Button to Lead AIR in 2018

One of the largest independent restaurant associations in the country has a new head at the table.

Representing hundreds of chefs, restaurateurs, and personalities, Heirloom Hospitality Group’s Elizabeth Button will take her seat as Chair of the AIR Board of Directors in January 2018.

“My goal is to bring value to AIR membership, offer workshops and tools to educate our members as well as help initiate systems and cost savings for members,” Elizabeth said. “I’d also like to continue to focus on solving problems that restaurants experience.”

Elizabeth started her career in the food industry in Augusta, Georgia. From there she worked in catering businesses in South Carolina. When her family moved north to New Jersey, she created Elizabeth Button Catering, which she ran for 10 years. When her daughter, Katie Button, decided to become a chef, Elizabeth envisioned a family restaurant and went back to school, completing management courses at the International Culinary Institute (formerly FCI) before relocating to Asheville in 2009.

Since opening Cúrate with Katie and son-in-law Felix Meana, and Katie’s father Ted Button, Elizabeth has taken an active role in the Asheville community, both professionally and personally.

She now oversees both Cúrate and Nightbell restaurants as well as the administrative staff in the capacity of Director of Operations, along with Katie Button as Executive Chef, Felix Meana as Director of Development & Restaurant Services and Ted Button as the Finance & Business Development director.

She also spearheaded an effort to bring restaurants to the Downtown Welcome Table at Haywood Street Congregation, and continues to work on the advisory board.

“We would like to congratulate and welcome our new AIR Board of Director Chair Elizabeth Button,” said Jane Anderson, AIR Executive Director. “Elizabeth is a vital member of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association and our entire culinary community. Also, a big thank you to outgoing chair Kevin Westmoreland, of Corner Kitchen and Chestnut, for his tireless work as AIR’s leader for two consecutive years.”

Westmoreland will remain on the Board.

A new year also brings new, and familiar faces, to the entire AIR Board of Directors including Vice Chair Kevin Barnes, of Ultimate Ice Cream, Secretary Patrick O’Cain of Gan Shan Station, Treasurer Kim Murray of Westmoreland & Scully, Kate Bannasch of Copper Crown, Stephanie Brown of the Asheville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Charlie Hodge of Sovereign Remedies, Christine Lane of 828 Family Pizzeria, Bryan McIntosh of The Biltmore Company, Sabrina Rockoff of McGuire Wood & Bissette, Elizabeth Sims, and Kevin Westmoreland of Westmoreland & Scully.

For more information on the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, visit airasheville.org.


The Asheville Independent Restaurant Association is a group of over 120 locally owned, independent restaurants that serve the flourishing food scene of Asheville, NC. As one of the largest organization of independent restaurants in the country, AIR is dedicated to keeping Asheville’s food scene eclectic, authentic and flavorful. This diverse community of restaurants and restaurateurs range from large to small and fine to casual dining, each bringing their own personality and talents to our vibrant mountain city.