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Meet Amber Caudle of Chef Amber and The Source Café

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Caudle.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Amber. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Excited about food from a young age, my path to the kitchen was inevitable. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, I knew that being creative in the kitchen was my passion. I began my culinary training in Fort Collins, Colorado, and fell in love with the simplicity and passion of Southern Italian cuisine. After working with a well-respected chef, I had the opportunity to move to Hermosa Beach, California to be the executive chef at his new restaurant, Mediterraneo. For almost ten years, my business partner and I ran the restaurant successfully with no shortage of business and life lessons. It wasn’t until my last year at Mediterraneo that I discovered the deep healing powers of food.

After throwing myself into this passion; literally and figuratively, I reached my breaking point. After 15+ years as a chef, working long hours on my feet, without understanding the dangerous consequences of a constant state of high stress, limited sleep, and high expectations, my lack of proper self-care turned out to be toxic for my mind and body.

With this realization, I spent time at a detoxifying spiritual retreat center where I gained a life-changing perspective. I began to understand how food, the thing I love to create, could be my medicine. “Feed yourself, fuel your power” – are words I live by day in and day out.

Determined to learn everything I could about the healing properties of food and turn my life around immediately, I armed myself with education and have continuously worked to create a life full of balance, healing, and nurturing. I work daily to bring my knowledge to others, with the intention of helping them change their lives as well, one bite at a time.

On December 1, 2012, my dream of creating my own restaurant came to life as the doors to The Source Café opened in Hermosa Beach. My belief in the rejuvenating and restorative powers of fresh, whole, nutritious food has made our unique artisanal foods cafe a focal point of the Hermosa Beach and larger South Bay area. The Source Café filled a void the community was missing: clean, healthy and delicious food.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve experienced numerous obstacles on my journey! But these challenges make me who I am today and would not change my path for anything. All of the personal and business “falls” got me really clear on what I do and do not want. I think one of the first challenges was coming into the space as a young female executive chef. I worked my butt off to prove myself in a male-dominated world…hence the physical breakdown I had before opening the Source. I could write a book on my experiences as a young female chef and the challenges it brought!! Other obstacles–learning how to manage so many employees, learning how to create healthy boundaries and I had to learn the hard way with some big business money lessons. (not so fun but will never do it again). Also managing work life balance in the restaurant business and as an owner of a small business brought many challenges as well.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Source Café joyfully embraces the true essence of thoughtful food. Believing that food should be vibrant, beautiful, sexy, and prepared with love, each item on our menu is created with intention to heal and nourish your mind, body, and soul. Significant thought is given to every simple, local, organic and non GMO ingredient. Using only real ingredients with pure intention enables The Source Café’s patrons to heal and build their desire to be true to themselves, honor their bodies, and embrace their journey ahead. The Source Café is motivated by creativity and sustainability for the local community and for the planet. For anyone seeking health-based knowledge and a passion for absolute nourishment, The Source Café welcomes them with open arms, time and time again. We are so excited to be opening our second location in Manhattan Beach this spring. This location will offer a new dinner menu as well as beer, biodynamic wines mocktails, cocktails with kombucha and cider.

Our cafe is allergy and diet friendly – gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, paleo, keto – you need it, we have it.

Some of our fan favorites include:
I know avocado toast is so overplayed – but we really do have the best! It’s our raw cashew cream with flax oil and sumac that really top this one!

Chef Amber’s Smoothie Bowls – satiating, full of flavor – specialties are not your typical sugar-packed, frozen fruit smoothie bowls. They are full of nutrients, vitamins, and almost 1 pound of veggies; you would never know though!

A variety of ball-bites – each on-the-go option is packed with beneficial ingredients serving various purposes depending on our needs. Energy boosters, digestion aids, stress reducers – everything you need in two quick bites.

Juices and Elixirs – Our juice, elixirs and shots are created to help you quickly and effectively fuel your body. We offer a wide range of options; antioxidant support, detox, joint health, low glycemic, alkalined and energizing – just to name a few.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Food education and knowledge about what we put into our bodies is growing each and every day. I’d like to see a shift in the coming years of more restrictions as to what qualifies as “healthy” and ideally eliminate “fake healthy foods”. It is so important that we find a better way to educate people on what sneaky ingredients are in labels and what is put in our food. It is so important to pay attention now on what we put into our bodies…and it is so confusing out there! Lots of misleading info. I am passionate about helping educate and inform people on this issue and to make a paradigm shift in the world thru food. We can raise the bar of the industry standards and more and more individuals begin seeking resources and spaces that offer the caliber of food they are looking for and ultimately deserve.


  • Can’t make it to the South Bay? Not a problem, Chef Amber offers an online cooking series, Cooking with Chef Amber, for $25 that teaches you how to create some of her most beloved recipes in the comfort of your own home.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Hailee Repko of CNW Agency

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