Photo by Lynne Harty
What is your favorite part of being a restaurant owner in Asheville?
Asheville is a combination tourism town and small mountain town, so you get to meet interesting new people from all over the US, even the world, but you still have the close knit community feel. Even as the city grows and changes, we keep a steady group of regular customers we know by name, and that balance is what makes Asheville such a great place to own a business.
What is the background of your restaurant’s name?
The phrase “à votre santé“, or “santé” for short, literally means “to your health” in French. It’s used as a toast, similar to cheers!
What ingredient could you not live without?
Cheese! Wine and cheese are just too perfect of a pairing.
What is your favorite dish on your menu?
Probably the Trout Avocado salad; I crave it all the time when I’m at the restaurant! Or maybe the Ham and Fig pizza, which I have come in on my day off to eat.
What is your favorite dish from a fellow AIR restaurant’s menu?
Tough choice, but I’m going to have to go with the Yellow Curry at Blue Dream Curry House. It’s my ultimate comfort food and I have tried many times (with no success) to make it at home!
Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant?
When the original owners moved from California in 2006, they fell in love with Ashevilles vibrant energy and growing food scene. There was no wine bar at all in Asheville at the time, so they created a bistro style place reminiscent of their favorite wine bar back in San Diego.
What is your favorite chef’s tool and why?
If you’ve never used an emulsion blender/ immersion blender, they’re a game changer. I literally bought one for my own home after seeing how it useful it is for making dressings, sauces, and soups at the restaurant.