What is your favorite part of being a restaurant owner in Asheville?
Christien Williams, GM: Serving such a collaborative community- from breweries to distilleries to food providers everyone has such a collaborative mindset and it makes for a great experience. It makes it really exciting, not just for us in the restaurant industry serving food, but for customers as well.
What is the background of your restaurant’s name?
CW: We wanted people to recognize us as the same company that’s pushed innovation since 1995- White Labs. We also wanted something that they could recognize as a restaurant offering interesting, experimental dishes and new cooking techniques. We chose White Labs Kitchen & Tap to highlight these assets and also showcase our unique side-by-side beer tasting experience.
What ingredient could you not live without?
Skyler Sabin, Chef: Olive oil, it’s in everything that I cook. It’s spicy, peppery and probably my favorite “fat” to use in cooking.
What is your favorite dish on your menu?
SS: The Oxtail Ragu is really hearty and rich, but super simple. I like how using oxtail is something that was considered peasant food in the past, but it’s really wholesome. It’s warm in flavor and texture, but it feels wholesome and tastes really great.
What is your favorite dish from a fellow AIR restaurant’s menu?
SS: The Nordic Deviled Eggs at Vivian. I work nights so I mostly go out for breakfast –this dish is just delicious! It’s stuffed with smoked fish, potato, cornichons and topped with caviar. I LOVE deviled eggs so I think it’s a special take on a classic dish.
Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant?
CW: It’s that collaborative spirit. People want something interesting out here and it’s the perfect town to deliver that and offer something experimental. Asheville is the perfect community to offer innovation in food and beverages and to be supported for doing so.
What is your favorite chef’s tool and why?
SS: Cookbooks!! One of my favorites is A Treasury of Great Recipes. It’s from the ‘60s and was written by the famous actor Vincent Price who went around traveling to hotels and compiling different recipes.