Eat & Drink

A Chef’s Guide to Charlotte: Jim Noble

Chef Jim Noble of Noble Food and Pursuits dishes on a few of his favorite Charlotte spots

Chef Jim Noble - Photo by Squire Fox Photography

When it comes to dining your way through the Queen City, it’s best to take your cues from a local chef. We caught up with chef Jim Noble to learn where he loves to eat, hang and shop during his time off.

Q: Tell us about yourself. How did you get to where you are today?

A: I am a native of High Point, North Carolina. A trip to Napa, California, in the early 1980s introduced me to the benefits of pairing excellent wines with expertly prepared meals and inspired me to open a restaurant, showcasing my food philosophy. Noble Food and Pursuits includes Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen in Uptown, SouthPark and Winston-Salem, and The King’s Kitchen in Uptown Charlotte. It’s at The King’s Kitchen where my passion for food feeds a higher purpose. Over time, I recognized the relationship of my passions—serving food and serving God—and was led to the ministry of feeding the poor.

Q: How would you describe Charlotte, in 10 words or less?

A: A premier Southern city without headaches from traffic and congestion.

Q: If someone is visiting Charlotte for the first time, what should he or she do and see?

A:If it’s summertime, I’d go to a Charlotte Knights baseball game. I would also suggest they check out some of the museums and go to The Billy Graham Library.

Q: In your opinion, what are some of Charlotte’s best-kept secrets?

A: Johnson & Wales University and Charlotte’s Southern heritage and history. I’ve found that people who come here from somewhere else, once they get here, they don’t want to go back to where they came from. They get used to the Southern lifestyle in the Queen City.

Q: What are some of your must-see attractions in Charlotte that you would recommend to friends and family?

A: Obviously our professional sports teams. Also, the various history tours offered Uptown are pretty cool. Carowinds is pretty good, and there are some cool history sites around town. Our local parks are great, and I really think the Knight’s Stadium (BB&T Ballpark) is one of the best places. We also hear a lot that people suggest The King’s Kitchen as a must-see when they’re in town.

Chef Jim Noble - Photo by Squire Fox Photography

Q: What are your favorite local restaurants to grab a bite to eat?

A: Kindred Restaurant, LittleSpoon, Customshop, Good Food on Montford, Aqua e Vino, and, in the near future, Noble Smoke—an authentic (serious meat) smokehouse.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Charlotte?

A: I think it’s probably the geographical location and proximity to the beach and mountains. Charlotte has everything Atlanta offers but without the headaches. We have a major airport, strong arts and a growing food scene. Charlotte offers a better alternative to Atlanta. Charlotte is not too far from anywhere—Asheville, Greenville, Columbia, Atlanta, Charleston. For me, I can be fly-fishing within an hour.

Q: Where are your favorite places to shop in Charlotte?

A: SouthPark Mall is pretty hard to beat. Jesse Brown’s Outdoors, The Sporting Gent and Orvis. Taylor Richards & Conger is hard to beat for men’s clothing. Blackhawk Hardware and Renfrow Hardware & General Merchandise; places like that are just phenomenal.

Q: What’s your favorite Charlotte memory?

A: My daughter’s graduation from Providence High School, which was held at Bojangles’ Coliseum.