The cuisine at Cúrate is first and foremost traditional Spanish. From jamón Ibérico to croquetas de pollo to flan with caramel sauce, those who have traveled to Spain will instantly be transported back to one of the lively tapas bars beloved throughout the country, one plate at a time. The home of Cúrate, a building erected in 1927 as the original bus depot, was thoughtfully renovated back to its original gloryby local artisans. In Spanish, Cúrate means 'cure yourself.' Whether guests are looking for a fun-filled evening out with friends or a quick bite before or after one of Asheville's many art or music productions, Cúrate is the place to go to take care of yourself by letting us take care of you.
In 2007, Katie Button, Cornell University graduate with a master's degree from L'Ecole Centrale in Paris, France, was about to start a prestigious PhD program in Neuroscience between the NIH in Bethesda, MD, and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Instead she decided to drop out of the PhD program in pursuit of passion, life, and happiness. Food had always been an important part of her childhood. Her mother, Elizabeth Button, developed and ran her own catering business. So, Katie was well-acquainted with the restaurant industry. In order to support herself and pay the rent on her apartment in Washington DC, she sought out a job at a restaurant called Cafe Atlantico/Minibar in Washington DC one of José Andrés' amazing restaurants. Katie describes it as fate that brought her to the doorstep of a José Andrés restaurant. It was there that she fell in love with restaurants, food, cooking, and Félix Meana, a service manager from elBulli, Ferran Adrià´s famous restaurant in Spain. Félix introduced Katie to Spain, elBulli, and applications for liquid nitrogen outside of the lab.
Katie initially spent 3 months working as the first American server in the history of elBulli. It was there that she made the decision that she really wanted to be on the other side, with her hands in the dishes, creating, so she set out to prove herself. After some time working with Johnny Iuzzini at Jean Georges in New York and then at the Bazaar by José Andrés in Los Angeles, she finally made it. With only a couple of years professional cooking experience, Katie entered a 7 month stage at the best restaurant in the world. That experience changed her life. In January 2010, immediately after finishing her internship at elBulli, she moved to Asheville, North Carolina, to focus all of her attention on opening her own restaurant with Félix, her mother Elizabeth Button, and her father Ted Button. They have since developed the parent company Heirloom Hospitality Group and opened their first restaurant, Cúrate bar de tapas. Katie is currently the Executive Chef/co-owner of this traditional tapas bar that opened March 2011.
Félix Meana is from a small town on the Costa Brava in Catalunya, Spain, called Roses. Which just so happens to be where the restaurant elBulli is located and where Félix worked as a Chef de Rang, front of the house service manager, for five years. Felix attributes the majority of his professional experience to elBulli, however he began his career in the restaurant industry 15 years earlier in this same town as a co-owner of a bar with his brother called L'Hort D´En Minguets. His desire for adventure and travel then led him down another path for 8 years to a ski resort in the Pyrenees, Pal & Arinsal, in Andorra, where he held the position Assistant-Director of Restaurants.
As Félix gathered more and more experience, he decided it was time that he learned about fine dining and service and what better opportunity than to work in the best restaurant in the world which also happens to be in your home town? elBulli was an amazing opportunity that would eventually lead Félix to other great opportunities around the world such as in Madrid at La Terraza del Casino with Chef Paco Roncero, or in Washington DC with José Andrés and ThinkFoodGroup. With ThinkFoodGroup Félix aided in the opening and development of The Bazaar by José Andrés in the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA as the Director of Service. He continues to aid ThinkFoodGroup in their new projects, most recently helping open José's restaurants in Las Vegas at the new Cosmopolitan hotel and The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel in South Beach Miami. Felix moved to Asheville to help develop the concept of Cúrate and is currently the Director of Front of House Operations and co-owner of Heirloom Hospitality Group and the Service and Beverage Director of Cúrate.
Elizabeth Button's career in the food industry started with Godfather's Pizza in Augusta, Georgia, where she began as Assistant Manager and within months worked her way up to District Manager. From there she worked in a small, but very well known, catering business in South Carolina and helped open and manage Cottage Cuisine, a popular lunch restaurant created for the Garden Club in Falls Cottage on the Reedy River in Greenville, SC. When her family moved up north to New Jersey, she created Elizabeth Button Catering which she ran for 10 years, cooking, creating, and organizing parties and weddings for up to 200 guests. When Katie was making the decision to change careers, Elizabeth had the foresight to envision a family restaurant, so she went back to school. She completed the course Opening and Managing a Restaurant at the French Culinary Institute (FCI) and then continued on to receive a Professional Culinary degree and graduated with honors on the same day she completed the Wine Spirit Education Trust degree with honors.
After FCI, Elizabeth went to work at Park Avenue Cafe in New York City to test her skills and went from Garde Manger to Hot Apps in a little over a month. During all of this, she, Katie, and Felix began to solidify the plans for a restaurant and decided upon Asheville, NC, as the location. On June 1, 2009, Elizabeth packed up the apartment in New York and made the move to Asheville. Elizabeth is the Chief Executive Officer of Heirloom Hospitality Group and the General Manager and co-owner of Cúrate.
Ted Button has 25 years of expertise in owning and operating a corporate aviation management business. When Elizabeth, Katie, and Felix decided to open their first restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina, Ted fully supported their efforts. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. Ted retired from aviation and made the decision to sell his business at the very moment that the rest of the team was ready to commit to Cúrate; this bold decision allowed the dream to become a reality. Ted is the Chief Financial Officer of Heirloom Hospitality Group and the Financial Manager and co-owner of Cúrate.