Experience: educational, exciting, joyful
Care: personalized, thoughtful
Integrity: trust, transparency
Sustainable Livelihood: operations, benefits
Vision: Empower employees to build a portal to Spain in our restaurants, in every home, and in each guest’s heart.
Chef Katie Button
CEO, Co-Founder, Katie Button Restaurants
Katie Button was born in the South, raised in the North, and educated in Europe. After returning to Asheville, North Carolina, Katie Button and her family have built a thriving restaurant group with nationally-acclaimed Cúrate Bar de Tapas as the flagship restaurant.
Button pursued science degrees at Cornell, earning a master’s degree in biomedical engineering in Paris, France. She changed course and devoted her pursuits to the culinary field, working for José Andrés at his restaurants in the United States and then for Ferran Adrià at the world-renowned elBulli in Spain. During this time, Button also met her husband Félix Meana.
Button & Meana moved to Asheville and created Katie Button Restaurants with her parents in 2011. Together, they opened Cúrate Bar de Tapas in 2011. The classic Spanish tapas restaurant received instant attention and accolades, from mentions in The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to local awards and press. Katie Button and team went on to open Button & Co. Bagels downtown Asheville in 2018. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Katie Button Restaurants team chose to pivot their business model, expanding the Cúrate brand into the former Button & Co. Bagels space with their newest concept, La Bodega by Cúrate, providing casual lunch, take home paella, curbside pickup and semi-prepared Cúrate favorites, along with a large selection of Spanish specialty food and wine, recently expanded to offer national shipping. The launch of this new offering was closely followed by the creation of the Cúrate Spanish Wine Club – a long-time dream of Katie & Félix. These new offerings allowed for more opportunities to serve the Asheville community and beyond, in a time when the future of restaurants was uncertain.
A four-time James Beard Award nominee, Button was a semifinalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award in 2012 & 2013, a nominee in 2014, semi-finalist for Best Chefs in America in 2015 and a nominee for Best Chef Southeast 2018, 2019 and 2020. Chef Button was one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2015 and hosted an international television series, The Best Chefs in the World. Chef Button is a member of Williams-Sonoma’s 2017 Chefs’ Collective. In 2018, Cúrate was named one of the “40 Most Important Restaurants of the Decade” by Esquire, and recognized as one of the nation’s “100 Best Wine Restaurants” by Wine Enthusiast.
Button remains dedicated to causes beyond solely culinary pursuits. Her dedication to an eco-friendly approach to restaurant ownership was lauded by Grist.org, and the restaurant group is living wage certified. KBR also works with local companies and organizations to recycle, compost, and reduce food waste and environmental impact. Among other charitable events, Button cooked for a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser in Washington, D.C., a Chef Action Network summit in Asheville, and works locally with the Downtown Welcome Table at Haywood Street Congregation, Asheville Strong, UNC-A Leadership, Food Connections, Southside Kitchen and Homeward Bound.
In 2016, Button attended the James Beard Foundation Boot Camp for Policy and Change, an educational program with Chefs Action Network for select chefs from across the country. She is currently serving on the Independent Restaurant Coalition’s leadership team.
Button published her first cookbook in October 2016. The book, Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen, celebrates the broad appeal of Spanish cooking and shows readers how to recreate and adapt classic dishes in the home kitchen using seasonal local ingredients.
Chief Experience Officer, Co-Founder
Félix Meana comes from a small town called Roses on the Costa Brava in Catalunya, Spain. Roses is the location of what was—until it closed in 2011— Ferran Adrià’s world famous restaurant elBulli, where Felix worked as front of the house service manager for five years.
At the age of 19, at an early age he started his career co-owning a bar with his brother, Cesar Meana, called L’Hort D´En Minguets. His desire for adventure and travel took him to a ski resort in the Pyrenees, Pal & Arinsal, in Andorra, where he built his career from bartender to Assistant-Director of Restaurants for the next 8 years. But Félix wanted to learn more about fine dining and excellent service, so he returned to his hometown and elBulli. That experience helped him create opportunities to work at other world-class restaurants such as La Terraza del Casino in Madrid with Chef Paco Roncero, or in Washington, DC with José Andrés and ThinkFoodGroup, where he met and fell in love with Katie Button. With ThinkFoodGroup, Félix aided in the opening and development of new restaurants including The Bazaar by José Andrés in the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, Las Vegas, South Beach, Miami and Puerto Rico as the Director of Service.
Félix and Katie, now married, moved to Asheville to create Cúrate and Cúrate Trips, and most recently, La Bodega by Cúrate and the Cúrate Spanish Wine Club with Katie’s family. Felix’s close relationships with importers and wineries throughout Spain has led Cúrate to receive numerous accolades for it’s wine program, including being named to Wine Enthusiasts list of the Best 100 Wine Restaurants in the nation in 2018..
Elizabeth Liddell Button
Chief Impact Officer, Co-Founder
Liz Button is a passionate advocate for culinary authenticity and sustainability. Nowhere is this more evident than in her role as Chief Impact Officer at Katie Button Restaurants.
Liz’s culinary career began in the fast food industry and quickly moved to the world of catering. For ten years she ran the highly successful New Jersey-based Elizabeth Button Catering before attending the International Culinary Institute (formerly FCI) where she earned degrees in Professional Culinary, Restaurant Management and Wine Spirit Education Trust, graduating with honors. Once again she was honored by the International Culinary Institute, this time in 2014 with the alumni award for “Outstanding Restaurant Management.”
In 2008, Button and her family moved to Asheville, North Carolina, to pursue a long-held dream of restaurant ownership. In 2011, Liz, Katie, Félix and Ted opened Cúrate, a traditional Spanish tapas bar, which was the start to the restaurant group that is now known as Katie Button Restaurants.
As Chief Impact Officer, Liz drives KBR’s benefit offerings and human resources, sustainability efforts, and philanthropic work. Liz also is the board chair of Asheville Independent Restaurants (AIR) and serves on the board.
Chief Financial Officer, Co-Founder
Ted Button brings 25 years of business expertise to the running of Katie Button Restaurants, where he manages all finances and contractual agreements for the restaurant group. His business acumen, honed as the owner of a private aviation firm, has enabled the group to enjoy remarkable growth and expansion during challenging economic times.
Ted is quick to credit other family members with the successes of the restaurants. They will tell you, however, that without Ted’s strong financial skills, Katie Button Restaurants would still be a pipe dream. Today, it is a thriving family business that is adapting to begin new lines of business, and adjust to a changing world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ted’s leadership continues to guide Katie Button Restaurants through these transitions.