Conceived of creative necessity, AMMO founder Amy Sweeney began serving the
fashion and photography industries of Los Angeles at a time when unhealthful and unappetizing on-set catering was de rigueur. Sweeney had recently returned from extensive European travels, where she marveled at the simplicity of delicious, healthful cooking based upon seasonal harvests, preceding this common moniker of restaurants and chefs by decades. Her imperative was cooking delicious meals that could be enjoyed daily by a Hollywood community that derived its income and infamy from glamour, beauty, and public perception. AMMO materialized the transformation of dining in Los Angeles, first simply as a catering concern, soon after offering a tiny take out window for the neighbors, and eventually growing through multiple incarnations as an iconic and beloved Los Angeles dining room that welcomed Hollywood’s entertainment elite. Following two decades on Highland Avenue, AMMO has returned to the roots of its inception, with AMMO Catering, AMMO at the Hammer, and the newest AMMO To Go on Melrose Avenue, celebrating not only the bounty of the seasons, but also the harvests of the AMMO gardens and our local farming partners.
Amy Sweeney is the visionary namesake of L.A. landmark restaurant AMMO. Extended European travels as a young student ignited and ingrained a culinary passion for local, seasonal ingredients, decades before these ideals became a common catchphrase. AMMO catering was born out of Sweeney’s work in the fashion photography industry, where the food offerings were predominantly unsatisfying, unhealthy, and mostly uneaten. A self-taught chef, Sweeney’s intention has always been to offer guests a dining experience imbued with simplicity and an unyielding connection to the earth and its seasons.
A strong believer in cooking from the heart, Sweeney has insisted that everyone who works at AMMO shares these beliefs, no doubt contributing in large part to AMMO’s decades of continued success. With the newest incarnations of AMMO At The Hammer and new Melrose Avenue location of AMMO To Go, Sweeney and her team have transformed kitchens, minds and hearts, all the while showcasing and celebrating the bounty of the seasons discovered on that European adventure of long ago.
A native of Los Angeles, Chef Garber humorously arrived at a professional culinary career following a lifelong fear of tomatoes. “And then one day, I inexplicably tasted a delicious tomato. Suddenly I realized what I’d missed out on all of those years, and my curiosity about food and cooking become an obsession.” After attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Garber honed his professional credentials working alongside Chef Larry Tse at San Francisco’s House Restaurant, Chef Neil Frasier’s Grace and BLD restaurants in Los Angeles, Santa Monica’s Viceroy Hotel, and Echo Park’s (vegan) Mohawk Bend restaurant. Most recently, Chef Garber assisted Bruce Kalman in the opening of the highly regarded Union Restaurant in Pasadena.
Chef Garber arrives at AMMO grounded in a cooking style that is at once appropriate to the season and in harmony with the legacy of this restaurant. Menus and daily specials are composed to feature the finest of local farm produce, including the AMMO gardens from which chef will personally co-ordinate menu offerings that showcase his own daily harvests.
Chef Garber now enjoys tomatoes without fear.