Gourmet Napa Style Potato Chips
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Asheville’s The Gourmet Chip Company serves up worldly and decedent homemade potato chips.
Meet Neala Stuery, a pioneer in the food industry with a delicious dream.
Neala always knew she would own a business. Her father, Garry, embedded in her mind early on, that there are two kinds of people in the world, entrepreneurs and everyone else. A person either creates, or is subjected to work under someone that does. Incidentally, Garry was the first person to ever package aloe vera. Spurred by her father’s influence, Neala spent a significant amount of time developing creative business concepts. When the moment of real inspiration struck, she took hold of it and ran.
For fifteen years, Neala and her husband Adam lived in Los Angeles. One day they were out about town and needed a snack. Everywhere she looked, Neala saw the same thing, yogurt bars. Frustrated, and craving something salty, she said to Adam, “Why doesn’t anyone serve something like… homemade potato chips with really great toppings?” Adam assured her that somewhere, someone probably did. Yet the idea stuck with Neala. She couldn’t stop dreaming about the chip shop and had to know, Was there anyone doing it?
As a matter of fact, no. Not in the US, anyway. Neala discovered that a few other countries had fresh chip vendors, but no one was making homemade potato chips the way she had dreamed. After a year of stewing over the idea, Neala developed her business plan and started looking for the perfect place to open her very own homemade potato chip shop.
The Steurys happened to stop in Asheville while traveling to the Blue Ridge Mountains and were taken by the beauty and the quality of people. Asheville’s unique food culture mixed with local flair and tourism, made Neala realize this was the place where her dream could come to fruition.
Selflessly, Adam left his prestigious job in LA, and the Steurys moved to Asheville. After fifteen months of planning and renovating, The Gourmet Chip Company opened its doors, serving homemade potato chips with international appeal.
Although kettle potato chips are their specialty, not all the chips are made from white potatoes. The Gourmet Chip Company also serves several variations using sweet potato, taro, and plantain chips.
Neala spares nothing to offer an unforgettable chip experience. The potatoes and oil used have been carefully selected, and most everything is made from scratch, including the furikake for the Japanese style “Nori” chips.
The chip-making process is an art of slow frying and slow drying, to create the perfect texture. Then each individual chip is given the royal treatment, gently tossed, spritzed and sprinkled with fresh aromatic toppings.
The first time I experienced The Gourmet Chip Company, my heart skipped a beat as I held my paper cone filled with warm salty kettle chips embellished with rosemary, melted goat cheese and white truffle oil. Heaven.
As for a recipe, not everyone is comfortable frying chips at home, so Neala had a fantastic idea for “copy-cat” homemade potato chips, using store bought chips. Of course they won’t be as fabulous as the chips you would have at The Gourmet Chip Company, but they are quite lovely and definitely inspired!
The Napa Chips are a personal favorite, combining honey, Stilton cheese and dried lavender. The sweet floral essence of the honey and lavender against the pungent blue cheese, makes one amazing snack.
Napa Style Homemade Potato Chips
- 9 ounces kettle-style potato chips
- 2 teaspoon ground lavender from dried lavender buds
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese preferably Stilton
- Salt and pepper
- Place the chips in a large microwave-safe bowl and nuke the chips for 30-90 seconds, until warmed through.
- Drizzle the chips with half the honey, and sprinkle with half the lavender and blue cheese.
- Carefully toss and repeat with the rest of the honey, cheese, and lavender.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
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Hi there! This post couldn’t be written much better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I’ll send this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!|
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The recommended duration of these speeches is between 6 and 10 minutes.
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I have always loved toying with the idea of adding toppings to potato chips. I have added freshly sauteed garlic and parsley. I’ve also done some with sauteed jalapenos. I wish I lived closer so that I could try Neala’s place in person. Such an inspiring story.
This looks amazing. I happen to have a jar of Lavender Honey from NapaStyle. I know what I am doing with it. Inspirational.
Neala, You for got to mention your prestigious brother-in-law.
Trust me. They are even better than they look. LOVE the Gourmet Chip Shop. Absolutely a don’t-miss when you’re in town!
What a thoughtful and beau
As I was saying…. (My iPhone decided to send the comment before I was finished)… What a beautifully written write up. Thank you Sommer for telling our story. And thank you to everyone else for lovely responses. Come and say hello if/when you come to Asheville for a visit!
Congrats….chip recipe was awsome. We need you in Texas (-;
:) thx girlie! I’ll head on over! Xo
I’ve had the Napa & they are amazing! & I’m not biassed at all by the fact that I went to high school with Neala! LOVE YOU GIRL! Way to follow your stomach & your heart!
