"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
What makes us unique?
Our culinary events ignite creativity. In 2011 we began our dinner series with a focus on invasive species with a seven course meal, served with no menu advertised in advance, and with a location which was only revealed two hours prior to the meal.
Over 100 concepts later, The Blind Pig continues to push the envelope on imaginative culinary experiences. Some suppers are fun and whimsical, others are outstanding in importance for preserving history with authentic cuisine. Chefs and cooks alike are welcome to step "out of the box" at our suppers, and cooking and plating often times happen directly in front of the guest. In our opinion, this is a one of a kind experience unlike what you typically receive in a ordinary restaurant. This boundless experience has influenced many chefs to think more creatively and push forth a personalized cuisine, which always makes a lasting impression.
Today, The Blind Pig Supper Club continues to grow beyond the boundaries of Western North Carolina hosting dinners across the south, as well as welcoming many reputable chefs visiting from great food cities to our dining room for the evening. It is the spirit of that collaboration which truly unites us as like minded chefs and weaves a strong network of community which we proudly boast.
To learn more about the chefs that have collaborated with us, see their bio's below!
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Click on the Supper Posters below to learn about the Chefs Featured at these dinners! Full Chef Bios coming soon!
Elliott Moss is from Florence, South Carolina. His roots for southern food and culture run deep, as he spent his younger years playing with pigs and chickens on his grandfathers family farm. Helping his grandmother stir kettles of chicken bog, and saucing barbecued chicken and hogs on the family smoker with his father played a major role in his upbringing.
Elliott has worked in kitchens since the age of 17, including restaurants in Florence & Columbia, SC, Philadelphia, PA, and most recently Asheville, NC. Chef Moss moved to Asheville in 2007 to help open The Admiral Restaurant where he was the executive chef. The Admiral has garnered acclaim throughout the South for its creative & eclectic fare.
Elliotts newest restaurant with partner Chef Meherwan Irani is Buxton Hall in Asheville. It is here, in this historically preserved warehouse, which now smells of slow smoked goodness, Elliot honors his childhood with whole hog barbecue, fried chicken, and seasonal southern fare.
Like many chefs, Brian Canipelli found his way to food by a process of elimination. Growing up in Atlanta, Canipelli knew immediately he didn’t want a "big city" kind of life style. After failing out of the University of Georgia, he made his way to a steakhouse and realized culinary school might be the way to go. Immersed in the lifestyle, the cooking, and the camaraderie (not to mention the technique and tradition) Canipelli had a feeling he was in the right place—and he hasn’t left since.
Before opening his own place, he was a line cook at Savoy for eight months, followed by work at Table and almost three years as a sous chef at Rezaz, where he learned about the business side of restaurant ownership. In 2008, just six years after culinary school, Canipelli opened his own restaurant, Cucina 24 in the city that taught him how to cook.
At the helm of Cucina, Capinelli achieves the unlikely, if not impossible, combining local ingredients and Southern foodways with the flavors of his Italian heritage. The unifying element, marrying Asheville to Italy, seems to be straightforward techniques that utilize local products.
Nate Allen is the chef/owner of knife & fork, Spruce Pine, NC.
he is a father. he is a drummer. he is a friend of farmers. he has worked all over the world cooking and studying various cultural relationships to food. he is an entertainer who has always loved the magic that occurs when people break bread and share wine and time.
Dedication to an authentic taste of time and place has led Nate on a mission to use only the most perfect, locally available products, prepared and presented in a way that reflects the moods and tones of each micro season. Community is the main pillar of Nate's philosophy. The ideal that a restaurant could support an agricultural and artistic community, in a symbiotic relationship, is a dream that Nate gets to realize everyday.
Nate is a man that takes his work very seriously. He loves cooking, and he loves you.
Steve Goff arrived in Asheville via train — but not as a paying passenger. Goff, an Asheville chef and former owner of King James Public House, first got to this city hopping trains, surviving on SpaghettiOs and peanut butter. Ten years before Goff would become a restaurant owner, he drifted into Asheville as a train-hopping vagrant, taking odd jobs in restaurants. He tried to get into welding, but couldn't get a job outside of the kitchen. "I really wanted normal-guy hours," he said. But having a daughter a few years later changed everything. "I wanted to be something my daughter could be proud of," he said.
Goff is now living in the Raleigh-Durham area and is the Head Butcher at Standard Foods Raleigh, with Scott Crawford and John Holmes, he is helping add his talents as a butcher to their innovative restaurant and grocery concept.
Matt Dawes found his way to cooking in his mid-20s, after having traveled extensively in India and Sri Lanka and working for development organizations. He spent much of his time there building small-scale, sustainable farming practices, and his work sharing food at its most basic level hasn’t stopped since. When he returned to the States, cooking came calling, and by 28 he was a graduate of Johnson & Wales, ready to step into the game.
