Ultimate Ice Cream

Kevin Barnes


Photo by Lynne Harty

What is your favorite thing about being a restaurant owner in Asheville?

Too many favorite things to only choose one but I would say the people, both customers and our dedicated staff. Having a group of dedicated staff that can share our passion with our customers is amazing. Getting to know your customers well, their preferences, is what pulls it all together. 
What is the background of your restaurant’s name?
Our name represents what we do, we create the best ice cream. Having the name Ultimate gives us a high standard to live up to. 
What ingredient could you not live without?
We obviously cannot live without high fat milk. Our milk is locally sourced (150 miles). 
What is your favorite dish on your menu? 
My favorite dish on our menu would have to be our Belgian Dark Chocolate ice cream. In order to achieve the deep flavor, we blend different cocoas in house to create this flavor. One trick to getting more flavor is to let the ice cream melt just a bit, the fullness of the flavor is incredible.
What is your favorite dish from a fellow AIR restaurant’s menu?
Favorite dish from a fellow AIR member is a really hard choice, mussels at Bouchon, dumplings at Gan Shan Station or eggplant Parmesan at 828 Family Pizzeria.
Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant?
Asheville chose us. I can’t think of a city in the south that has a more vibrant yet accessible restaurant scene.
What is your favorite chef’s tool and why?
Favorite chef tool would have to be my palate. Ice cream is to be savored. Like a fine chocolate or an perfectly brewed cup of coffee, ice cream can be nuanced and bold. Also a spoon helps.