Drive to Asheville and pull up to a tapas menu that’s simple, straightforward and sublime – with a remarkable back story.
Chef/co-owner Katie Button, born in Conway, S.C., won a bit of fame with a 2012 James Beard nomination for new-chef excellence. The place has been open about 16 months, and she has been cooking professionally for all of five years or so. But that’s not what will wow cuisine junkies.
With a chemical engineering degree from Cornell and a master’s in biomedical engineering from an impressive French school, Button was about to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health and a school in Stockholm when she had a career change of heart. But that’s not the wow either.
It’s that in her few years, she has cooked in the restaurants of Jose Andres (internationally heralded chef of Minibar in DC and more, and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World this year), Jean-Georges Vongerichten (of Jean Georges in New York and more), Ferran Adria (chef of the legendary, now closed El Bulli in Spain) and Rene Redzepi (chef of Noma in Copenhagen, the Best Restaurant in the World for the past three years, according to Restaurant magazine).
Button is 29.
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