The game, for Dawes, was played on a decidedly Southern turf. In the decade after graduating, Dawes eschewed the traditional hopscotch from restaurant to restaurant, building a résumé in short bursts at longstanding North Carolina restaurants. His first job after culinary school was at Four Square Durham, followed up with a longer stint at Table in Asheville, North Carolina, working as co-chef Jacob Sessoms.
With fewer names, but longer hours, on his résumé, Dawes partnered with Drew Wallace to open Bull and Beggar in summer 2013. Bull and Beggar showcases Dawes’s penchant for sophisticated Southern, seasonal cooking—the kind of bold, delicately finessed flavors you get when you’ve been cooking locally, and seriously, for more than a decade.
Chef Ryan Kline, of Buffalo Nickel, hails from the farming community of Hastings, PA, where he grew his love for fresh seasonal cooking. Preferring the outdoors, Ryan was a mischievous teen, and was required to pull pierogi duty in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother as penance for his mischief. Making pierogi has come full circle.
After graduating with High Honors from Indiana University of Culinary Arts in 2009, he accepted an internship with the prestigious Biltmore Estate. Ryan has since had the opportunity to work with several acclaimed chefs, including his mentor, chef Mike Gonzalez, Richard Blais, Hugh Acheson, Kevin Gillespie and Sean Brock.
Heading the culinary team at Buffalo Nickel showcases Ryan’s training and vision– embracing locally sourced, high quality ingredients to create kicked up comfort food. With a strong belief thatfarm to table shouldn’t be seen as a trend, but as the bedrock of a great restaurant, Ryan practices this daily, and can be seen shopping at local farmers markets and visiting local farms.
Ivan Candido is a truly talented chef in the Asheville food scene. Self-taught and with previous experience at Savoy, the young Mexican-born chef moved up through the ranks from dishwasher to line cook–and now to head chef of the highly acclaimed Admiral in West Asheville, NC.
Sam Etheridge grew up in east Tennessee learning cooking from his mom, and working at restaurants since the age of 16. Sam attended culinary school at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, graduating first in his class. In South Florida, Sam worked for such notable chef’s as Allen Susser, Mark Militello, Norman Van Aken, and Kevin McCarthy. He became an executive chef at age 27 working for the Astor Hotel’s sister restaurant, Johnny V’s Kitchen. Sam relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1999 and became the executive chef of Portobello restaurant, which was later bought by Sandia Resort and Casino. In 2008, Sam decided to relocate to Asheville, North Carolina to be closer to family.
While looking for a new restaurant location in the booming restaurant market of Asheville, Sam operated Ambrozia Catering company. In 2013 Sam opened Ambrozia Bar and Bistro in the North Asheville neighborhood next to Beaver Lake and minutes from his home. Designed to be a neighborhood restaurant where you can just get a drink, burger, or indulge in the southern fusion dishes that Sam has been known for throughout his culinary career.
Justin Burdett fuses his passion for local ingredients and unexpected flavor profiles at his new restaurant, Local Provisions. The result is creative, modern cuisine that is still reflective of the area’s culinary history and culture. Born and raised in Snellville, Georgia, Burdett began cooking with his grandmother at an early age. Taking his first official industry job at only 14 years old at Glen’s BBQ in Snellville, he began as a dishwasher and worked his way to the pit. Craving more culinary experience and a more creative menu, Burdett approached chef Hugh Acheson, offering his services for free in exchange for experience. Acheson took a chance on Burdett, awarding him with the position that began his formal culinary career in 2005.
Craving the mountains of North Carolina, Burdett and his wife took over Ruka’s Table in Highlands, North Carolina in 2012, where he received national attention for his modern work with local ingredients and flavor profiles. When he’s not in the kitchen, Burdett enjoys spending time with his wife, Brooke, his daughter, Olive, and their four dogs. He also enjoys reading about culinary history and collecting a broad range of cookbooks.
Cucina 24, Asheville, NC
Nick Hane is an up an coming chef here in Asheville, NC. Originally from Raleigh, NC, Nick has already made quite an impression on the Asheville culinary scene.
Drew Maykuth started cooking at 15 in a small town in Ohio and worked odd jobs in various kitchens after college, including a three-month stint on a yacht in Guatemala. He traveled through Venezuela, and eventually followed a girl to a commune of some sort in Nashville where he learned to forage for chanterelle mushrooms. One of his customers was chef Sean Brock, then heading up the restaurant at the deluxe Nashville hotel The Hermitage and just starting to make a name for himself. Brock invited Maykuth to join his culinary team – and changed his life in the process. Maykuth began to truly focus on food, learning new techniques, and refining his skills.
