What is your favorite part of being a restaurant owner in Asheville
The food community is so strong here. It’s collaborative and chefs and restauranteurs work to support one another – it’s truly a community where rising tides raise all ships.
What is the background of your restaurant’s name?
The Market Place originated on Market Street in downtown Asheville in 1979 by the restaurant’s founder – Mark Rosenstein. It’s evolved over the years and is now on Wall Street in downtown. For me The Market Place is our restaurant’s connection to the farms and farmer’s markets in our community, as well as the Appalachian tradition of coming to town to the “market place” to sell your farm’s bounty and artisan goods and to spend time with others in your community by sharing a meal.
What ingredient could you not live without?
Local Produce! I know it’s more than one ingredient, but all of our fresh, local ingredients are what make our food so exciting and flavorful at The Market Place.
What is your favorite dish on your menu?
Our menu changes throughout the year based on what’s fresh and in season, but my favorite dish on our current menu is our Wood Grilled Pork Shoulder. We serve this with an emberred Mexican style street corn, blistered shishitos, coriander crema and spicy tomato relish. It tastes like Summer!
What is your favorite dish from a fellow AIR restaurant’s menu?
When I can get away for lunch I like to go a block over from The Market Place to Rezaz’s new restaurant – Baba Nahm. His Lamb Shawarma is delicious and it’s a quick & healthy lunch that’s close by.
Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant?
As a chef I’ve had the chance to travel and to live and work around the country. I was a New Yorker, a Californian, and a South Carolinian before I made my way to Asheville. Coming originally from West Virginia, and traveling around the US – made Asheville an obvious choice to settle down and call home. For me it’s the culmination of my travels and cooking experiences – it feels a little like Soho in Manhattan, it’s progressive, sustainable, and funky like Berkley, Ca, it’s got a little bit of Southern Charm, and a little Appalachia all rolled up into one amazing mountain town.
And to top it off we have organizations like the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) that help to get local food into restaurants, schools, and institutions, as well as organizations like A.I.R. that bring together our amazing restaurant community.
What is your favorite chef’s tool and why?
My favorite chef tool is my Glestain Chef’s Knife. I’m left handed, so having a true left handed knife makes working in the kitchen much easier as the knife works with my left handed angle of cutting. I’ve had this knife for over 10 years and it just feels good in my hand. And as they say, “A chef is only as sharp as his knife.”