He may be most widely known for his James Beard-nominated barbecue and fried chicken, but Chef Elliott Moss’ skills extend far beyond the kitchen, and will soon be on prominent display at Harvest Records.
“I’ve always used my hands to create things even though I didn’t go around saying, ‘I’m an artist.’ But I’ve always been a creative type,” says Moss. “When I was a teenager, my dad taught me how to weld, and I’d make sculptures out of his scrap metal.”
Moss started making art in high school before founding a small-batch indie record label in his twenties, designing album covers and posters for hardcore bands. He continued drawing, painting, and working in mixed mediums while achieving notoriety for his work in restaurants. In 2015, he co-founded the South Slope hotspot Buxton Hall Barbecue, gaining national attention; in 2021, he started Buxton Chicken Palace in the S&W Market.
“A lot of years went by without me picking up a paintbrush or really doing anything creative outside of the restaurant world,” he admits. “When I quit drinking three years ago, I was like, what can I do to stay busy? It reminded me that, ‘Oh yeah, [art] is fun.’ Then when I left Buxton, I had almost a year of free time, so I started picking up my art more consistently.”
More recently, Moss has opened two restaurants in West Asheville: Little Louie’s Hoagies & Pierogies and Regina’s Comfort Classes. “One day I’m going to be so tired of cooking, or not physically able to, that I’d like to have some hobbies that keep me happy,” notes Moss.
Moss’ Harvest Records show, The last year or so, will be a mixed bag of photography, paintings (including the watercolor-and-ink on brown paper works shown here), as well as some comic-book-cover one-offs for sale. “I’m also going to paint portraits of owners Matt [Schnable] and Mark [Capon],” he says. “I like that it’s not a big deal — it’s not like a big art gallery opening, it’s just hanging some stuff up in the store.”
The show marks Moss’ first art show in over 20 years.
Opening Friday, Aug. 4, 5-7pm at Harvest Records and running through the end of the month, 415 Haywood Road, harvestrecords.com.