The Blues Woman

The Blues Woman is a restaurant committed to community based eating----from the rooter to the tooter!

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Project Description

About:

Photo by: Stine Christiansen of Skovdal & Skovdal
Photo by: Stine Christiansen of Skovdal & Skovdal

The Blues Woman was started by Amanda Yee.

Amanda is a Chinese, Norwegian, and African-American expat Chef from Oakland, CA living in Copenhagen. Amanda has worked extensively in both critically acclaimed Californian and Danish restaurants while operating a community-based supper club called Five & Dime. She was also the assistant and sous chef to James Beard award-winning chef Bryant Terry before narrowing down her belongings into two suitcases and heading north. She has a degree in English, Sociology, and culinary arts, and dabbles in both food writing and styling.

Her diverse culinary experiences include Californian Cuisine, Health & Nutrition, Soul Food, and Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Cuisines.

Her work has been featured in the following publications:

Edible East Bay

Afro Vegan 

LA Weekly 

The Brooklyn Mag

Paste Magazine 

The Kitchn

Mad & Venner

The Murmur

Where Women Cook

The Juicy Bits: 

Fried Chicken, styled by Amanda. Photo by: Preston Drake-Hillyard
Fried Chicken, styled by Amanda. Photo by: Preston Drake-Hillyard

The Blues Woman is a restaurant inspired by African American women who not only made it to the proverbial promised land, but used their art, culture, cooking, stories, magic, and blues to map out a way for all women to do the same.

Taking cues from Chef Amanda’s culinary upbringing in the Bay Area, The Blues Woman aims to make holistically good dining with high-quality, fulfilling, farm-to-table products accessible to all at an affordable price point. We are a Jazz- and Blues-centered restaurant with a stage for local musicians and DJs and a culinary focus on seasonal and organic Southern food from the US.

Since NoMa, Copenhagen’s food scene has blossomed and fine dining has become an expectation in our food culture. Eaters are often left with the choice of a greasy spoon to cure hangovers, or a food experience loaded with passion, innovation, and introductions to ingredients like moss or ant paste, but without translation when empowering home cooks or encouraging accessibility.

The Blues Woman wants to bridge the gap between a greasy spoon and fine dining by making eating out not only enjoyable but an essential part of our patrons’ connection to their food and community.

But…Southern Food in Denmark?

Grilled Oysters in Bourbon Butter, styled by Amanda. Photo by: Preston Drake-Hillyard
Grilled Oysters in Bourbon Butter, styled by Amanda. Photo by: Preston Drake-Hillyard

Yes! The palates of Danish folks are constantly expanding, just look at how tacos and ramen have captured the Danish heart! Apart from there being no real Southern American restaurants in Copenhagen, reducing competition to virtually nothing, Chef Amanda holds cultural stake in the cuisine and is committed to not only honesty and authenticity on a plate but the warmth of Southern hospitality, which is also new concept in Copenhagen.

We are about community eating from “The Rooter To the Tooter,” and the delicious food and space we offer reflects those values.

From the farmers and artisans from whom we choose our produce, meat, and dairy to how we treat our employees, interact within our community, and deal with global issues related to food, our goal is to help build, sustain, and create space for community.

Outside of how we source our ingredients, we are committed to building and sustaining community in three tangible ways:

Our Rent Party room, which will host private parties, small art exhibitions, artisan workshops, cooking workshops, be a pick up point for Farmer’s boxes, and Sunday Suppers, was created as a way to get the larger Copenhagen community to reimagine how we think about and interact with our food.

Our Sunday Suppers are a continuation of Five & Dime supper club. Sunday Suppers will meet once a month and offer a chance for people to make and build new relationships through a shared meal, around a common table, based on the exhibiting artist’s work or important global events and critical discussions.

In addition to catering, our restaurant will be open 6 days a week and will host both Saturday & Sunday Brunch as well as lunch and dinner from Tuesday-Saturday.

On Friday and Saturday nights, we will play live music in the form of jazz, blues, and DJs slangin’ good vibes.

Though we have traditional Southern eats with some Californian twists, we know that having an allergy or dietary restriction can sometimes lead eaters into isolating experiences. We cater to an array of dietary restrictions and allergies and have worked hard to provide our patrons with uncompromisingly delicious and healthy vegan and gluten free options. But of course, we’ll always offer perfectly comforting fried chicken.