When Brock left Nashville, Maykuth moved to Asheville and became assistant chef at a cinder block dive bar called The Admiral. Then he and co-chef Elliott Moss turned the place into the city’s unlikeliest, hottest restaurant: A nondescript space with a magic touch for farm-to-fork food. About four years on, Maykuth realized he was ready to make another move. The wanderlust of his youth was kicking in. “The excitement and energy was starting to fizzle out,” Maykuth says. And his old college buddy Will Jeffers knew exactly what Maykuth needed to do: move to Raleigh.
Adam Bannasch is executive chef/owner of the new Copper Crown restaurant in East Asheville, as well as Zambra Restaurant in downtown Asheville. Zambra is the long-standing winner of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence and has been featured by the Food Network, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and Southern Living.
Adam has attained many influences through his training in Europe and New Orleans. Zambra is his modern, local vision of the tastes and flavors of the western Mediterranean: Spain, Portugal, Gypsy, and North Africa. Zambra is a tapas restaurant, and like tapas restaurants in Spain, the menu selections are based on locally available ingredients.
An avid forager, his secret pleasure is fruity jelly candies.
Chef Nohe has been a long standing Asheville cook who has worked his way up in the kitchen. Chef Nohe is inspired by the El Salvadoran foods of his chiuldhood with his father and has also mastered creating warm and hearty dishes from the American cuisine palate. Most recently, Chef Nohe Weir-Villatoro worked as Chef Steve Goff’s sous chef at King James Public House. In April of 2015, Chef Nohe took the reigns at King James as the new executive chef after the departure of Chef Goff.
Chef Nohe started washing dishes at Early Girl restaurant when he was about 17, and went from there to working a station and then to Lexington Avenue Brewery as a fry cook and sous chef. He also worked at The Admiral with Chef Elliott Moss for a stint, and then at Zambra, where he was executive sous chef before moving to King James Pub as sous.
Primarily self taught, Todd studied music at Appalachian State University and worked through college in various kitchens of Boone, NC. Todd moved to Washington DC in 2008 to further his culinary experience. Through hard work and dedication to local and seasonal cuisine, Todd led the kitchen team at Restaurant Nora in Washington, DC as executive chef of the first certified organic restaurant in the United States.
In 2014, Todd relocated back to WNC with his family and worked with Chef Kyle McKnight at Highland Avenue in Hickory. In March, 2014 Todd relocated to Asheville, NC as Executive Sous Chef at Seven Sows and after five months of diligence, craft, passion and hard work was promptly named chef de cuisine in August of 2014. Todd has participated in several Blind Pig Suppers here in Asheville.
From his upbringings in the mountains of Charleston, West Virginia, Chef William Dissen always has been in touch with the outdoors & nature. Spending time on his Grandparents’ farm – watching his Grandmother cook bountiful meals straight from the garden to the kitchen table – has been a major influence on his style of cooking, as well as his beliefs in sustainable agriculture & local cuisine.
After sharpening his skills under Chefs Barickman & Deihl, William moved to Columbia, South Carolina to continue his education by attaining a Master’s Degree of Hospitality, Restaurant & Tourism Management at the University of South Carolina. It was at this time that Chef Dissen began his dream of opening his own restaurant, & the mountains & fields of Appalachia began to call him home. Here in Asheville, Chef Dissen found the renowned Market Place Restaurant on historic Wall Street to call home.
Gary Sernack is a former chef at Zambra in downtown Asheville, NC and now the head brewer at the soon to be open Bhramari Brewhouse. Gary brings more than fifteen years of kitchen and ten years of home-brewing experience to the Bhramari team.
He honed his culinary skills by attending Johnson and Wales Denver and spent the next ten years working in fine dining establishments from San Francisco to New York City, and finally to Asheville. He started home-brewing in San Francisco and has been building a cache of core recipes since.
In 2009, Irani quit his day job in sales to open his first restaurant– Chai Pani, an authentic Indian street food joint in downtown Asheville.
Whether it was a midlife crisis or a stroke of genius is debatable. In any case, the self-taught chef is now opening his fifth. With two James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast under his belt, he's finally confident this might be working out.
His restaurants have been written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Food & Wine, Men's Health, USA Today, and Bon Appetit, among others. Not bad for a former car salesman – although his mother who still lives in India is not impressed.
He accredits his business success to the amazing people he works with each day, including his business partner and wife, Molly.
Local chefs often refer to Chef Jacob Sessoms of Table, as “the grandfather of creative cooking” in Asheville, North Carolina.
After stints at Washington Park with Chef Jonathan Waxman and Savoy with Chef Peter Hoffman, Sessoms left New York City for the freedoms of Asheville, NC. Opening Table in 2005, many of the best chefs in Asheville have already passed through Sessom’s kitchen—on College Street, a main drag of the city.
