ASAP likes to share stories of people who help us fulfill our mission, such as Omni Grove Park Inn chef, Philip Bollhoefer. Philip will be cooking at ASAP’s Local Summer Cookout coming up on August 13. Come out and support local food at a lovely brewery on a summer’s evening!
Why did you decide to become a chef?
My family had a very large garden growing up, and I have always been fascinated by food. I started cooking very young with my grandmother and have enjoyed it ever since. I love every aspect of the industry. I love the intensity of kitchens — as a chef you always need to be working on new food and projects to keep yourself relevant in this highly competitive field. I get a great deal of personal satisfaction when guests really enjoy a dish and remember it for years to come. There is a sense of community and comradery in the food and beverage industry that you cannot find anywhere else. I have been so fortunate to see some truly amazing things and meet amazing people in this field and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
What are you up to when not at work?
My wife and I make sure we go on a hike every week — it is nice to be unplugged and in nature. I spend most of my free time working on new culinary projects and cultivating relationships with local farmers, cheese makers, ranchers, and brewers. I really enjoy indulging in the Asheville food and beer scene.
What is your favorite food dish?
It changes almost daily. To make a generalization, I would say my favorite overall food is properly prepared and creative applications of vegetables. Any chef can buy a very high quality meat, fish, or cheese and make it taste good. What gets me excited is when someone takes the time and care to prepare something truly amazing out of ingredients that are considered sides or accompaniments.
Why is local food important to you?
It taste better, there is less of a carbon footprint, and I like to be able to have a relationship with the families and individuals who are producing food for the guests I serve. There is a relationship of trust and honesty that is built when you take the time to get to know where your food comes from. I trust that the products I am getting are safe and the best quality possible and the producer can trust that they will have a steady customer who will buy their products.
What reasons would you share about why folks should attend ASAP’s Local Summer Cookout?
There is going to be great food and amazing beer all from N.C. If you enjoy local food and want to see the movement continue then it is important to support the organizations that support local food.
Why is ASAP important to you?
In my experience, being somewhat new to Asheville, ASAP has been a huge help for me to make connections with local food producers. Local food is a passion of mine, and ASAP has made it possible for me and other chefs to connect with farmers and ranchers in a large scale hassle-free way. I believe ASAP has made it possible for many individuals and families to get into the sustainable food production community.