Chef Katie Button and I spoke a few months ago at the FAB Conference in Charleston, but I’ve held onto this interview a bit because only a couple weeks after it, Katie gave birth 5 weeks early to a little boy. Mom, son, and the whole family are doing splendidly, and life is returning to normal for them, which means her husband and business partner Felix is in Spain right now with Curate Trips (check it out, you’re going to want to go), Katie is supervising the final stages of a new restaurant, and Asheville is ramping up for leaf looker season. But Katie likes to live her life with purpose and her drive to excel is strong and shows up in consistently excellent food. She was nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Rising Star Chef of the Year 2012, 2013, 2014, (and twice a semifinalist during those years), Best Chef: Southeast semifinalist in 2015 and nominee in 2018. But she’s also committed to being a responsible business owner. Cúrate and Nightbell are living wage certified and work with local companies and organizations to recycle, compost, and reduce food waste and environmental impact. And she’s working to focus more on her leadership skills, as you’ll hear in this interview. You’ll also hear someone trying to come into the room where we’re interviewing. I locked the door but forgot to put up a sign, so they’re insistent. Ha. Welcome to podcasting on location.