With four restaurants, Chef Jim Noble stays busy providing fresh and locally grown ingredients to the people of Charlotte. His latest venture, The King's Kitchen – a nonprofit restaurant open to the public – incorporates ministry, leadership training, food, jobs and community involvement.
Creative Loafing: Where does your passion and inspiration for feeding others stem from?
Jim Noble: My passion is to take care of others through the food and through my ministry [Restoration Word Ministries]. With a Christian faith-based perspective, I am able to use my restaurants and ministry to work hand in hand for the better of others.
How has the community supported your ministry and efforts to make a difference?
The community response has been phenomenal. During Katrina, we set up the King's Table to feed refugees in need. When the community heard what we were doing, there were almost more volunteers than people being fed. By telling others, it inspires others to get involved. If we come together as one community, everyone's needs can be met.
What efforts do you make in your restaurants to be "green" and support local farmers?
Our chefs go to the farmers market often, and we also buy direct from local farmers. We are still looking for more farmers, but the farmers need more support of the restaurants to expand. With gas prices high, shipping is more expensive. With local purchasing increasing, regional cuisine will become more prevalent in the future. The customers and suppliers are also more educated about the products being served and consumed.
For more on Chef Jim Noble, visit www.chefjimnoble.com.