Asheville’s Corner Kitchen has named Chef David Van Tassel as executive chef beginning in May 2019. Van Tassel replaces former executive chef Josh Chapman who ran the historic, 124 year-old, Green-Certified venue for more than five years.
A graduate of AB-Tech’s Culinary Arts program, Van Tassel is used to leading an energetic and demanding kitchen: Ashevillians will recognize him as the former executive chef of The Junction, where he was known for his culinary creativity and loquacious nature, both qualities he took with him to Chestnut after The Junction abruptly closed in 2017. “Joe Scully was the first person I called when I needed a job.” Since working there, he says that Chestnut’s Chef and Co-owner Scully taught him valuable lessons about staying in a culinary lane and communicating effectively. “I learned how to reframe situations thanks to Joe. I know how to say, ‘Mind if we talk about this’?” According to Van Tassel, opening up dialogue in a kitchen is still new territory for many in the culinary world, but something he believes to be crucial to great food.
Scully endorses Van Tassel’s skills and demeanor. “His experience as executive sous chef at Chestnut will serve him well in his new role at Corner Kitchen. David exemplifies our core values. He is creative, kind, understanding, and accommodating. We are very excited about his evolution.”
The transition to Corner Kitchen will come with its own challenges and opportunities, all of which Van Tassel looks forward to. When asked how he plans to start off his first 100 days at Corner Kitchen’s helm, Van Tassel says he has no intention of fixing a restaurant that isn’t broken. “I want to get my feet wet. Corner Kitchen doesn’t need an overhaul.” Nevertheless, he is enthusiastic about injecting his sense of playfulness and make his kind of “seriously fun” food. Expect to see full-experience meal pairings, seasonal homages, and a chef who enjoys chatting with new and loyal guests.
Chapman is relocating to Charlotte, where he will be stepping into the role of Executive Chef at a new restaurant. “Josh came up through the Corner Kitchen ranks,” Scully says. “From the crazy small kitchen to the ever-rotating menu, Josh was always a good sport. We wish him the best in all he does.”