Seven restaurants keeping their local communities alive and kicking

19 September 2019
French Broad Chocolates (Asheville, North Carolina, USA)

French Broad Chocolates

  • WHO: Jael & Dan Rattigan, co-creators
  • WHAT: We make awesome chocolate, crafted with love & served with gratitude
  • WHERE: 10 South Pack Square, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

“We are so blessed to be a part of a community as beautiful and engaged as Asheville. The people of our community have come to expect generosity and participation from French Broad Chocolate and we are honoured to play a role as a community leader. In addition to providing in-kind donations for fundraisers and events benefiting our local non-profits, we also raise money for these organizations through our bumper sticker program, and organize volunteer opportunities with our employees and customers. Our annual French Broad River Clean-up ends with a sweet ice cream party as a token of our gratitude to our participants for taking care of our namesake ancient waterway. We also provide meals for five hundred people, alongside many others in our community of local restaurants, as a part of Downtown Welcome Table (DWT), an initiative to serve hot meals to anyone, with dignity and respect. DWT has now created a soup kitchen line, but rather a sit down restaurant environment with restaurant quality food, served by volunteers."


"We have recently opened a new chocolate factory and café in Asheville. The 14,000 square foot space offers a gift shop; chocolate museum; café complete with French Broad's award-winning bonbons, bars, and desserts; tours and education; and, of course, a space for chocolate production.

"That's not all! We have also opened Cookies & Creamery in a revamped former factory space in downtown Asheville. The creamery highlights our beautifully made ice creams, cookies, brownies, and comfort desserts along with the integrity of the ingredients used."

Don't miss Jael's delectable dark chocolate brownie recipe included this week!

To read more about French Broad Chocolates, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.


  • WHO: Mehmet Aksel, founder & Cem Erol, head chef
  • WHAT: Museum restaurant & practice kitchen for students serving eclectic cuisine
  • WHERE: MSA’nın Restoranı, Sakip Sabanci Museum, Emirgan Mahallesi, Sakip Sabanci Caddesi, No 42, 34467 Sariyer, Istanbul, Turkey

“Restaurant staff and students participate in off-campus community projects locally and abroad. During Expo Milan in 2015, MSA worked in the Refettorio Milan Project, which is Chef Massimo Bottura’s global initiative for reducing food waste. The team prepared and served dinner to over one hundred homeless people in the community, using leftover food from the expo pavilions. Bread was the main leftover product used, and the MSA team prepared köfte, a traditional Turkish meatball recipe using this bread, along with a local dessert. The effort was recognized in the project’s book published by Phaidon last year; Bread is Gold.

“Recently, the MSA team catered for more than sixty disabled children at their community housing. We are a strategic partner for the YEDI Conference which is an İstanbul-based, international food conference aimed to bring together chefs, producers, influencers and journalists around powerful discussions on food and beyond. Awareness, thought provocation, inspiration, influence and initiation are YEDİ’s founding elements. Every year at YEDİ MSA and MSA’s Restaurant coordinates and delivers breakfast, lunch and dinner to over three hundred and fifty guests prepared with leftover food and served for free.”

Check out Head Chef Cem Erol's TL&CC Q&A this week!

To read more about MSA, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

MSA (Istanbul, Turkey)MSA (Istanbul, Turkey)


  • WHO: Kim Alter, chef/owner & Ron Boyd, manager/owner
  • WHAT: An intimate tasting menu restaurant in the heart of Hayes Valley
  • WHERE: 330 Gough Street, San Francisco, California, USA

“Our main goal is to grow as a team and a restaurant every day. If we are not then we are failing. So every day I’m looking for a new technique to teach my staff or for a new group to support.

“I couldn't list all of the farmers, butchers, foragers I use, but I consider them all friends and we have strong bond. I learn something new from them every day at the market – whether it is Aommboon teaching me about how her family planted the cherry trees or Joe from Dirty Girl talking about tomatoes, Kenny from 2byC explaining the freezing process and dipping salmon in a candy wax to preserve the flesh. Each person that I have the honour of talking to on a daily basis inspires me to treat the products that they have dedicated their lives to making as perfect as possible, with the same respect and care. I would be lost without these people guiding me."

