Hot Noods Now: Futo Buta Opens in Downtown Asheville
By: Futo Buta
The third-generation chef learned quite early that there were only two kinds of food – food you can't wait to eat again, and food that is just, well, sustenance.
There is nothing in between.
…and nothing like again.
Dishing up authentic ramen, rowdy rock-n-roll, and special guest appearance by one of the top new breweries in the world, Chef Shortino opens Futo Buta at 121 Biltmore Avenue in Downtown Asheville.
"The first time I visited Asheville I was like this is perfect. This is it. This is Ramen country," said Shortino, nationally-acclaimed chef, restaurateur and freshly fulltime Asheville resident.
Since moving to North Carolina six years ago, the New York native has made it his M.O. to showcase the unique union of Japanese cuisine in the South - starting with his rock n' roll ramen shop, Futo Buta.
The flagship shop opened in Charlotte five years ago - quickly gaining a cult-like following with a congregation in relentless pursuit of their next rock and ramen fix.
For Shortino, the new location brings his menu home, as the inspiration, he said, was built from Asheville beginnings.
His menus since their creation, have featured futo buta, or "fat pig" exclusively from Hickory Nut Gap. His signature clay bowls are handcrafted just up the road in Bakersville by potter William Baker.
But it's not just the food he's "re-introducing"
Joining the ramen shop is the first satellite bar for Resident Culture Brewery – recently named one of the Top 10 New Breweries in the World by ratebeer.com.
"It was just an immense honor for us, not only because we are obsessed with Futo Buta, but because we absolutely love Asheville and we wanted to be able to share with the Asheville market in a way that felt special and right," said Amanda McLamb, Resident Culture co-owner.
The satellite taproom will feature up to 15 taps and is poised to pour the only other pints in the world from this rarely distributed award-winning brewery.
"Our partnership has become this wonderful pairing and culmination of friendship, beer and ramen," McLamb said.
The Futo Buta made-from-scratch menu pays true homage to the cuisine featuring authentic house-made ramen, sushi, and an extensive selection of sakes.
All noodles are made in-house with organic NC Red Winter Wheat Flour. Broths are cooked low and slow for thickness and richness.
To make just 20 gallons of their chicken soup, Shortino uses 475 pounds of whole chickens, slows simmered for two days.
Loud, playful, and ready to eat some hot noods, again.