Building community and achieving sustainability are fundamental to HHG’s business philosophy. We do this by bringing new life to historic structures and by recycling everything from plastic and batteries to iron. We find it in our relationships with local farmers who provide the fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and cheese we serve our guests. We practice it in our compensation philosophy which is built on the belief that all who work at HHG should earn a living wage.
Living Wage Employer – If you work for HHG, you earn a living wage. It’s as simple as that. But we also want to our staff to grow and advance, whether they work in the kitchen, front-of-house, or behind the bar. This is why you’ll find HHG providing and promoting professional development opportunities.
Green Restaurant Certification – What does it mean to be green certified? It means that HHG meets rigorous standards regarding water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, that we use sustainable furnishings and building materials and buy from local sources; that we conserve energy and reduce the chemicals and pollutants we put into the atmosphere.
Buy Local – We work closely with area farmers and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). As a result, you’ll find our regular and special menus packed with creations that make the most of the abundant meats, fish, vegetables, fruits and cheeses available locally.
Chefs at Downtown Welcome Table
HHG’s owners and staff are enthusiastic participants in an innovative community program called Chefs at Welcome Table. The program, which is based at Haywood Street Downtown Congregation, brings restaurant-quality food to families and individuals in need.
Welcome Table’s guests sit down to tables set with cloth linens and flowers, china and flatware. The meals are substantial, nutritious, delicious and beautiful. These are meals that bring together disparate people to break bread and come to know each other.
In addition to providing food for Welcome Table at Haywood Street Downtown Congregation, HHG CEO Liz Button is a member of the advocacy board with several Asheville restaurant owners, helping share the story to other restaurants in the community.
"Chefs at Welcome Table is a way for Asheville’s restaurant community to dispel the frequently-held notion that those living on the street only deserve handouts and hand-me-downs. By our actions and our food, we’re delivering a clear message. Regardless of who you are or the circumstances you find yourself in, you deserve the very best.”
PURVEYORS & FARMERS
When HHG leadership and staff go on a field trip, it is just that – a trip to the fields of area farms that provide produce to HHG. From these farmers they learn about the crops being grown (as well as the challenges growing them), and if the time is right, they help bring in the harvest.
No trip to the farm would be complete without a foraging adventure. In Western North Carolina, home to one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, edible plants abound. From greens like dandelion and wood nettle to delicate fiddleheads and wild mushrooms, there is plenty to find.
Nightbell guests can learn about foraging firsthand through a tour with No Taste Like Home. Via their “Forage to Table” program, guests bring in wild edibles and our chefs and mixologists create a unique dish or cocktail to complement the meal.
Aside from the glorious Spanish food at Cúrate, there’s one other thing that stands out. The art. You can’t miss the three-legged pigs crafted by local artist Lori Theriault of Crazy Green Studios. Among Cúrate guests, these whimsical porkers are a favorite souvenir of a night well-savored. A long multimedia tryptich by Gabriel Shaffer enlivens the space, and Shaffer’s Spanish scenes decorate the menu. Several tapas are served in locally-made ceramics from East Fork Pottery. Other Cúrate artists include: Living Roofs, plant wall designers, Mountain Marble’s custom bar top, Bob Bridgham, whose tile work can be seen at the front of the bar, and Peter Parpan, who created the wood check presenters.
Local art and craftsmanship is evident at Nightbell from the moment a guest enters. David Krafcik of Visual Dialogue created the etched glass art in the host stand to welcome guests. Near the bar, guests gather around the long communal table created by metal artist David Earl Tomlinson for food and fellowship. Tomlinson also created the outdoor sign that welcomes guests to Nightbell and the staircase banister. Hayden Wilson crafted a custom glass art piece on the staircase. Paintings by Mark Bettis grace the walls. Many dishes are plated on custom wood platters by Avox Woodworking. At the end of a great meal, guests receive checks on metal check presenters by Chukk Bruursema.
The look and feel of HHG’s marketing, from the brand design of both restaurants to the company’s dynamic website, are the work of 11Eleven Creative. The design firm, which specializes in designing brands, graphics and websites for culinary clients, is also part of the HHG family. Advantage Printing takes care of our printing needs. HHG has worked with architect Diana Bellgowan to create their restaurants, as well as Trey Greer and Elm Construction and Beverly-Grant contractors. The restaurants are housed in historic buildings, and the Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County has honored HHG with Griffin Awards for Adaptive Re-use. Chef Katie Button wears the high-quality chef jacket from Crooked Brook.