When Joe Scully moved to Asheville in the year 2000, he was happy to be in such a beautiful place. Kevin Westmoreland was born here, and he never took the beauty or uniqueness of his home town for granted.
The two met when both their boys were enrolled in a YMCA organization for little kids and their dads. Both boys, now young men, are named Matthew. Maybe that’s why Kevin and Joe became fast friends. When the building that became Corner Kitchen was offered to Joe, he approached Kevin, “What do you say we do a restaurant together?” Kevin, who had spent 15 years in management for various area companies, was intrigued. However, he approached it in his usual thoughtful way, reading every restaurant management and “So you think it would be fun to own a restaurant” book. Nothing could have prepared him for what was to follow…
By February of 2004, Corner Kitchen was open and running in Historic Biltmore Village. Within two years, the CK (as we call it) was fast becoming an iconic fixture in the burgeoning Asheville restaurant scene. Joe’s handcrafted food and Kevin’s easy and cheerful management style proved a winning combination. It helped that there were great people working for the little company.
Right around the same time the local (and some not so local) realtors started courting Kevin and Joe. “Hey, I have this great space, whaddya say you guys open a restaurant here…” This phenomenon happened around once a month. Joe was always, “Hey, this’ll work!” While Kevin, ran the numbers and thought it through. Needless to say, the guys didn’t open another full-fledged restaurant until 48 Biltmore Ave. came up. Score!
The space was perfect, with storage and space for a commissary kitchen downstairs. Thus, Chestnut was born.
What makes Chestnut special? We are truly handcrafting our food. All the desserts, even the sorbet and ice-cream are made right here. We produce our own Demi-Glace (amazing sauce), we cut our own French Fries, make our own pickled vegetables and do a lot of smoking fish and meats, as well as simple charcuterie. We purchase products from a host of local growers, ranchers, cheese makers and dairies. We don’t make a big deal out of it but it is kind of a big deal!
What makes Chestnut different? Every month we change our dinner menu. Sure, a handful of items stay on such as the Calamari & Kale Salad, Charcuterie and Scratch-Made Lobster Bisque. But the majority rotate off and this keeps us on our toes. It allows Chef to foster a creative kitchen and keeps it exciting for the front of house staff who sell our food to YOU. A couple of days before the end of the month we host all of our staff for a “tasting” of the following month’s menu. It’s awesome!
We are delighted to have you here and hope your experience at Chestnut will be as good as ours has been. Craft Food and Cocktails. That’s Chestnut in a nutshell.
Joe started working in restaurants in 1977, his first job as a host in the busy Houlihan’s Old Place in Hackensack, New Jersey. In 1987, he began study at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
After graduation Joe was given a fellowship at The Culinary Institute’s Escoffier Room Restaurant before becoming the Executive Sous Chef at the prestigious Cherokee Town and Country Club.
In the following years leading up to opening The Corner Kitchen, Joe held Executive Chef positions at Indigo Coastal Grill, The Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta, and the United Nations in New York City.
Joe met Kevin via their sons, both named Matthew, and a crazy idea to start a restaurant was born, and they purchased the former location of Hathaway’s Cafe at the very beginning of Asheville’s culinary renaissance. The rest is history.
Joe describes his partnership with Kevin like this: “Kevin is an anchor to me. He is steady, conservative, loving and intelligent. We have worked together the better part of 19 years and I can honestly say I have no regrets.”
Kevin spent his college years as a manager in a busy retail setting. 15 years before starting The Corner Kitchen, he worked in corporate operations and management roles, including a position for one of the largest for-profit home care agencies in the country and running an internal Information Technology support structure that took calls from all 50 states.
Customer service and guest experiences are primary on his list of concerns. Kevin has always been dedicated to making the total experience in our restaurants resoundingly positive for our guests, employees and owners.
Kevin met Joe via their sons, both named Matthew, through what is now known as the YMCA Adventure Guides program. A crazy idea to start a restaurant was born, and the rest is history. Since then, Corner Kitchen and Chestnut have been intertwined with the lives of both families, giving real weight to the words ‘family business.’
Service to the community is important to both Kevin and co-owner Joe Scully. When he’s not at one of the restaurants helping solve IT issues (some things never change), he works with the boards of Eliada, the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, and the UNC Asheville Foundation.
