Steven Goff



Photo by Lynne Harty

What is your favorite part of being a restaurant owner or chef in Asheville?

We love operating in a city with such a diverse array of restaurants and among fellow restaurateurs, brewers, etc that are friendly like minded collaborative and helpful! As a whole our community supports one another and it shows.

What is the background of your restaurant’s name?

We originally wanted to call it ox bar because the ox is the most blue collar animal, such a driven tireless worker but that name was already taken so we changed it to Aux also because it’s the auxiliary kitchen to Blind Pig and Brinehaus. We also joke that while we love Asheville there’s a large sum of restaurants for a relatively small population so to succeed we will need to be strong like an ox!

What ingredient could you not live without?  

Sweet potatoes!!!! Sweet potatoes are my spirit vegetable! Such a versatile humble workhorse of a vegetable! I like to pickle them, ferment, purée, roast, use in sauces and for desserts truly one of the most versatile products!!!

What is your favorite dish on your menu? 

My favorite dish is the smoked pheasant with a soft egg and Carolina rice porridge…again I go back to the workhorse! I like dishes that call back to their blue collar roots and there’s not many more blue collar than chicken and rice! This one will be done soon tho, my favorite summer Dish has been a bay scallop crudo with orchid vinegar knotweed and ground cherries so sweet refreshing and crisp!

What is your favorite dish from a fellow AIR restaurant’s menu? 

My favorite dish from another AIR restaurant is a tough pick! I just got back from Raleigh and opened a restaurant so I haven’t gotten out of it very much but I have always had a great experience at Nightbell! They are doing an excellent job over there I have never had a dish I didn’t like! I also love Graham’s burger over at Sovereign Remedies, ( my favorite bar/cocktails in town!)

Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant? 

I spent my whole life traveling or feeling homeless, Asheville is one of the only places I have ever truly felt at home! We just fit together! I love the quirky vibrancy of the city and everything it represents! I love Asheville to death and I’m very proud of all that we have here and to have the opportunity to come back !

What is your favorite chef’s tool and why?

My favorite tool is the mandolin, I use a lot of raw and pickled vegetables, we couldn’t live without those for quick perfect consistency! Our mandolins get a lit of work!!!!