‘Bougie’ beginnings: Former executive chef opens Funky Forte food truck in Cottage Hill – Montgomery Advertiser

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Millbrook native Amber Bonds never tried too hard to escape her fate as a cook. “It was easy, like breathing. I say I chose it, but it kind of chose me and I didn’t really have a choice. So, here we are.”

The former Vintage Café sous chef and Grove Station executive chef decided to open her own place, Funky Forte. She’s starting small — Bonds set up a stationary food truck behind Hilltop Public House in Cottage Hill.

But the busy street is already full of her creations, and her personality.

“We have people (drive) by and say, ‘What are you doing?’ I’m like, ‘What are you doing? We’re serving food out here,’” Bonds laughed. “They ask us what we have, and it’s weird because we have everything from sinfully fried, to greener options, fresh sandwiches, wraps, and so on.”

Funky Forte specializes in artisan sandwiches, fresh vegetables, and other elevated gastropub food. “I guess the word is ‘bougie,’ so let’s just throw bougie out there,” Bonds says. Brunch items have included blueberry bourbon pecan French brioche toast and a “snack boat” with grilled bread, cheeses, salami, and habanero jelly.

Prices are about $10 to $15.

“Food should be fun. It shouldn’t be stuffy,” she said. “It should be something you create, and you think it’s so sexy you want everybody to eat it. It has something for everyone.”

Her food truck is open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. She’s planning to celebrate with a grand opening event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 28.

Bonds said while at Vintage Cafe she would often see Andrew Szymanski and Will O’Connor come in to plan Cottage Hill development, including Hilltop Public House, and said she got excited about the neighborhood. It’s the city’s oldest neighborhood, but it’s also a place that she said is full of young families and has a lot of potential.

She has dreams for her own business, too. She’d like to add another food truck for events and eventually open a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

“I want to see things that bring people together,” Bonds said. “I want to see people walking down the sidewalks, and pushing strollers, and walking dogs. When you create that, then more people will come and open other things.”

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brad Harper at [email protected]

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