Since we may not have properly introduced him to some of you, here’s a bit more about the guy pulling strings at Corner Kitchen. His time at Corner Kitchen has been a whirlwind of challenges that he has weathered alongside the stellar CK staff.
Mouser, as we call him, was born in Pontiac, Michigan, on April 15, 1981, to a single-parent household with his sister. He was raised by his mother Lori and grandparents Franklin and Barb, who worked in the civil service, medical, and blue-collar sectors of the workforce.
Mouser entered the service industry in 1996 at the age of 15, inspired by his working-class childhood. He’d hired in as a dishwasher at a fast-paced gyro/sandwich shop called “Olgas Kitchen”. There, he developed a strong fascination and curiosity for this new hidden world that was tucked away from the eyes of the average person. To him, it was like a secret society, with its own tools, rules, lingo, and culture. There was something special about this “secret world” and he felt that with hard work, discipline, and determination he could one day become a successful player in the industry.
At the same time, Mouser was quickly developing a passion and talent for music and songwriting. He has since played in and led multiple bands.
In his early 20’s Mouser moved from Michigan to South Florida, where he quickly began cutting his teeth in high-end and fine dining restaurants. He found his way to Asheville in 2008, following one of his former band mates. The charm of this little mountain city struck a chord in him, and he dove headfirst into the budding culinary scene. At that time, Asheville was a far cry from the brewery and restaurant-filled place it is today. Mouser quickly rose through the ranks in Asheville’s restaurants, working in and running a few popular destinations, getting in a considerable amount of experience.
In 2014, Mouser started work with our sister restaurant Chestnut, which is where his path finally crossed ours. Not only did he find a new job, but he says he also found a new family with a core value system that resonated with him. Eventually, Mouser would be promoted to sous chef at Chestnut and it wasn’t long before he was offered an executive sous chef position here at Corner Kitchen.
The day Mouser started was March 16th, 2020. That same day, Corner Kitchen and Chestnut closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and early quarantine measures. The staff shuffled a lot in that time, leaving lots of questions about reopening. In early July of 2020, Mouser became the Chef de Cuisine at Corner Kitchen. The reopening was a successful journey dotted with many challenges that the pandemic placed upon the industry. Every day, Mouser came in with a positive attitude, eager to lead the staff through a smooth shift as often as possible.
He draws his cooking inspiration from many cuisines, namelly American Southern, Italian, French, Mexican, Moorish, Indian, and German.
Mouser believes that Asheville is probably one of the most unique places in the country to be a chef and musician. The diversity of people and the natural bounty of the land and seasons is something that he takes great pride in. He has grown with Asheville’s culinary scene for well over a decade and foresees himself growing and flourishing alongside the city and its food for years to come.