Brian Bermingham, Head Butcher
My name is Brian Bermingham. I was born in a tiny town in Northern New Jersey to a large Italian American family. Some of my earliest memories are of my late grandmother, Francesca Bermingham, rolling out fresh pasta for holiday dinners. I guess one could say that this is where my culinary journey began.
After several years of working in professional kitchens in Tallahassee FL, I left the heat of the kitchen for the refrigerated cut room of Johnston’s Meat Market in Monticello FL. This is where I got a true experience of nose to tail meat cutting. As a custom exempt processing facility in a town where sustenance farming was the norm, I got to really build relationships with the many families whose meats we processed.
In 2008 I moved to Asheville NC with the intention of being a part of the local meat scene. Ive managed several local meat departments in town and as a result have had the pleasure of getting to know the Agers. I look forward to this next chapter in my craft food journey and hope to share some of what I learned with you.
Nate Sloan, Chef
Nate’s roots as a chef dig back to the childhood spent on his family’s organic farm in Franklin County, Virginia. Here, his upbringing consisted of an education of stewardship and admiration for the land.
Along the way, his culinary journey has worn a path in several esteemed restaurants. Most notably in Boston, where he trained under James Beard Award winning chefs, Frank McClelland and Ken Oringer. Returning to Virginia as Executive Chef at Local Roots Restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia, Nate seized the opportunity to pursue his inspiration in modern cuisine with a concentration in local seasonality. Nate served as Executive Chef as well as Garden Manager (for the restaurant’s urban farm.)
After several fruitful years at Local Roots, Nate shifted his focus to another passion- the field of Chinese Medicine. Serving as Project Manager for the Appalachian Medicinal Herb Growers Consortium fueled his deepening interest in holistic nutrition, and thus brought Nate and his wife Sara, to Asheville as the next stop on their journey.
With the opportunity to work under accomplished local chefs, Joe Scully and Katie Button, Nate quickly joined the rapidly expanding culinary scene within Asheville. Soon after hearing the news of the kitchen-to-be at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, both Nate’s heart and wife pushed him to pursue the prospect that lay ahead. After meeting with the Agers, Nate knew Hickory Nut Gap Farm was where he belonged.
Nathaniel (Nate) is honored to have been named a “Best Chef of America” by the BCA, “Platinum Chef of the Roanoke Valley” for 2012 and 2013 by Roanoker Magazine, as well as leading Local Roots to being titled “Best Locavore Restaurant” for 2011, ‘12, and ’13 (also by the Roanoker Magazine.) Nate’s work with the Appalachian Medicinal Herb Grower’s Consortium was awarded an Agribusiness Grant by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, and he served as an advisor for the LEAP Community Kitchen in Roanoke, Virginia.
Steve Jones, Baker