May 25, 8:30am - 10:00am EDT. Hosted at The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design
part of a series on Commitment
About the speaker
Meherwan Irani is the CEO, Co-founder & Executive Chef of the Chai Pani Restaurant Group. He grew up in the mid-western state of Maharashtra in India, and came to the United States at age 20 to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA). He spent the next 10 years in a management career in the San Francisco Bay area working for Lexus and Mercedes Benz. In 2005, he moved with his family to the mountain town of Asheville, NC to start a new career in the real estate development business.
In 2009, in the middle of the Great Recession, Irani quit his day job to open his first restaurant – Chai Pani, a unique Indian street food eatery in downtown Asheville, NC. Whether it was a midlife crisis or a stroke of genius is debatable. In any case, the self-taught chef’s current line-up includes Chai Pani Asheville, Chai Pani Decatur, MG Road, Buxton Hall Barbecue, Spicewalla, and Botiwalla, and the group has announced plans to open dozens more locations.
His restaurants and recipes have been written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Food & Wine, Men’s Health, USA Today, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, Local Palate, and Bon Appétit, among others. Chai Pani has been named as one of the Best Indian Restaurants in America by multiple publications, and his most recent collaboration, Buxton Hall Barbecue, was named by Bon Appetit as one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America.
He’s been nominated 3 times for a James Beard Best Chef South-east award, and has been included in Best Chefs America, and Star Chefs. But his proudest accomplishment is the groundbreaking culture and management style he and his team have developed and are being recognized for. He advises and consults within the restaurant industry and is a frequent speaker on growth, vision, and culture at industry conferences and panels including the Wall Street Journal. He accredits his company’s success to the amazing people he works with each day, especially his business partner and wife, Molly.
As the only dedicated liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina system, UNC Asheville kindles learning by offering students an intellectually rigorous education that builds critical thinking and workforce skills to last a lifetime. Small class size, award-winning faculty and a nationally acclaimed undergraduate research program foster innovation as well as recognition.
Roots + Wings School of Art and Design nurtures and encourages the natural creativity within people of all ages through innovative art and design education, community collaboration, and a focus on both local and global impact.
East Fork Collection is simple and fundamental. Unadorned, the work is distilled to its essential elements: form and function. It is durable and timeless, resistant to fashion and trends. The pots do not designate a specific maker but are stamped, simply, EAST FORK. They are made by all the members of our workshop.
The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design advances the understanding of craft by encouraging and supporting research, critical dialogue, and professional development in the United States.
The Center administers three national award programs: the Craft Research Fund Program for independent and graduate scholars, the Windgate Fellowship Award Program for emerging craft artists graduating from universities, and the Windgate Museum Internship Program for craft-focused curatorial internships within museums. Additionally, the Center convenes national meetings, curates exhibitions, programs lectures and workshops, and sponsors international residencies.
WCQS is pleased to announce expanded service for Western North Carolina with the launch of its all-news sister station, BPR News, beginning March 6. The growth is reflected in a new name, Blue Ridge Public Radio (BPR), which will be home to both stations.
We are storytellers. Adventurers. We are filmmakers who believe in the power of story. We use human connections to engage and inspire in order to create meaningful and impactful films.
Foothills is a meat company specializing in local and pasture-raised meats for retail and wholesale markets. The core of our business is our food-service arm, which consists of Foothills Food Truck, open daily at Hi-Wire Brewing’s Big Top, and our Catering Division, which offers a wide range of menu options for small business meetings to weddings and events of 150 people or more. Foothills also offers custom butchery, fabrication, sausages and primal cuts for wholesale buyers and home-use. Foothills does not currently have a retail store but our products can be had weekly through our CSA Meat Share program.
Chai Pani literally means “tea and water.” It’s slang in India for going out for a cup of tea, a tasty bite, a snack, or “a little something.” In Downtown Asheville (and now in Downtown Decatur) it means innovative, fun, affordable and delicious Indian cuisine. We’d go so far as to say it’s “mindblasting.”
We have a long history of handcrafted quality. We use only the freshest ingredients in our kitchens to bring you the best pizza in the universe.
Counter Culture Coffee is dedicated to finding and bringing to market the most exciting and delicious coffees in the world. We approach our work with a passion for the ideal of coffee perfection, a dedication to real sustainability, and a commitment to cutting-edge education throughout the coffee chain.
Buchi is a community centered, women founded and 15% worker-owned business continuing the ancient folk tradition of brewing kombucha, a living, probiotic rich, all-natural beverage.
Modern apothecary offering organic dried medicinal herbs and essential oils, tinctures, books, local products, herbal medicine making supplies, & more.
BP Solutions Group (formerly known as Biltmore Press) was established in Biltmore Village, Asheville, NC, in 1925 and has served the Western North Carolina and surrounding areas since that time as the region’s highest quality, full-service printer. BP Solutions Group has endeavored to serve its customers with prompt, efficient service and to provide a quality product for over 80 years, establishing customers of long standing that have come to depend on our company to fulfill their printing and marketing needs.
Our highly skilled team of marketing and graphic experts has the experience, vision and insight needed to create, manage and implement your visual communications solution.
We design all of our products together and screen print everything in house. We spent 2015 and 2016 taking our 1987 turquoise renovated short bus to outdoor craft shows and sharing our products with people from all over the globe. In 2017 we opened up a brick and mortar store in a gorgeous old photography studio in downtown Asheville, NC and hired a team! So happy to have moved the screen printing set up out of our kitchens we are now looking forward and we are so excited to expand the company, keep creating and making great quality products that bring smiles to people far and wide…
Addressing the issue of food waste, Raleigh Environmental Award winner CompostNow is pioneering a member-based food scrap collection and composting service currently helping thousands divert food scraps from landfills (230,000 lbs to-date) and support garden partners with nutrient rich soil (created from the food scarps, and) needed to grow fresh, chemical-free food. Cups at Creative Mornings Raleigh are compostable!
Gan Shan Station is inspired by the East Asian cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, China, Japan, Singapore, and more. We strive to use locally sourced ingredients to interpret bold, rich, clean flavors and dishes in an approachable, casual neighborhood setting.
Wanna change the world? Find your passion? Make more money? Or, how about just being happy? In either case the answer is the same - make a commitment. Although it is one of the hardest things for us to do, Meherwan Irani is convinced that commitment is the key to rising above our selves and finding love, passion, success & happiness.