Nathan Allen had an immediate and deep connection with food, the kind of spark that put him on a B-line for culinary school and career. His first stop was the Johnson & Wales campus in Providence, Rhode Island. After graduation, and stocked with skills to burn, Allen jumped at the opportunity to be on the opening team of AOC wine bar under the direction of James Beard Award-winning Chef Suzanne Goin.
Following that formative period, Allen transitioned to the private chef world, working for high-profile clients, traveling he globe, and enriching his culinary experience. The perks of being a private chef were strong, but Allen realized he wanted more immediate contact with—and connection to—the source of his passion. In 2009, he decided that developing relationships with farmers and ranchers was the way to do it.
With a new direction, Allen dived into the world of sustainability, holistic farming, and championing the industry’s hardest working suppliers. By July 2009 Allen and his wife Wendy were ready to take their inspiration to the next step, opening Knife & Fork in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, and helping to advance the low waste, locally sourced, sustainable, and organic movements in great cuisine.