Katie Button
Katie Button

Katie Button

Restaurant: Cúrate (Read a review) Location: Asheville, NC Why She's Amazing: Because she's channeling the skills she gained through her envy-inducing background to make authentic Spanish tapas. background: Internship at El Bulli (/sites/default/files/oses, Spain); Jean-Georges (New York City), The Bazaar by José Andrés (Los Angeles) Quintessential Dish: Fried eggplant with honey and rosemary How She Got into the Food Business: Her mother was the chef-owner of a catering business in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. Alternative Career: Button was about to start a PhD program with the National Institutes of Health before dropping out to pursue a culinary career. On El Bulli: After a stint as a server, Button later returned to do a seven-month internship in the pastry kitchen. "We made something like 50,000 chocolates that season," she says.
Empanadillas Gallegas
Rating: Unrated
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Empanada Gallega is a large savory pie from Galicia, Spain, traditionally stuffed with tuna, hard-boiled eggs, and chopped olives. Chef Katie Button makes small hand-held versions, empanadillas, and mixes the filling with sofrito, an aromatic vegetable base of long-cooked tomatoes, onions, and garlic. She wraps it up in a pastry dough enriched with lard, which she says makes an incredibly flaky crust. Freezing the lard and then grating it allows you to easily incorporate it into the dough without it melting, and results in more flaky, puffy layers of pastry in each bite.
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Arroz con Cosas
Rating: Unrated
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Chef Katie Button's recipe for Arroz con Cosas (which translates to "rice with things") is a great way to use up any extra vegetables you have on hand, whether it's summer squash or turnips, in an easy and flexible, Spanish-style rice dish. She lets the rice be the star of this dish with the socorrat, the prized crispy coating that forms on rice at the bottom of the pan. Button serves the finished dish with a drizzle of homemade allioli that adds garlicky nuances to each bite.
Pescado con Sofrito 
Rating: Unrated
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In this recipe for Pescado con Sofrito, chef Katie Button uses an aromatic, slow-cooked sofrito to add vibrant flavors to an otherwise quick dinner of white wine-poached white fish fillets. Button often makes her sofrito – one of the foundations of Spanish cuisine – in advance, simmering tomatoes, onion, and garlic until they are thick, caramelized, and deeply flavorful. The key to a tasty sofrito is to use ripe tomatoes (any variety will do, making this a great way to use up overripe tomatoes). This recipe makes more sofrito than you need, but you can spoon the extra into an ice cube tray and freeze it until you can use it for another fish dinner, or to season a pot of stew, soup, or beans and rice.
“What I love about galettes is that they’re so user-friendly,” says Chef Katie Button, BNC class of 2015. “No matter how you fold or crimp them, they always look beautiful; in fact the more rustic they look, the prettier they seem to be.” Button’s easy-to-make galette dough bakes into a flaky crust with a crisp bottom thanks to a high initial baking temperature, which is then lowered to finish cooking, allowing the filling get perfectly glossy and jammy. “The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s not too sweet,and proves that thyme and blackberries are truly best friends. The herb brings out a different floral component to the dessert that’s unexpected and delicious.”
A paella pan is the secret to Katie Button’s Smoky Fideuà with Shellfish and Garlic Aioli, but what if you don’t have one? Never fear. This version, adapted for a skillet, delivers all of the smoky flavor and spectacular appearance—with none of the special equipment. Studded with shellfish, the paella-style noodle dish is Button’s preferred meal after a long day in the sun. “I like to eat it with aioli and a crusty baguette while looking out at one of the most beautiful beach coves in the world,” Button says. “It is pure heaven.”
Homemade Garlic Aioli
Rating: Unrated
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We love this aioli spooned over fideuà, but it's also perfect as a replacement for mayonnaise in sandwiches or as a base for a tangy dip.
The award-winning Asheville chef is hopeful that the industry is changing—and that victims continue to come forward. "This type of behavior has been going on far too long," she says
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The most important step of this dramatic squid ink pasta from F&W BNC Katie Button is toasting the noodles. This step gives the pasta a nutty flavor, but also helps it maintain the perfect al dente texture while cooking undisturbed like a paella. Button finishes the dish by serving it with a creamy aioliSlideshow: More Pasta Recipes 
The award-winning Asheville chef is hopeful that the industry is changing—and that victims continue to come forward. "This type of behavior has been going on far too long," she says
The most important step of this dramatic squid ink pasta from F&W BNC Katie Button is toasting the noodles. This step gives the pasta a nutty flavor, but also helps it maintain the perfect al dente texture while cooking undisturbed like a paella. Button finishes the dish by serving it with a creamy aioliSlideshow: More Pasta Recipes