Our Values:

Photo by: Stine Christiansen of Skovdal & Skovdal
Photo by: Stine Christiansen of Skovdal & Skovdal

We value good food and drinks. Without amazing food, there’s no point in an amazing food philosophy. The Blues Woman not only sources the best quality ingredients from some of Copenhagen’s best farmers and artisans; we put time, thought and care into curating each dish and cocktail. Our chefs and bartenders are committed to what they do and in love with their craft—this will be evident in every single bite and sip our patrons take. We eat seasonally and source as much local and organic product as we are able from Birkemosegaard.

We value story-telling in all of its forms, (art, music, literature, dance, and cooking) and we work to use it as a means of healing, preservation of culture, and nourishment.

We value aesthetics, and believe that a critical reflection of art, culture, and nature creates opportunity for genuine discussion, a political platform and offers opportunities to build new relationships and alleviate isolation.

We value diversity, and choose to build relationships and do business with people with values committed to diversity, and from different socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, bodied, gendered and cultural backgrounds.

We value justice, and stand in support of those dismantling racism, xenophobia, patriarchy, ableism, homophobia, and Islamophobia.

We value Mother Earth, and make a concerted effort to reduce our carbon footprint by recycling, reducing, and reusing in all of our processes.

We value our relationships, and take great pride in them! We choose to work with people who are not only committed to expanding the food conversation, but are socially involved and aware as well. Treating our employees, farmers, and partners with the utmost respect is important to us. We pay fair wages, and encourage our employees to have pursuits outside of our four walls.

Most of all, we value Copenhagen, and believe that The Blues Woman will be a positive influence on Copenhagen’s growing food culture.

The Location:

Photo By: Line Klein
Photo By: Line Klein

The Blues Woman is located inside Copenhagen’s historic Nørrebro Courthouse on Blegdamsvej and co-exists with Nomad Workspace. Nørrebro  is a country-side-turned-hip multi-ethnic borough of Copenhagen; it hosts an array of restaurants changing and sustaining Copenhagen’s culinary voice, and is the perfect space for The Blues Woman to exist as the only authentic Soul Food restaurant in Copenhagen.

Why ifundwomen?

We are starting fresh and building from the ground up. Luckily, The Blues Woman has two investors who have offset the cost of our rent deposit and kitchen build out. However, we need to raise the equivalent of 30K USD, which for our Danish supporters is 195 DKK, to cover start-up food costs, restaurant furniture like table and chairs, light fixtures, storage, dishes, a bar build out, and important things we often forget about until the last minute like toilet paper. 

Any additional funds raised will be used as a reserve for expected loss, which is often experienced during any restaurant’s first year.

Call to action:

Langoustine & Grits, styled by Amanda. Photo by: Preston Drake-Hillyard
Langoustine & Grits, styled by Amanda. Photo by: Preston Drake-Hillyard

If you have any type of relationship with Amanda, it has most likely revolved around her sharing a delicious meal with you. Help her to expand and share on a  grander scale with all of Copenhagen! Amanda strongly believes that eating together builds lifelong bonds, nourishes communities, and has the power to bridge most gaps. Like any community based project, her restaurant, The Blues Woman needs your help! We need money to make The Blues Woman a reality.

The List of Friends and Supporters grows all the time, but here’s some of them:

Nomad Workspace

Sunny Dhillon, Realtor

Michael Lavery, Co-owner of The Nest

Sidecar Restaurant

Maobao

Bryant Terry, James Beard award winning chef, and author of Afro-Vegan

Adrian Miller, author of Soul Food Scholar and The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

Soleil Ho, restauranteur and co-founder of The Racist Sandwich

Esteban Del Valle, Artist

Victoria Villasana, Artist

Rasmus E. Neilsen, Co-founder of anewnative

Martin Ritter, CEO of Box Creators

Signe Voltenen, Cookbook Author and Co-founder of SLOW

Katie McCrory, Writing Consultant

James Clasper, Writer

Damiano Pezzi, Cocktail Consultant

BIrkemosegaard, Farmer

Preston Drake Hillyard, Photographer