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What is your favorite part of being a restaurant owner in Asheville?
My favorite part is probably the proximity to farms and dairies, and a population that wants local sustainable quality food. We work with so many wonderful farms around WNC to source our menu items from meats and cheeses, to fruits and vegetables.
What is the background of your restaurant’s name?
It was actually a real struggle to come up with our name before we opened about 9 years ago. We went back and forth for weeks and landed on Roux, because a roux is the base for so many great sauces and in turn dishes. Also, one of the first dishes I learned to cook as a child was gravy and of course, everyone knows what the difference is between sauce and gravy…about 3 dollars.
What ingredient could you not live without?
When cooking at Roux, I absolutely could not live without garlic. But at home our fresh backyard eggs are probably my favorite ingredient.
What is your favorite dish on your menu?
We are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night in our bar area, so I have a favorite for each time of the day. At breakfast, I’m a bit of a puritan and love a simple southern plate so I would have to say the Sausage, Grits and Eggs. It’s Hickory Nut Gap chorizo sausage, sautéed with peppers & onions, two local organic eggs, over cheese grits. For lunch, our Rocket Salad with BBQ Scottish Salmon and dinner I will go with our HNG Pork Tenderloin which is topped with an apple ginger chutney. If I’m looking for a quick bite after work, I’ll usually order our PB&J Burger (Pimento cheese, Bacon and Jalapeño).
What is your favorite dish from a fellow AIR restaurant’s menu?
Anything at Nine Mile! They do it right.
Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant?
My professional answer is that I moved here because we had the opportunity to open the restaurant in the Hilton at Biltmore Park. We worked very hard to make Roux an independently operated restaurant from the hotel that really put a focus on our local ingredients here in Asheville. However, the real answer is that I love the mountains here and it’s a short drive to family in Tennessee.
What is your favorite chef’s tool and why?
My hands. There are lots of times when only your hands will get it right.