Small Bites: James Beard nominated Chef duo brings Southern skill to Table

Table talk: Chef Jacob Sessoms, owner of Table. Photo by Anthony Abraira

On Sunday, Sept. 25, Table's Jacob Sessoms will host Lexington, Ky. chef Jonathan Lundy for a market-inspired dinner. Though both Lundy and Sessoms are James Beard nominees running southeastern restaurants, their styles are somewhat different.

Lundy is a Kentucky native, and the food he serves at Jonathan at Gratz Park (which he opened with his wife in 1998), is unmistakably influenced by his place of birth. Menu items include cola-braised short ribs served with warm sweet potato salad and roasted corn and Berkshire pork “strip steak” with wilted dandelion greens and crispy hominy. Lundy also trained under chef Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans before enrolling in Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island.

Though Sessoms is also a Southerner, his — and co-chef Matt Dawes' — style at Table reflects a sense of place more in the local ingredients that they use than their style — though the restaurant does often feature fried-chicken suppers in addition to the modern-American menu on Sundays.

A recent late-summer menu (offerings change frequently throughout the season) bore such whimsical, all-over-the-map dishes as grilled octopus with green curry and Kermit eggplant; pan-roasted barramundi with summer-bean salad, bacalao and patatas bravas; and curried goat with okra, cilantro-peanut sambal and house-made roti.

The two chefs will combine their forces on the Sept. 25 dinner to present a five-course menu. Courses will include an apple-parsnip soup garnished with crispy pig ear and celery salsa verde and red fish with mashed turnips, oxtail jam and turnip greens. At press time, the menu was not complete. “It’s interesting to plan farmers-market dinners in [two] different cities,” said Sessoms, by way of explanation. 

Cost is $65 per person, not including drinks and gratuity. Table is located at 48 College St. in downtown Asheville. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 254-8980. For more information, visit tableasheville.com.

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