Blue Ridge Dining Room

James Lumley 

Chef de Cuisine


Photo by Lynne Harty

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

I love the seasons here and with each one of them comes a whole new selection of local ingredients.

What is the background of Blue Ridge’s name? 

The restaurant looks out onto a panoramic expanse of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The mountains are the aesthetic focal point of the restaurant.

What ingredient could you not live without? 

Honestly, it would have to be salt. Without salt there is no brining or curing. I am quite partial to both techniques.

What is your favorite dish on your menu? 

Right now, my favorite dish the balsamic marinated and charred Tri-Tip. I love to take this cut of meat and turn it into something super tasty. The vinegar helps to denature the protein and really creates a tender product out of what can be a tough cut of beef.

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

Black Birds- Seafood Pirlau

Why did you choose to work in Asheville? 

The Omni Grove Park Inn allowed me to drive each restaurant, I have served as the Chef de Cuisine. They have truly offered me a better opportunity for me to express my craft and who I am through my food.

What is your favorite chef’s tool and why? 

I need my Microplane. Growing up in Florida this tool allowed me to take full advantage of citrus, which you will find in some fashion throughout my menus.