Chef Katie Button
Executive Chef, CEO, Katie Button Restaurants
Cúrate and Button & Co. Bagels
Katie Button was born in the South, raised in the North, and educated in Europe. Now, she has returned to her roots as chef and owner of two unique restaurant concepts in Asheville, North Carolina: Cúrate Tapas Bar and La Bodega by Cúrate, as well as national food shipping of Cúrate products and the Cúrate Spanish Wine Club.
Button pursued science degrees at Cornell and earned her master’s in biomedical engineering in Paris, France. She then 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.
After meeting her husband Félix Meana, Button moved to Asheville and created Katie Button Restaurants with Meana and her parents in 2011. Together, they opened Cúrate 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. Recently, in 2019 Cúrate was named as one “40 Most Important Restaurants of the Past 40 Years” by Food & Wine, and one of “Most Important Restaurants of the Decade” by Esquire, along with recognition as one of the “100 Best Wine Restaurants” in the nation by Wine Enthusiast in 2018. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team also opened La Bodega by Cúrate, replacing the well-loved Button & Co. Bagels, and expanding the Cúrate brand.
Katie Button was a semi-finalist 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 in 2018 and 2019. 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. Button is a member of Williams-Sonoma’s 2017 Chefs’ Collective.
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 both restaurants are living wage certified and work with local companies and organizations to recycle, compost, and reduce food waste and environmental impact. Button served as board President during the inaugural year of Chow Chow: An Asheville Culinary Event. She has 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. Currently, Katie Button is a member of the leadership council for the Independent Restaurant Coalition, driving policy designed to save restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Katie 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.