Vanessa was born and raised on the island of Malta by German and Dutch parents. Malta, like Asheville, has a strong tourism industry, which was Vanessa’s work foundation until college. Upon graduation, Vanessa became a fundraiser and worked in nonprofits for 15 years.
In 2014, Vanessa married into the restaurant business after meeting co-owner Joe Scully, and has since learned all aspects of the business from HR to marketing to accounting, and is recently the acting COO as Joe and Kevin slowly make their way towards retirement.
Vanessa has two grown step-children (from Joe), Matthew and Genevieve. Matthew is a part owner of local pizza joint Del Vecchios, and Genevieve lives in Seattle working as a marketing guru. Joe and Vanessa have a nearly 5 year old who keeps them on their P’s and Q’s! While not at work (but always working!), Vanessa enjoys spending time with Joe and Frankie outside, swimming, or adventuring, and indulging in the amazing selection of food and wine that WNC has to offer.
Recognized as a “culinary game-changer” in Zagat Magazine and as one of the “top 30 chefs under 30” during his time in Colorado, Brian’s career began modestly but has consistently grown alongside his talents.
With a family of seven children, it wasn’t easy for Brian’s mother to feed everyone, but she managed. Her resourcefulness and ingenuity in the kitchen inspired Brian; to this day, he gets nostalgic picking beans, peeling potatoes, and reminiscing about her famous bacon-fried chicken.
While at culinary school, Brian started working at The Corner Kitchen where he developed a greater measure of culinary expression. “It was truly the cornerstone of my career, as it taught me to be a well-rounded cook.” It was there that he had the opportunity to cook for the former President and First Lady of the United States Barack and Michelle Obama. After culinary school, he landed a sous chef position at Asheville’s renowned Grove Park Inn.
In 2011, Brian became the Executive Chef at Devil’s Food Bakery & Cookery in Denver at only 24 years of age. Following his tenure there, he collaborated with the owner, architect, and contractor in a restaurant project called Bacon Social House.
Brian returned to North Carolina to become Chestnut’s Executive Chef in 2017. “Reuniting with a family that I worked with in the past was something I could not pass up,” he said. “I firmly believe in Chestnut’s core values and culture and feel blessed by this amazing opportunity.”
According to his parents, Brad Philpott was born in Maryland and raised in Northern Virginia.
Brad’s gravitation towards restaurant hospitality was driven in part by his mother’s passion for healthcare and a desire to reach beyond his father’s lack of culinary ability. His first taste of the industry was as a 15-year-old busser/dishwasher, and although it seemed life could not become more glamorous, Brad dared to dream.
Between Brad’s jobs with large corporate chains, small lowcountry diners, fine dining joints, or late night spots, two truths string it all together; a great restaurant treats all positions equally from the bottom up, and if you want your guests to have a fabulous time, you better ensure your staff is having a blast, too.
Brad found a welcome place at Westmoreland & Scully, finding Joe and Kevin to be like-minded individuals who have fostered a warm and healthy culture in their restaurants.
When he’s not at Chestnut, Brad enjoys time with his wife Breanne and their golden lab Simon. Yardwork, podcasts, movies from 94’, 97’ and 99’, the works of Matthew Weiner and David Simon, the golden age of streaming television, and somber rock are his other indulgences.
CHEF DE CUISINE
Matthew is a native of Anniston, Alabama. A great influence early on was cooking with his mother and learning the family recipes. He comes from a big Cajun family, so there were many trips to Louisiana as a kid, getting steeped in the flavors and everything Louisiana.
As a youngster, Chef Dorough spent most of his time outdoors. Growing up partly on his dad’s sheep farm, Matt was able to experience the ins and outs of farm life. This fostered an appreciation for sustainable and local agriculture.
At Auburn University he met his wife Jamie, who convinced him to switch paths and take those natural cooking skills to the next level. He moved with her to Asheville, attending AB Tech’s Culinary Arts Program and an internship with us at Chestnut. After graduation he and Jamie left the country on a 3-month backpacking trip through Western Europe. This was a very important time to experience so much Old World culture and the culinary background that went with it.
In 2022, Matthew Dorough became Chef de Cuisine at Chestnut.
Ashley found her first real passion in life cooking with her dad, using ingredients gathered from the family garden. With both parents working to make ends meet, she took over family meal planning and discovered a knack for cooking. Dinner time was an experience that brought them together at the table each night to share laughs & good food, so she aims to recreate that same experience in the dishes she makes for restaurant guests.
