Radio Cherry Bombe: Food For Thought
Asheville, North Carolina
Saturday, September 14th
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On Saturday, September 14, join the Bombesquad at the Hotel Arras for the Asheville stop on our "Food for Thought" Radio Cherry Bombe Tour. We'll be talking to Chef Katie Button, Vivian Howard of A Chef’s Life and Chef & The Farmer, Jael Rattigan of French Broad Chocolate, Ashleigh Shanti of Benne on Eagle, and writer Cynthia Greenlee about their journeys through food. This panel will be recorded for a future episode of Radio Cherry Bombe.
Chef Katie Button is a Southern chef with a scientific mind who honed her craft in the kitchens of some of the world’s best chefs, most notably Ferran Adrià and José Andrés. She is now the executive chef and co-owner of Cúrate Bar de Tapas and Appalachian-inspired bagel shop Button & Co. Bagels in Asheville, North Carolina, and has earned numerous accolades, including Cúrate’s recognition as one of Food & Wine’s 40 Most Important Restaurants of the Past 40 Years, three James Beard Award nominations and a place among Food & Wine's 2015 Best New Chefs. She is also a member of the Williams Sonoma Chefs’ Collective, a culinary advisory board made up of innovators in the culinary landscape. In October 2016, she released her first cookbook, Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen, offering up recipes for home cooks that celebrate her love of Spain and Southern heritage. Katie has an exciting year ahead, hosting debut Asheville culinary festival “Chow Chow” and continuing to lead culinary trips to Spain and Portugal with her husband and business partner, Felix Meana.
Vivian Howard is an author, chef, restaurant owner, storyteller, and host of the PBS show, "A Chef’s Life." Her New York Times bestseller, "Deep Run Roots: Stories & Recipes from My Corner of the South," is a landmark work of American food writing, as much a storybook as it is a cookbook, imparting the true tale of Eastern North Carolina food.
Vivian and her restaurants — Chef & the Farmer, Boiler Room Oyster Bar and Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria — have racked up numerous accolades, including her selection as a five-time James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast. This year she launched her newest concept, Handy & Hot, an online limited-release bakeshop.
"A Chef's Life," the five-season documentary television series celebrating Eastern North Carolina food traditions, has taken home a Daytime Emmy, Peabody award, and James Beard award for Outstanding Personality/Host. The series is segueing into a new series, “South by Somewhere," which will tell stories of the American South in the context of global food traditions.
Jael Rattigan, co-founder and CEO of French Broad Chocolate in Asheville, believes in using business as a force for good. What started in 2006 as a mom & pop farmers' market stand has grown to 90+ employees and includes a Chocolate Lounge & Boutique, an experiential Chocolate Factory & Cafe, and handcrafted Ice Creamery & Cafe. Her chocolates have been recognized in many national and international awards, and she was the recipient of the WomanUp "Best in Business" award in 2016. Her two sons, Sam and Max, eat chocolate for breakfast every day.
Ashleigh Shanti is Chef de Cuisine of Benne on Eagle in Asheville, NC. Working closely with five-time James Beard Award finalist Chef John Fleer, Ashleigh pays homage to the rich African-American culinary traditions that once thrived in The Block–the neighborhood surrounding the restaurant–as well as honoring her own history as a Southern, African-American female.
While each of her kitchen experiences—including culinary school at Baltimore International College, a stage at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a culinary assistant position with Chef & the Farmer co-owner Vivian Howard—helped hone her technical expertise, Ashleigh struggled to find a cuisine that resonated with her on a personal level. It was this longing that beckoned Ashleigh to Asheville in Fall 2018 to help Chef Fleer open Benne on Eagle. Here, Ashleigh has found her culinary identity in a kitchen where the food is both meaningful to her and honors her heritage. She is proud to help Chef Fleer build Benne on Eagle’s culinary program from the ground up by following the theme of Sankofa, “go back and get it,” in the Twi language: progressing forward and integrating new food techniques and methods, while looking back to history to reclaim lost and forgotten traditions.