Plant

Chef Jason Sellers

Plant

Photo by Lynne Harty

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

My favorite part of being a restauranteur is having a venue in which to interpret inspiration and intention. Working in Asheville means being able to do so in a place where people come to participate in that experience.

What is the background of your restaurant’s name?

The name ‘plant’ stands for the essence of what we do: we cook plant foods and offer an experience that reflects the vegan ethos of the restaurant and the personnel that run it. I typically choose naked titles…

What ingredient could you not live without?

Right now—October, 2017, I cannot live without nuts. Fatty, creamy, always dreamy. Toasted, puréed, dried, salted, fermented, roasted…I mean, their versatility! Nutrient dense, delicious, and singular…there isn’t a nut that tastes like another nut.

What is your favorite dish on your menu?

My current favorite plant dish has got to be the maitake mushroom small plate. We’ve just arrived at wild maitake season, and the dish has subsequently turned yet another brightened corner. Local watermelon radish, cauliflower puree, and—of course—roasted HAZELNUTS! We quick-brown the mushroom and season it appropriately for a chilly fall night. The little dish with a big surprise.

 

Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant?

Asheville chose me. My partner is so smart that I’d follow her anywhere. So when she informed me that we were moving to Asheville in 2005, I was like, “I guess.” The food scene is fun here, and it’s challenging. I worked for several years at the Laughing Seed Café, got some invaluable experience, and felt strong enough to venture out on my own. I don’t think I would have made it if I hadn’t been taken care of so well during my tenure there. I am also lucky to work together with my business partners, Alan and Leslie.

What is your favorite chef’s tool and why?

My favorite chef’s tool changes from month to month. Today, it has to be my crêpe pan. They’re amazing, require care (and are therefore more interactive), and make any food better. If I could afford it, I would buy everyone a crêpe pan.