Tupelo Honey

Steve Frabitore



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

Two things really, the first is the creativity involved in making a menu that resonates with our guests and second is working with young, aspiring people.

What is the background of your restaurant’s name?

The name comes from the tupelo gum tree in the swamps of North Florida. The tree blooms for a very short window and this is where the Tupelo Honey comes from.

What ingredient could you not live without?

Sea salt. Used properly it is a flavor accelerator.

What is your favorite dish on your menu?

Our honey dusted bone in fried chicken is to die for. It is something Chef Mark Rosenstein and I worked on together.

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

Smoked wings at Luellas. They are jumbo wings and how they get that smoke just right is amazing.

Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant?

Like so many people, I fell in love with Asheville ten years ago and just made the move. I wanted to live here and then I needed to work. Being an entrepreneur at heart, I saw Tupelo and said, yep…that’s it…I will be a restaurateur…people thought I was crazy!

What is your favorite chef’s tool and why?

Knife…I enjoy the process of prepping food.