I’ll be in Napa mid-august…I will look for this..My girls will love it
Thanks for the tip!!
okay, this cinches it…must go to Asheville. maybe I can talk my extended family into meeting there for a family reunion!
My kids will thank you for this Sommer :) Lovely clicks.
These look fantastic! So creative dressing up potato chips into a gourmet treat. Will definitely have to check out The Gourmet Chip Company on my next trip to Asheville.
I’m drooling! I love chips. That way of serving them is fabulous.
OMG, i can see an addiction to these delicious potato chips. Who could resist them?
Oh homemade chips are my fav, glad to meet Neala. From your words we can feel her passion, good luck to her!! thanks for the copy cat recipe, love the flavors!
We’re going to spend a week with my in-laws soon and they love potato chips. I can’t wait to make them a special order!! Thanks for sharing such a creative idea!
A great story! And those potato chips sound incredible – with the honey, Stilton cheese and dried lavender – what a terrific flavor combination!
I would do almost anything for a fried potato. I mean, wow, those look so good
Love this story! Inspiring…. Thanks for sharing, Sommer! I make my own crackers and potato chips just because I can add whatever I want to them…and because I can pronounce the ingredients. :))
Those chips look AMAZING.
These look maaahhhvelous. Wonderful flavors.
This is way better than a brick & mortar eatsblishmnet.
Definitely bookmarked. I’m a savory snacker anyway and ALWAYS looking for something tasty. I can’t believe this has Stilton…can’t wait to try it!!! Buzzed :)
Amazing! The combination of honey, Stilton cheese and dried lavender on chips is totally unusual and totally fantastic!
Anyone who dreams up potato chip topping like these is my kind of person. I want to jump on a plane right now and have my own little cone of fresh chips.
yummy to snack on delicious looking potato chips
Sommer those chips look sinfully good! It’s always nice to hear when someone really loves what they’re doing, and its safe to say Neala does!
Wish there was a place like hers in Boston! I understand the call of the salty snack when only sweets are around.
What a great story — and those chips look amazing! Theresa
Great story about following your passions! The chips look amazing and delicious…I will have to stop by when I am in Asheville over the holidays!
I love the concept, and the idea, I found Fresh Chips in Spain, and packaged with gourmet toppings, but to my knowledge the US didn’t have any of those around any more?
Oh man these look amazing. I am kind of scared to try them out. Delicious!
Great story. These chips look amazing. I hope she expands her business to Chicago!
OOOO, I am a big fan of this idea!
Holy stromboli, what an awesome idea. I need to get to Asheville asap! What a cool woman. In the meantime, this recipe will tide me over – and btw, I am NOT afraid of frying. Mmmm, bring it on: )
That looks absolutely amazing! I’ll have to try it! And I love the photo too :)
Wow…this is looking awesome ! Wud try it soon, take care !
Holy moly, those look good. Wish that store was in my town!
I love people like this that come up with a great idea and actually follow through and make their dream into a reality! The chips look fabulous and over the top! I wish here was a shop like this in my town…
I truly would never be able to eat just one of these! Stilton on a salty chip sounds to die for! Sommer, this is wonderful that you share your local businesses and open your heart and arms to charities. You have a beautiful blog offering more than simply fabulous recipes.
Sinful. Gorgeous shots – I will never make these – I do not need anything like this to be addicted to – but the idea is a really fun one!
I am coming to Asheville in a couple of weeks and was wondering what sort of foodie places I would stop. The Gourmet Chip company will now definitely be part of my agenda.
Do you have any other good recommendations?
Sommer, what an interesting article and a great success story! The chips look gorgeous. As I live on the other side of the Atlantic, I’m not going to get to taste them soon but the ‘cheat’ version is an excellent substitute!
These look ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! What a great story! Thanks for sharing.
Potato chips (along with French fries) are my WEAKNESS! This gourmet prep takes chips to a WHOLE different level. I love it!
Wow, what a great story of someone following their dream and making a success of it! That’s pretty amazing that her husband moved cross country to make it happen :) I love your recreation of the napa style chips! It really sounds divine, and I just bought some of my favorite (reduced fat) kettle chips that were on sale. Maybe I’ll have to try to spice them up a bit :) Thanks!
Very interesting post! I love the quote “there are two kinds of people in the world, entrepreneurs and everyone else.” That says so much! This is inspiring.
Fabulous idea, looks down right addictive;-)
Oh my, these look amazing! What a great idea!
What a wonderful place. Next time we come to Asheville we are trying these!
These sound divine! And I love the story behind it!
I have never heard of such! YUM.
Amazing flavors and I love learning about Neala & her fine potato chips!
Oh this looks addictive and so, so delicious!