To read more about Nightbird, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Nightbird (San Francisco, California, USA)Nightbird (San Francisco, California, USA)

Greasy Zoe’s

  • WHO: Zoe Birch, owner/chef
  • WHAT: A tiny handmade restaurant with a DIY ethos
  • WHERE: 3/850 Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, Hurstbridge, Victoria, Australia

“Most of our products at Greasy Zoe’s are sourced from small, local, organic and biodynamic farmers from The Nillumbik and sustainable producers of Victoria. We have a daily changing set menu which utilizes this local produce – taking seasonality and locality to a whole new level and making each person’s experience unique.

“We work with a local group in Hurstbridge that make Boomerang bags. A group of ladies get together every week and sew reusable bags that are then donated to shops in the town and then given out to customers to use and circulate throughout the area to avoid the use of plastic Hurstbridge is one of the first towns in Victoria to go plastic-bag free.

“We support many initiatives with in our community including charity events, not-for profit and schools. We are hoping to become involved with food education classes at one of our local schools. Educating kids early about the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, where our produce comes from and the individual impact we can have on the environment by reducing food waste and choosing ethically-sourced meats.”

To read more about Greasy Zoe’s, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Greasy Zoe's (Hurstbridge, Victoria, Australia)Greasy Zoe's (Hurstbridge, Victoria, Australia)

El Siboney

  • WHO: Julio De la Cruz, owner
  • WHAT: Home-style Cuban cuisine, made from scratch
  • WHERE: 900 Catherine Street, Key West, Monroe, Florida, USA

“El Siboney is owned and operated by the de la Cruz family along with many of the same employees that have helped make it the popular destination that is. We are proud of the recognition that our restaurant has received including Key West's Best Cuban Restaurant every year since 1993. But most of all, we are proud that so many locals and visitors have had a rewarding experience at our restaurant.

“Our off-the-beaten-path location ensures that our customers consist primarily of local residents and customers in-the-know. We are committed to upholding our reputation as a top restaurant in our community for authentic Cuban food, paella, and local seafood.”

To read more about El Siboney, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

El Siboney (Key West, Monroe, Florida, USA)El Siboney (Key West, Monroe, Florida, USA)

Franzina Trattoria

  • WHO: Pietro Franz, chef, & Stefi Taormina, co-owner
  • WHAT: Sicilian trattoria
  • WHERE: 395 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London, UK

“We are firm believers in ‘growing with our neighbours’, so we hire and source as near to the restaurant as we can. By getting to know our local suppliers in Brixton Market we have been able to find great ingredients but when unavoidable, we import produce from Sicily, direct from producers that we have personally met and whose produce we have checked.

“Ever since opening in 2017 we have opened our restaurant and kitchen for monthly pasta-making community events which are attended by young and old, able and disabled from around our neighbourhood. We also hope to bring a tortellini-making project pioneered in Modena, Tortellante to London. This is an educational workshop born to teach disadvantaged children how to make tortellini and tagliatelle and teaches how to deal with disability in a positive way, improving the future of these kids and our own future too.”

To read more about Franzina Trattoria, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Franzina Trattoria (Brixton, London, UK)Franzina Trattoria (Brixton, London, UK)

Foothills Butcher Bar

  • WHO: Casey McKissick, owner
  • WHAT: Restaurant, bar & butcher shop
  • WHERE: 697 Haywood Road, Unit E, Asheville, North Carolina, USA

“We work closely with our community by providing space for fundraisers, benefits and other community events. Foothills also donates to specific community non-profits each year. Our restaurants are welcoming and accessible environments for everyone regardless of race, gender identity, sexual identity, ability or religion. We also practice social responsibility, making sure we source from companies and vendors who are making a positive impact, and we empower women in every position within the organization.

“Our meat is all sourced from local farms and we create all of our deli-meat products in-house in our butcher shop. Produce is sourced from local farms whenever available, and we use local ingredients for the remainder of our menu items.”

Butcher’s Table Dinner Series: "Foothills kicks off their acclaimed Butcher's Table dinner series in October. These intimate dinners celebrate local, pasture-raised, sustainable meats and fresh, seasonal ingredients with a locally-sourced menu changing each week.

"Next month, we’re kicking off the series with guest chef Kyle Lee McKnight. Kyle’s career includes stints in Europe, Charleston, Miami, St. John, and Argentina. He’s cooked with acclaimed New York restaurateur Tom Colicchio, legendary Charleston Chefs Frank Lee and Phil Corr." Learn more and book your table here.

To read more about Foothills Butcher Bar, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Foothills Butcher Bar (Asheville, North Carolina, USA)Foothills Butcher Bar (Asheville, North Carolina, USA)

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