About Carter James

Carter has consistently had a creative side as he grew up, whether sketching, painting or writing short stories. Four years into his time at Appalachian State University and three changes in academic major, the only consistent thing was his time working in Boone area restaurants after classes and on weekends. This is where he felt he could tap into his creativity and imagine, design, build new flavor combinations and dishes. And he found he’d rather spend his time learning about food and cooking. “Interestingly, I found my true passion at App State – as my parents always encouraged me to do when I left for college – but App didn’t offer a culinary degree,” Carter said. So, similar to Shorty’s journey, Carter left school to devote his energy to cooking full time in kitchens at the Green Park Inn and Storie Street Grille in Blowing Rock, as well as the popular restaurant Proper in Boone. Working his way up from prep and grill, to ordering and working with local farmers on selecting produce and proteins, Carter quickly moved up in responsibility but his passion has always been in creating. “I love the process of creating a meal or special from scratch, from starting with seasonally available ingredients and thinking through the whole prep process and then plating everything in a beautiful way really gets me going. Many people in the food industry despise this strenuous process but I saw a certain elegance to it that drew my attention. I was surrounded by people who saw food differently and appreciated the art of cooking and being able to create a simple art piece each day that you get to eat is pretty neat to me.”