Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Steven Goff at the King James Public House delivers!

I remember meeting Steven Goff of King James Public House for the first time.  At the time he was a student enrolled in the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Culinary program.  AB Tech has a long history in Asheville as being the little school with an awesome culinary program.  I was the President of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association and we recently create the Chefs of Tomorrow Culinary Scholarship for up and coming culinarians at the school.  Steven was the first ever recipient of the Scholarship and we met briefly to congratulate him at the time.

The first thing I noted was the vast variety of tattoos as well as his seemingly shy nature.  He looked a bit harder in character than he truly is.  I learned that he was a single parent that wanted to make a life for his family and had a passion for cooking.  Some of the details that I didn’t find out then was that Steven had been homeless and sleeping behind a dumpster.  Wow, that wakes you up!  A young man with a dream caught in a set of bad circumstances.  Yet, he followed his dream.

Flash forward and Steven earned his degree as well as a multiple recipient of the AIR Chefs of Tomorrow Scholarship.  He worked hard and made connections.  Recently he joined forces to open King James Public House with Peter Slamp, managing partner with Zambra which has long been an Asheville tapas standard.

King James Public House is in the first floor of the King James Apartments on Charlotte Street sandwiched between City Bakery and the Chop Shop Butchery.  The newly renovated space is comfortable with high-backed booths, open tables and seating with lots of brick, wood and leather.  It’s a bit like walking into Cheers.  The only negative aspect I’ll mention is that service was a little slow.  It was a Monday evening and it appeared that they were short-staffed in the front.  Everything else was something to write home about!

The menu features unique presentations of local foods in a variety of formats such as snacks, jars, small plates and entrĂ©es.  I’ve never seen a restaurant offer jerky on the menu but I had to try the Pork Jerky snack ($2.) when I saw it.  I have a secret affinity for jerky that my wife just doesn’t understand, haha!  Great flavor so I think I’ll buy several next time and slip them into a baggie for later.

I also tried the Duck Liver Pate jar ($8.) and was delighted to see it arrive in exactly that a small four ounce canning jar.  It was fantastic.  I shouldn’t have eaten all of it but when you find something done so well, you have to take advantage of it.

With so many items I wanted to taste I had to ask for a little help from my server and was advised to order the Buttermilk Fried Chicken small plate ($10.).  He didn’t steer me wrong at all!  A butterflied thigh that was breaded and fried atop a house-made crumpet with black pepper gravy.  This truly was slap-your-momma good.  The twist of adding the crumpet set the dish even further apart and had me mesmerized.

With a menu I think you’ll love that includes limited wine and beer selections along with several distinctive house cocktails, King James Public House should be on your Asheville Dining Wish List. 

Contact Information
King James Public House
(828) 252.2412
94 Charlotte Street
Asheville, North Carolina 28801

King James Public House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Divine Wine & Beer Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on August 14


 Ask Kevin Schwartz about his passion for wine and he’ll tell you he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t interested in it, given his family’s penchant for good food and all that goes with it. The sommelier turned entrepreneur officially opens his first retail venture -- Divine Wine and Beer at 1011 Tunnel Road – on August 14 beginning at 4 p.m. with a ribbon cutting and reception to which the public is invited. (For more information about the grand opening go to www.divinewineandbeer.com)
 In addition to a robust selection of wines and craft beers, Schwartz also offers a wine and beer bar. “On Thursday night we offer a $5 beer tasting, and on Friday night a $5 wine tasting,” Schwartz said. “This is a place where you can meet friends, download your favorite music, or expand your wine and beer horizons.” In the future, Schwartz, who worked for many years as the assistant food and beverage manager at The Grove Park Inn prior to its sale, plans on offering a limited small plate menu showcasing food produced at farms from around the region.
“I like to think that Divine Wine and Beer is a reflection of what makes Asheville such a wonderful place to live, work and visit,” he said. “That’s why we are also offering gift baskets and picnic baskets filled with Asheville specialties, including French Broad Chocolates.” Currently baskets can be purchased in-store with on-line ordering in the works. “We’ve hand-picked the items to reflect the culinary diversity that has made Asheville one of the nation’s top foodie towns,” said Schwartz.  “They are great gifts for family, friends and anyone who can’t get enough of Asheville’s food and flavors.”
This fall Schwartz will offer classes in cooking, wine (he creates notes for each of the wines in the store to assist customers in making the selection that best suits their palate and occasion), beer, mixology and even soap-making. “The soap-making class always takes people by surprise. It’s a way of tipping our hat to the rich mountain heritage that makes Asheville such a unique place,” he said.

