Never Blue’s latest mélange is Sunday brunch plus art classes
For the past decade and a half, Jesse Roque’s Never Blue has been a mainstay of the downtown Hendersonville dining scene. The quirky, eclectic decor has always been a teaser for the even more quirky, eclectic, and globetrotting menu. Her latest venture is an art collective created with her mother, Pam Cosner, combining Roque’s Never Blue Food Truck (parked in Flat Rock) and her love of visual art in all forms.
“We have a beautiful old brick building and behind it we have this beautiful grassy lot that’s perfect for a food truck,” explains Roque, “so we’re going to put our truck here and set up some picnic tables to start serving brunch.” Never Blue will partner with a local Mexican bakery that makes Concha, a breakfast bread meant to dip in coffee.
“It has this crispy, sugary topping, and when it bakes it spreads out and looks like a seashell,” explains Roque. “They’re traditionally either yellow, light brown, or pink, but we want to do some rainbow ones to show our support for the LGBTQ community.”
True to Never Blue’s signature sprawling fusion, “we’ll also be serving an over-the-top breakfast sandwich,” says Roque, comprised of “scratch chorizo, some really nice cheeses, fried eggs, and avocado.” The truck, which she runs with her husband Edson, will also offer Hong Kong-style French Toast — “basically a three-layer brick of white bread, peanut butter, and whatever else you want to put in there … we’re going to do peanut butter and the jellies and jams that we make from scratch.” The triple-decker treat is put in an egg bath, tossed with bread crumbs, and then “the whole thing is deep fried and topped with condensed milk and melted butter.”
Edson and Jesse have always tried to introduce world cuisine into the local lexicon, but doing so for breakfast and brunch is a fresh creative challenge. “There’s a real need for that in town,” she notes.
The award-winning chef is historically fearless about mixing up mediums — one of her ventures was a combination taqueria/tarot/tattoo parlor — so bringing in Cosner to teach art seems like a natural progression.
“My mom’s done all of the art [displayed] in Never Blue for the last 16 years,” reveals Roque. “She does oils, acrylic, pastels, stained glass, fine jewelry … if you can name it, she does it, and she wants to teach some classes.
“I personally want to get out of the restaurant some and explore my creative side a little more. I’ve been felting and wet felting for a number of years, so I’m going to bring those classes here as well. We’ve polled people, and stained-glass [instruction] is something that people really want.”
Eventually, the food truck will include beer and wine — and thus wine-and-painting classes and “stitch and bitch” sewing circles will become other menu options.
“Between the two of us,” Roque says, “we have a pretty broad background.”
Never Blue Food Truck Brunch, 371 West Blue Ridge Road, Flat Rock, Sundays from 11am-3pm, theneverblue.com/food-truck-brunch.