above: Kip Lindsey and a student stirring spices into turkey chili by Linda Cluxton
by Frances Figart
It’s not “buddy” but Budy (as in Booty) Finch that is making quite a stir around Flat Rock, NC. It’s made up of husband-and-wife team Amelia and Kip Lindsey, and the name is a combo from both sides of the family.
Amelia’s grandmother Beulah Belle, or Budy, was a farmer, teacher and accomplished cook around Nashville, TN. “I learned how to can, make apple butter in a kettle over a fire and fry a mean chicken at her side,” she says. Kip’s grandparents, Carolyn and Harold Finch, lived in Richmond, VA, and “their style was classic Southern hospitality—quick to offer you a cocktail and a seat,” he says.
Influenced by family traditions of simplicity in cooking and eating, and realizing how much they loved helping people have a great time, the couple decided to start a catering company that would provide delicious food and delightful service to everyone in their community. Their Budy Finch parties—featuring whole animal barbeque, Carolina shrimp boils, oyster roasts and farmers’ market feasts— highlight the wonderful ingredients and traditions of this region.
The Lindseys provide daily lunches for the Mountain Community School and Immaculata Catholic School, both in Hendersonville, as well as offering catering services to western North Carolina and beyond. They also act as chef instructors for the culinary program Connect & Feed The Need at St. Gerard House, a Hendersonville-based non-profit helping those with Autism Spectrum Disorder prepare for, find and retain meaningful employment.
“We believe that people enjoy themselves more when they are comfortable. That is what we learned from our grandparents.”
“This program specifically focuses on the skills needed to work in most organizations that involve food preparation and serving,” says Julia L. Matthews, program coordinator. “We also teach core values—which can be applied while working in a restaurant—that incorporate both social and daily living skills.”
The Lindseys provide the technical cooking component for the teens and young adults, who quite obviously enjoy their company and their teaching methods. “I could not imagine a better group to share our experience with,” says Kip Lindsey. “Every class is a joy; we all learn and grow together.”
The Budy Finch lunchbox program offers affordable, handmade, nutritious food for nonprofits and schools starting at $4 a person. For spring, the Budy Box dinner delivery service includes local, pastured, organic roasted chicken; Irish beef stew with gold potatoes, carrots and parsnips; salmon cakes with lemon-dill cream sauce; and artichoke and wild rice casserole Monday-Friday.
“We believe that people enjoy themselves more when they are comfortable,” says Amelia Lindsey. “Delicious food and passionate service will make people happier than a lot of bells and whistles. That is what we learned from our grandparents.”