing and raising it. Though it is now a standard in most areas at that time, the Bay Area was the epicenter for “Farm to Table” cuisine. His time in the Bay Area was well-spent diving into every aspect of cooking he could get his hands on, from the bistro and more fine dining to whole animal butcher shops and Charcuteries.
CHEF DAVID RODRIGUEZ
David Rodriguez was raised in Southern California, where Mexican food was the most influential cuisine in his life. Initially, he did not consider pursuing a career in the culinary industry, but when he shared his Mexican-inspired meals with family and friends, he realized he had a passion for food. Rodriguez enrolled in The Le Cordon Bleu program at the California School of Culinary Pasadena as a culinary arts student but demonstrated a far greater skill in the pastry department. This newfound interest led him to work in various places and gain experience in all aspects of the kitchen, but it was under the guidance of Chef Michael Cimarusti and Adrian Vasquez at Providence in Los Angeles where his talents were indeed honed. Wanting to challenge himself further, Rodriguez accepted a position under Chef Jordan Kahn at XIV by Michael Mina. Not only did he have the opportunity to develop his creativity and techniques with Chef Kahn, but he also had the honor to learn under the tutelage of Michael Mina’s Corporate Chef Lincoln Carson. When Chef Kahn left XIV to open his restaurant, he called upon Rodriguez to join the opening team of Red Medicine, acting as both Pastry and Sous Chef. There, David collaborated with Chef Kahn to create a unique dessert menu that helped shape his aesthetic. In 2011, Rodriguez made a full circle and returned to Providence, but this time as Executive Pastry Chef. With an arsenal of experience now under his belt, Rodriguez is ready to show the culinary world his innovative style and creativity. Over the years of his career, Rodriguez has received several accolades including Rising Star Pastry Chef of Los Angeles as well as a nomination for best new pastry chef on the west coast by Food and Wine. He is both honored and excited to join the ranks of the Watershed team in beautiful Grass Valley, CA.
A poet with an unconventional approach to traditional genres including Jazz, Blues, Americana, Folk, Ragtime, and as well as his genre. His Folky Gypsy Swing and alternative tuning finger-picking style bring quite an atmosphere to any gathering. We are thrilled to have Syd as our reentry into dining with live music once again.
|CHILD ADVOCATES OF NEVADA COUNTY
Child Advocates of Nevada County is a private, non-profit agency that operates programs in support of vulnerable children and families, including the CASA program, and Healthy Babies program. The CASA program trains volunteers to serve as mentors and advocates for our community’s most vulnerable children, those who have been removed from their homes due to severe abuse or neglect. CASAs develop trusting, safe, and supportive relationships with their assigned child. They attend court hearings and advocate for the foster child’s best interests by submitting court reports to the judge and working in partnership with foster parents, social workers, teachers, and other adults engaged in the child’s life to promote the child’s best interests. The Healthy Babies program is a child abuse prevention strategy that assigns trained and accredited home visitors to support at-risk pregnant women by providing weekly home visits for the first five years of their child’s life. Home visitors provide crucial information about child development, infant health and safety, nutrition, and referrals to community services as needed to provide struggling families with the tools and knowledge they need to be healthy and robust. Child Advocates is thrilled to partner with Polly’s Paladar to promote healthy children, healthy families, and a healthy community for all of Nevada County.
Thanks to all of the generous Paladar members who have chosen to participate in the quest to lower the seat prices at Polly’s Paladar! The first goal is to generate $1000/month using the patronage platform, PATREON.COM. We are 10% funded! This income will go directly toward making seat prices lower which will open up the supper club experience to more people. The costs are rising! Consider giving us as little as $1/month. Read this: If 17% of followers who love Polly’s Paladar (in all of our platforms combined) gave $1/month, we could lower prices dramatically. That is incredibly do-able! There are some great rewards as well. Patrons can hear interviews recorded with past chefs, see menus before anyone else, get a free beverage at Paladars, and even grab some house-made shrubs. We also have a reward to receive VIP access to early ticket releases! Also, for the die-hards, we have a tier giving automatic seats and drinks to every Paladar as long as the donation is active!
Click HERE to become a patron of Polly’s Paladar!
A word about phones. I use mine a lot. Too much, perhaps. The argument for or against is a mute point as far as I’m concerned. However, the reasoning behind wishing for an interpersonal connection and a desire for my guests to completely relax in the present moment when they are at my supper club holds water. I will do my job and hire the photographer to take the pretty pictures. I will promote the Paladar as best I can during an event, and I want you to do the same. Foodies take photos of their meals. It’s fun. It’s real. It’s a thing. I get it. I love it when the supper club is tagged on someone’s social media because it gives me a chance to view their experience from their perspective. In over six years, I’ve been blessed to sit at one Paladar long ago, and it was terrific! I would like to propose not necessarily a “no-phone zone,” but perhaps a “less phone zone.” Give it a try! It’s okay to keep the mystery alive at Polly’s Paladar!
Stefano’s peasant bread- Watershed goat butter, Maldon salt
Amuse- Canadian bacon, melon, burrata
Tomatoes- pickled walnut butter, crispy baby anchovy, Garrotxa cheese, arugula, bread crumbs
Parker House rolls
7 min eggs- radish, frisée, malt pickled mustard seed, smoked paprika, sorrel aioli, schmaltz, chives and crispy chicken skin
Longanisa- saffron ricotta, peas, pinipig, mint and pea tendril relish
Salt Baked potato- creme fraiche, ankimo mousse, charred spring onion, onion ash
Lamb breast- watercress, pickled radish, chermoula
Carrot cake- white chocolate mousse, candied carrots, lemon curd, crispy gingered carrots, cream cheese ice cream