Divine Wine and Beer is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Wednesday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Divine Wine & Beer is Open - My new business in East Asheville

Divine Wine & Beer in East Asheville is what has been keeping me up late and the reason I just have not had time to post on Asheville Foodie.  This is the long awaited announcement that should help explain my absence online.  I hope that you forgive me and stay tuned.  If all goes well, I should be able to begin a more consistent posting schedule again.

The blog will not change except that I'll be posting wine and beer reviews on a new blog named Asheville Wine Lovers.  It isn't up yet but if you want to like the page on Facebook you'll be the first to know when its off the ground.

No, this will not become a hot bed of advertising.  I haven't used ads over the last seven years and I don't plan on it now.  I will do an occasional post to keep you in the loop with what I'm doing at the store.  I'll put the menu for Divine Wine & Beer in a post this week for you to check it out.  I will add a banner or ad for Divine Wine & Beer to the blog but it will not be the focal point of the blog.

So, let me tell you what Divine Wine & Beer is all about...

After leaving the Grove Park Inn when they were purchased, I opened a wine brokerage and ran that the last two years.  Its a great company with some fantastic brands but the more successful the brokerage gets the more I have to travel out of town - especially on weekends.

For those that don't know, my wife is the Assistant Pastor of our church and will be taking over as Pastor from her father in the next several years.  I really want to be part of that and so I realized that I needed to do something other than the wine brokerage.  Two days later, something new presented itself.
That was three months ago.
On Monday, June 23, 2014, Divine Wine & Beer will open for business.  I am opening a Retail wine and craft beer store in East Asheville.  Along with the retail operation we will offer a wine and beer bar featuring some pretty amazing wines and beers by the glass.  Paired with this will be a limited small plate menu showcasing food produced at farms from around the region.  We will also offer local products and local gift baskets as well as picnic baskets for all your gift and adventure outing needs.  These will be available through our online store by August 1.  One last element will be a variety of classes and tastings that we offer each week.  Yes, we'll have wine and beer tastings and dinners but we will also offer cooking classes, wine/beer educational classes, mixology classes, home soap making classes, and more.  No doubt the last class surprised you - stop by to find out more!

This happened in some ways very slowly but in many ways very very quickly.  God is so good to have put item after item in place for us to do this.  We are grateful beyond measure.  Please keep us in your prayers with our new venture.

... and stop by the store.  We're on Tunnel Road in East Asheville (address and contact information is below).

I need your help in letting people know about Divine Wine & Beer.  So please like the Divine Wine & Beer FB page and share it with your friends and family that will be interested in it as well.

Contact Information
Divine Wine & Beer
(828) 505.8875
1011 Tunnel Road #110
Asheville, North Carolina 28805

Monday, June 2, 2014

There's light at the end of the Tunnel and its Divine!

Again, I haven't been consistent posting on the blog and again I promise that you will soon begin reading new posts that will keep you enthralled with the Asheville and Western North Carolina food scene.  The reason for the inconsistency will be rolled out later this week.

Please be sure to sit at the edge of your seat waiting in anticipation of what is coming.  Its exciting, imbibing, a whole lotta work but a mess of fun!  Can you guess what it is?  Have you heard any rumors?  I've kept things pretty close to my vest but I'm about ready to pop.  I just can't keep it any longer and I want you to be the first to know.

Thank you for your patience as well as your faithful reading of this blog.

Here's a little something to illustrate the hope and excitement that I have for what's coming soon...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Make your own Easter Peeps

Its not hard to make your own marshmellow peeps using a toothpick and some chocolate sauce or melted chocolate.  Use white chocolate and food coloring to be a bit more creative than I was, haha!  Great activity for your kids on Easter weekend as well.

Let me know what you do and show me some of your photos.  Come on now, be creative and have some fun!

Happy Easter y'all!