She has always felt a strong affinity for the beautiful mountain skyline & outdoors. While in Boone, NC, she learned the culture and skills required in a commercial kitchen by working her way up in local restaurants. After graduating from App State with a bachelor’s degree, she migrated to Asheville, NC, to remain close to the mountains. Five years ago, while looking for a welcoming but challenging place to work, Chestnut was the clear winner, embodying the things that drive her as a chef: a seasonal focus, local produce, and a constantly evolving menu.
When Ashley’s not working away in the kitchen, you can find her on a kayak adventure, in the garden, or nestled away in a craft room somewhere.
Mallory is a chef with a comprehensive background in the food industry and a passion for equity and environmentalism. She got her start in the restaurant scene of Burlington, VT, while attending the University of Vermont and working to give hot meals to those in need with the Chittenden County Food Shelf. Since earning her degree in Zoology and Wildlife Biology (subsequently fueled by a passion for improving quality of life for humans and animals), she’s worked in kitchens at Duino Duende, Honey Road, and Juniper, before moving to Asheville.
She has also had the pleasure of working in some of the best restaurants in Asheville, including Posana, Bargello, and the Funkatorium. Mallory is currently the pastry chef and head of our pastry program at Chestnut and Corner Kitchen, using her eclectic food background and passion for local products to develop menus that highlight local farms and vendors. She’s shown that desserts can be a balance between sweet and savory, and takes a serious interest in philanthropy and volunteerism.
COMMISSARY SOUS CHEF
Noah has lived in Asheville for 20 years, cooking professionally for 14 of those years and growing alongside the food scene. As a child, he spent his summers in Oregon where there was always fresh shellfish. Raised in Atlanta with his dad and grandmother, he learned how to cook mostly Southern and soul food and realized that his passion was cooking for others.
Before coming to work for Westmoreland and Scully, he had ten years of restaurant work behind him, graduating from the culinary program at AB Tech and ranking 2nd in the state with the Hot Food team there. Through all of this he has remained true to what his grandmother taught: make one thing delicious, then you can build from there. He prides himself in taking one ingredient and transforming it into a fully-formed dish. Noah is always creating different types of pickles, rolled and filled pasta, and his favorite kitchen skill: making forcemeat, a classic technique he wants to keep alive. He believes that you can never stop learning, teaching, and expanding your skillset.
Noah is the Commissary Sous Chef and head of the charcuterie program for Westmoreland & Scully restaurants.
ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER
Born in Atlanta, GA, Phil was raised on a diet of southern hospitality in Tallahassee, FL. Starting in hotels at the age of 15, he found joy in the hospitality industry. Like others in the culinary world, he’s here because he’s an inherent people pleaser.
Phil was working towards his Economics degree at the University of Florida when he decided to try out restaurant life. This led him to management positions in Memphis, Tallahassee, then finally Asheville, NC, in 2013. He found his home at Chestnut in early 2017, elated to be a part of such a wonderful work-family. He loves the culture, the values, the environment, the food, but most of all the wonderful staff and co-workers on the Westmoreland & Scully team.
When he is not running around Chestnut, you can find Phil either on a golf course, a mountainside trail, or toeing the line in front of a dart board…if he’s not seeing some of the amazing live music that this neck of the woods has to offer.
We proudly feature locally-sourced ingredients from:
- Twin Leaf
- Sierra Nevada
- Ginger’s Revenge
- Oscar Blues
- Lazy Hiker
- New Belgium
- Asheville Brewing
- Green Man
- Wicked Weed
- One World
Farmers, Cheesmakers, etc.
- Mills River Creamery
- Greenshine Farms
- Three Graces Dairy
- Blue Ridge Creamery
- Looking Glass Creamery
- Round Mountain Creamery
- KC Gardens
- Verlasso Salmon
- Dry Ridge Farms
- American Pig
- Gypsy Queen
- Far Side Farms
- Psycho Chicken Eco Farms
- Benton’s Bacon
- Muddy Pond Sorghum
- Clem’s Organic Gardens
- No Evil Foods
- Imladris Farms (jams)
- Smoking J’s Fiery (hot sauce, bbq)
- Hickory Nut Gap Farms
- Selina Naturally
- Sunburst Trout Farms
- Haw Creek Honey
- Eat More Bakery
- Mountain Foods
- Blue Ridge Bio Fuels
- Brasstown Beef