Above the restaurant is another venture, the “low-light, grown-up bar” Imperial Life, with equally creative fare (and local beers, esoteric wines, and cocktails) as served downstairs. Sessoms continues to influence a new generation of chefs in one of the most exciting food cities in the country.
Joe was born and raised stomping around the mountains of West Virginia. His southern Appalachian roots are sound. Inspired by his Italian and Irish American family being descendants of immigrant coal workers, and restaurant work starting from a young age, Joe found his niche. His work in a small Irish pub, and time spent on the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a teenager gave him his proper jumpstart.
For nearly ten years Joe has contributed to several Asheville culinary staples; whether behind the bar or at the helm of a kitchen. These include sous chef at Early Girl Eatery, head chef at the former Usual Suspects, and Head Chef/Bar Manager at The Southern Kitchen and Bar where he has been happily employed for nearly five years. Joe Marple has a passion and desire for food and culinarily pleasing people that has led him to being featured in several Blind Pig dinner events and numerous pop-up events around Asheville.
"Los Angeles native Levon Wallace stuck to his home state for culinary school, attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. There he immersed himself in the Bay Area’s food culture and began apprenticing at some of the city’s finest restaurants. Wallace worked at a series of AAA four- and five-diamond restaurants, including Maravilla at the Ojai Valley Inn, where he served as chef de cuisine and worked with StarChefs.com Portland Rising Star Chef Andy Arnt.
Wallace’s next move took him to Chicago to stage at Charlie Trotter’s before seeking out a kitchen of his own on Martha’s Vineyard. In 2008, he joined Scout Properties to lead the kitchen at Harbor View Hotel & Resort, along with The Kelley House Hotel in nearby Edgartown, Massachusetts. Wallace worked tirelessly to learn the flavors and foodways of New England and to reinvent the classics while drawing inspiration from the island’s artisans."
Chef Kyle McKnight says a need for new sneakers landed him in a restaurant kitchen. As a teen, the Woodbridge, Virginia native needed money for a pair of Adidas, so found a job washing dishes. Soon, he was running away to France to cook with master chefs.
A graduate of Johnson and Wales University, McKnight’s career led him through Europe, Charleston, Miami, St. John and Argentina before he found a home at Hickory’s acclaimed Highland Avenue Restaurant. McKnight was named a "Best Chef: America" 2012 to 2014 for his commitment to the slow food movement and his advocacy of local farmers in both Wilmington and Hickory, North Carolina. He also earned a Good Food Award with Bev Eggelston in 2013. McKnight is creating inspiring cuisine from the bounty of North Carolina land and sea.
Kyle is most fond of pork, Adidas, dudes, pickles and lilacs.
As one of Asheville's talented female chefs, Sarah Cousler, has made her mark on the food scene in many different ways.
A graduate of the AB-Tech Culinary program, Sarah has shown her talents on the Asheville community in many different ways. With a current career as sous chef of Buxton Hall Barbecue, as well as previous stints in other well known asheville culinary establishments, The Admiral and Elliot Moss's former pop-up series Punk Wok and Thunderbird.
Not to rest on her laurels, Sarah has filled an already busy schedule with other events including the dinner series Girls on Deck, as well as providing the menu for late night Buxton Hall pop-up Velvet & Lace.
Currently a sous chef at Buxton Hall BBQ, Dan moved to Asheville four years ago from Upstate New York. Dan is a fixture in the Asheville food community, he has worked at Seven Sows, the Admiral, and the Punk Wok and Thunderbird pop-ups at MG Road.
Dan arrived in Asheville following an eight month road trip across the US, including stages at McCrady's in Charleston, Empire State South in Atlanta, Animal and Son of a Gun in LA, and a summer at Red Bird Provisions in Northeast Harbor, Maine. Prior to the road trip, he spent nearly two years at Lula Cafe in Chicago and a year at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore.
He started cooking behind the fish counter of a grocery store in his home town of Albany, NY, and is a graduate of the hospitality program at Syracuse University.
From gardening to raising animals to baking, David Santos was immersed in every aspect of food since a young age as the son of Portuguese immigrants. “We often traveled to Portugal to visit family, and I remember waking up with my aunt at five o’clock in the morning to help her bake bread in a wood-fired oven. Together we would start the fire and gather and mix ingredients. I loved every minute of it,” he says. At home in the United States, food remained the backbone of family life thanks to his mother’s garden and fruit trees and his father’s homemade wine.
Driven by an over achieving nature, Santos took his culinary training to the next level, working at Bouley and Per Se, as well as at New Jersey’s most acclaimed restaurants: Nicholas and The Ryland Inn. By launching Um Segredo, a series of supper clubs hosted at his Roosevelt Island home, Santos established his own culinary voice and quickly developed a cult following.