high on the hog:
2 James Beard nominees turn dreams to reality

It would be difficult to find business partners with backgrounds more different than Elliott Moss and Meherwan Irani. Their partnership hinges on the passion that food invokes: the history it recalls, the techniques it uses, the shared experiences it produces. After meeting at a Blind Pig Supper in 2013, their mutual love of food and Asheville inspired them to team up and open Buxton.

Buxton Hall finally opened in August of 2015, with Moss tending the pits, and Irani bringing his experience as a restauranteur to the operation. Together, they're revitalizing Carolina barbecue history, demonstrating that tradition tastes good. 




Growing up in Florence, South Carolina, where mom and pop 'cue joints reigned supreme, Moss gained a deep appreciation of the art of smoke. His roots for southern food and culture run deep as he spent his younger years playing with pigs and chickens on his grandparents' family farm.

He has vivid memories of his grandfather setting up block pits to feed the neighborhood whole hog on special occasions, while helping his grandmother stir kettles of chicken bog and his father saucing barbecued chicken and hogs on the family smoker. It's no wonder this son of the south has vinegar mop running in his veins. 

Moss moved to Asheville in 2007 to help open The Admiral Restaurant, garnering acclaim throughout the South for his creative & eclectic fare. After being nominated for Best Chef Southeast through the James Beard Foundation in 2013, he left to chase his barbecue dreams.





Meherwan Irani

In 2009, Irani quit his day job in sales to open his first restaurant– Chai Pani, an authentic Indian street food joint in downtown Asheville.

Whether it was a midlife crisis or a stroke of genius is debatable. In any case, the self-taught chef is now opening his fifth location. With two James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast under his belt, he's finally confident this might be working out.

His restaurants have been written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Food & Wine, Men's Health, USA Today, and Bon Appetit, among others. Not bad for a former salesman – although his mother who still lives in India is not impressed.

He accredits his business success to the amazing team he works with each day, including his business partner and wife, Molly. 

history of the building

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So much of Buxton Hall Barbecue was inspired by the venue chosen for the job: the old Standard Paper Sales Company building at 32 Banks Ave in the South Slope.

It's an enormous, historic space that once served as a wood-floored roller rink in the 1930s, a boat show room before that, and various auto shops that had witnessed history in the making.

"The building has an iconic look and feel, with amazing history," Irani noted. "It's at once welcoming and grand, faded with time and the texture and patina of almost 80 years worth of history."

Their hope is for Buxton to celebrate the South Slope's history, paying respect to the heritage of the area.