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 make all our desserts in-house, right down to the Ice Creams and Sorbets. Demiglaze of Veal, Chestnut Chips (seasoned with mustard powder, paprika, salt & sugar), hand-cut French Fries, Smoked Salmon, base for our Lobster Bisque (which by the way takes hours), Pickled Green Tomatoes, and so much more. Our food is hand-crafted. We proudly support local food providers.. We buy 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 Bisque, Charcuterie and Petite Filet. 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. Every fourth Tuesday of the month, we close an hour early during lunch and host all staff to 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. Lunch, Brunch Dinner and/or Drinks. Craft Food and Cocktails.
That’s Chestnut in a nutshell.
Meet the Owners
I started working in restaurants in 1977. The first job was as a Host at a very busy Houlihan’s Old Place in Hackensack, New Jersey. In 1987, I entered the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY.
After graduation I was given a fellowship at The Culinary Institute’s Escoffier Room Restaurant. Then I got to be the Executive Sous chef at the prestigious Cherokee Town and Country Club.
In the following years leading up to opening The Corner Kitchen, I held Executive Chef positions at Indigo Coastal Grill, The Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta as well as the United Nations in New York City.
Many of you have heard me talk about Kevin and quite a few of you have met him. Suffice it to say, he is an anchor to me. He is steady, conservative, loving and intelligent. We have worked together the better part of 13 years and I can honestly say I have no regrets.
I spent my college years as a manager in a very busy retail setting. The 15 years before starting The Corner Kitchen (our other restaurant in Biltmore) were spent in corporate operations and management roles. These included working in 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 the customer experience are primary on my list of concerns. I am dedicated to making sure that the total experience in our restaurants is resoundingly positive for not only our guests but for employees and owners as well.
Service to the community is important to Joe and me. When I am not in the restaurant, I work with the boards of Eliada, Asheville Independent Restaurant Association and UNC Asheville Foundation.
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. Without existing photos or written documentation of him before the age of 32, we are left to assume that film school was a success and that the pursuit and preservation of the truth was, and continues to be, first and foremost to him.
Brad’s gravitation towards the hospitality and restaurant industries was somewhat predictable. His mother’s passion for healthcare stems from a desire to care for and accommodate, and his father, who is severely culinarily limited, wanted more for his son than endless meals of Wonder Bread and Velvetta.
His first swim in the food & beverage pool was as a busser/dishwasher at the age of 15, and although he found it hard to believe it could get any more glamorous, Brad dared to dream.
Working in large corporate chains, to small low-country diners, to upscale urban fine dining, to rooftop night spots, he’s got dots all over the map that don’t make much sense from afar, but up close, two truths string it all together: 1) no position in a great establishment is any more important than another, and 2) if you want your guests to have a fabulous time, you better ensure your staff is having a blast, too.
Brad is happy he found a place at the Westmoreland & Scully company as Joe Scully & Kevin Westmoreland are like-minded individuals who have fostered a warm and healthy culture – one that combines everything Brad enjoys about working in restaurants.
When he’s not making the most of his and everyone else’s experience 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.
Executive Pastry Chef
Heather Gressett is the Executive Pastry Chef at both Chestnut and Corner Kitchen. Having made her way to the Blue Ridge Mountains via the West Coast and Chicago (where she earned the nickname “Sugar Chef”), Heather is one of the best kept sweet secrets in the South.
Having her restaurant career begin at the early age of 14, thanks to her adoration of movie character Matilda and a fondness for a hometown restaurant’s magical flan, Heather followed her love of food straight to Santa Barbara City College’s culinary program, where she was chosen to visit Europe as part of her studies. At 21, she moved to Chicago to work with Paul Kahan’s One Off Hospitality Group where she founded the Chicago Bridge Project, which still operates to this day, partnering with area restaurants to use their excess resources to address the needs of the city’s vulnerable populations.
In her role as Executive Pastry Chef for Westmoreland & Scully, Heather brings joy, comfort, whimsy, and a dose of sensibility to the world of sweets. She believes everyone should enjoy dessert at the end of their meal, so she aspires to produce a menu that includes creative, healthy options, in addition to decadent selections.
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