I have just had an experience. An experience I would like to share with another. I do not mean writing about it and sharing it that way although that is about to happen. I am referring to an experience I imagine sharing in person with another, Abbie’s Kitchen. The warmth and intimate atmosphere invites relaxation and engaging conversation, an ambience this artist and poet finds irresistible. I believe I have found an oasis in the Verde Valley.
I planned my recent return from a week in Phoenix to intersect with, “a private party in honor of our new fine dining establishment,” an invitation received from Abbie Ashford and Charlene Zack. I would not miss this party planned to taste and toast, taste a bit of Abbey’s goodies and toast the magic that she and Char have created since they have come together. What a beautiful couple, the results suggest something is cooking literally and figuratively, for both of them a positive net gain. How they ever got together I have no idea, a story I look forward to hearing told many times over. I wish them happiness without bounds. And was there to say so.
The ambience was perfect. I knew the food would be Divine, indeed, it melted in my mouth. I have experienced Abbie’s cooking before and am delighted that it is available that I may experience it again. I am not even familiar with the menu and I am certain that I will be going back for a full on fine dining experience.
Abbie’s Kitchen is located in the tiny but mighty, Olde Towne Cottonwood, about a block and a half long it is alive and vibrating with life. Businesses collaborating, creating something a bit bohemian, upbeat with an edge of quaint that makes for moments perfect to share; antique shops, top quality restaurants, an oil and vinegar boutique, art galleries. A special favorite of mine, The Red Rooster, is serving breakfast for the new 8 room hotel that was just opened by the owner of Nic’s. Together all of this makes for a fantastic destination weekend.
Abbie has been a personal chef for people of discerning tastes. Her skills refined, her creative genius engaged, she has a sensitivity to the subtleties that make for an experience not just a meal. Coupled with the talents and vision of Char, who for as long as I have known her, has been a strategic, methodical business woman. Char has made some excellent choices over the years. Including buying three houses zoned commercial residential on the very edge of Olde Towne Cottonwood. Abbie’s Kitchen is the small house that sits between the other two, one their residence, one the offices of Char’s accounting firm.
This could easily become the cool place to hang out. In addition to the food and the ambience: the eclectic mix of people that were present that night, people intersecting from many circles, bright, creative, fantastic. Like the stories of travelers West, the trains, the Colter houses, a meeting of creative minds, from the arts, business, all walks. Or like Midnight in Paris, the magic of strong creative minds coming together in support of each other.
What conversation can arise from these places, a coming together, connections made, things set in motion. Olde Towne Cottonwood is a bit of a hub, a place to stop for an overnight or make a day trip destination, Jerome, Sedona, Clarkdale, the Verde Train, Page Springs wine country, history and majesty of the Verde Valley. An inviting local hangout, it is an easy drive from the any of these surrounding areas. I imagine I could meet just about anyone there.
Thank you ladies. Thank you for bringing your dreams alive. Thank you for sharing them with others and thank you for calling me friend. You are both amazing.