Chef Jim Noble is a husband, father, chef, restaurateur, minister who is passionate about slow foods, organic and natural foods, local food and wine and is earnestly seeking a pure, natural, artisanal Carolina BBQ gastro-tavern where the honored tradition is king.
“My passion is crafting food that is clean and natural so that the food speaks for itself…what’s in my heart is on your plate.” – Chef Jim Noble
Chef Jim Noble graduated from North Carolina State University’s Furniture Manufacturing and Management program in 1977, where he earned a degree in engineering from the School of Engineering. His father was in the furniture business, a path Noble always expected he would follow. Little did he know that his own path and passions in life would lead him a very different direction. After a short stint in the furniture business, he returned to the college nightclub business where he had been working during his senior year in college.
During a visit to Napa Valley in 1982, Chef Noble solidified his vision for a restaurant whose cuisine was fashioned by the marriage of food and wine, each using and complimenting each other and bringing out the very best in the other. Early the next year, he began work on a restaurant in his hometown of High Point, North Carolina, and in July of 1983 he opened Restaurant J. Basul Noble.
Having no formal culinary training, Noble extensively studied the work of Auguste Escoffier, the first chef to commit the secrets of preparing French cuisine to written form. He also studied the works of Julia Child and enjoyed watching the Great Chefs of France and the Great Chefs of New York on public television.
In the mid to late 1980s, Noble traveled back to Napa Valley and made several appearances as Duckhorn Vineyard’s Guest Chef at the Napa Valley Wine Auction. In addition, he has cooked for vintners such as Spottswoode, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Beringer, Matanzas Creek, Shafer, Stony Hill, Trefethen and Frog’s Leap to name a few, thus furthering his dream to pair great wine with great food.
Today, Chef Noble is known for his “new southern cuisine” which features local and organic produce and proteins whenever possible. He has spent many years farm raising his own organic produce, chickens, rabbit and sheep. His menus bring classic favorites and new, inspired dishes to life with a modern day style that can transport the palate back to some of the South’s most beloved cuisine.
Chef Noble has won broad acclaim and many awards as he has branched out beyond his High Point start to open restaurants in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Noble’s Restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina. Recent awards include the Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts 2006 Distinguished Visiting Chef Award for his outstanding contribution to culinary arts, Wine Enthusiast’s Award of Extension, Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for his extensive wine lists, among many others. Chef Noble also had the distinguished honor of cooking for former President George H. W. Bush.
Most recently, he opened Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen and Rooster’s Wine Bar in Charlotte’s SouthPark neighborhood. This new restaurant concept offers guests his unique perspective of what upscale casual dining should be. Rooster’s expo kitchen is literally located in the middle of the restaurant, visible as you enter through the front door. The interior design of Rooster’s, created by Chef Jim Noble, Holly Carter Antiques & Interior Design and Bill Johnson of The Johnson Studio architectural firm, is done entirely in hand-crafted, rustic and artisan interior surfaces and materials – including iron, wood, stone and leather – that parallel the essence of the artisan wood-fired cuisine. Every element of the restaurant – from the custom furniture and fixtures to the iron wine wall – is sourced from local North Carolina producers and craftsmen. Coming soon are Rooster’s Bakery and Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen in Ballantyne, located just south of Charlotte.
John Martin Taylor, in The New Southern Cook, says, “One of the best chefs in the South is Jim Noble in North Carolina, whose insistence on the finest ingredients in his restaurants may well make him the closest thing we have to an East Coast Alice Waters.” The Charlotte Business Journal says, “There’s little doubt Noble’s vies with few competitors to claim the crown of the best restaurant in Charlotte.” Both Noble’s Restaurant and Rooster’s Wood Fired Kitchen won the best new restaurant when they opened. Noble’s also won an award for best wine list in Charlotte as well as best French selection.
More than 26 years after that first 55-seat restaurant, Chef Jim Noble is still pushing the limits of his vision to be the best. Using wood fired cooking, local farmers and organic ingredients, Noble is setting new standards and continues to develop a style that he calls “New Southern Cuisine” — a southern chef’s interpretation of classic and rustic European cooking.
Chef Jim Noble and his wife, Karen, have three beautiful children, Margaux, Olivia and James III. Jim and Karen are the founders and operators of Restoration Word Ministries, www.healingfaith.org.