Chef Andrew Long was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. So how did he make his way to the mountains of North Carolina?
He started washing dishes at fifteen years old in Baton Rouge and decided to study hotel/restaurant administration in New Orleans.
He did all the stations and realized when he was working “the front of the house,” that his calling was to be in the kitchen. It was an easy decision to make his vocation as a Chef!
Shortly after having made this big decision, he applied to the best school in the South, and attended Johnson and Wales in Charleston, South Carolina. While in school, he worked for a culinary temp agency. He learned a great deal by rotating restaurants, rotating chefs and even styles of food.
Upon graduating, he was offered a position in Massachusetts, working for a weight loss fitness camp for children and cooking for all 350 of them. . This marked a stepping stone in his life as his plan was to go to Europe, but at this camp he meet Meghan, his future wife. The rest is history, as Europe was forgotten and he began looking for a job in Massachusetts. He started working at a French bistro, called Rouge. Quail, lamb, mussels and other cuisine made at Rouge, opened Chef Andrew Long up to French cuisine from the Basque region.
Andrew worked under the tutelle of William Merelle and worked as a “garde manger.” Chef William saw the potential in Andrew and within a couple of months he was promoted to the sous-chef, where he worked for a year. He married Meghan and soon after, she was pregnant and they decided to move to Texas.
While on the way to Austin, he received a phone call and was offered a job on Daniel Island, South Carolina and decided not to continue on to Texas. Andrew, at twenty five years old, had ambition and decided to aim further and in 2005, he was hired at Storie Street Grill in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. He stayed there for seven years. During his years there he meet Henry and Mary Deschamps and their daughter Danielle, the owners of the Mast Farm Inn.
This was the beginning of a love story between food, farm to table, great service and great people.
Henry and Mary and Chef Andrew became great friends. In 2012, the Mast Farm Inn needed a new chef, and it was evident that they would give the opportunity and the position to Andrew.
Andrew and his wife always loved the Valle Crusis region, outside of Boone, North Carolina. He welcomed the offer to work as the Executive Chef of the Mast Farm Inn.
Andrew is the co-Founder, and the Executive Chef of Over Yonder, where he creates a menu of modern mountain dishes.
His goal at Over Yonder is to use as much local food as possible. When I went to visit, we went in the garden behind the restaurant where I was able to meet his wife Meghan.
They were so excited to show me where they are growing produce that they use in the restaurant and how they plan to expand the growing area.
They proceeded to tell me that they were planting pickles in those fields. It is rare to find a chef that gets so excited about something like pickles! I love it, and so will you when you come to visit.
I followed Chef Andrew to the kitchen and watch him make the “Iron Seared Sliced Hanger Steak.” Chef Andrew Long was meticulous, attentive, and very much in love with the food he prepares!
One of the traits I love about Chef Andrew is the love of local food, wanting to make sure that every customer walking in knows that he goes out of his way to serve high quality, farm to table food. He loves featuring sustainable farmers and producers of the area.
Having dinner that evening at Over Yonder was such a treat. I took the recommendation of the Chef and had the frog legs for appetizers, and the rabbit for my entree.
Those two dishes were a great way to show how you can modernized local mountain food! Read more about my dinner experience at Over Yonder.