Cayte is yet another example of just how many witty, capable women are in this industry, and have been for some time. She’s seen a lot in her years of restaurant experience, so we asked her a few questions.
How long have you worked for Chestnut, and what’s your current position?
I cook on the line at Chestnut and it’ll be one year as of May 13th.
Are you an Asheville local, or alternatively what brought you here?
I was not born here in Asheville, however I was born in NC. I lived here for two years when I was much younger, and in the fall of 2015 I opted to move back to Asheville because of the food scene.
What is your favorite thing you’ve eaten at the restaurant?
Definitely a fall menu item: the Duck Confit Cassoulet. I ate that 5 days a week for the entirety of its time on that seasonal menu rotation.
What lessons have you learned working in the service industry?
Honestly? I have learned so much in my ten years in the industry, both front and back of house. The ability to alter your path on the fly is of the utmost importance. That could be running out of an item and needing to provide something equally delicious in its place, or being able to stop what I am doing during a busy shift to cater to and safely serve a guest with a severe allergy.
If you could only pick two or three places for foodies to try in Asheville, what would you suggest?
That’s an unfair question! I have so many answers, but honestly it depends on what kind of cuisine you’re after, and aside from us of course.
Little Bee Thai for sure. Jargon, a close second. The Chocolate Fetish is my favorite chocolatier in town, hands-down.
What is your biggest passion(s) outside the restaurant?
Besides experimenting with different ingredients and cooking? Well, I’m an avid collector of house plants. I also love working with animals, I keep an assortment of pets and go foraging for wild ingredients in my spare time among many other hobbies.
Anything else you want to add?
I believe it’s important to pursue your dreams despite many barriers. I was diagnosed with Celiac’s when I was three years old. But I still cook, and am incredibly passionate about creating new flavors and new experiences for the guests I serve.