A restaurant can be a place of exploration, a discovery of something different. It can also offer restoration, a feeling of genuine nourishment, and even homecoming – a place of connection within a community. At Gan Shan West, we seek to nourish you, our guests.
We focus on a diverse array of Asian comfort dishes in a relaxed neighborhood environment. From Ramen to Rice Bowls, we invite you to dine in, eat at our outdoor courtyard, or take your food to go.
Our West Asheville restaurant changes seasonally (or sometimes simply inspirationally) while the Gan Shan commitment to a delicious, nourishing, and restorative food experience remains unwavering.
About Our Team
Patrick O'Cain (owner), Jade Pombrio (manager), Ray Hui (chef)
Patrick O'Cain (owner) is the founder of Gan Shan. A native son, he returned to Asheville in 2014 to start construction on Gan Shan Station Charlotte street, which opened in January 2015. After a successful five year run, which included expansion of the concept in 2017 to Gan Shan West, Patrick decided to simplify his life and close Gan Shan Station Charlotte street. Gan Shan lives on in the form of Gan Shan West on Haywood road and Patrick still engages in overall restaurant operations and menu development. In addition to the restaurant, Patrick is a restaurant operations consultant and residential REALTOR with Asheville local firm Beverly-Hanks.
Jade Pombrio (manager) has been working in the hospitality industry for 30 years. Like Ray, she comes from a restaurant family and was instilled with values of hospitality and hard work from an early age. In 2012, she moved to Asheville from California in 2012 to attend the Chestnut school of herbal medicine and fell in love with the natural and social environment in Asheville. Once here, Jade continued her restaurant career at the renowned Curate Tapas Bar before joined the Gan Shan team in late 2014, two weeks before the restaurant's opening. Drawn to Gan Shan because of the focus on serving our community and bold flavors, Jade is the matriarch of the Gan Shan family--universally respected and loved by all. She lives on a small u-pick farm and occasionally provides the restaurant with fruit and flowers. Outside of Gan Shan, she spends her time in the garden playing with her dogs.
Ray Hui (chef) was born and raised in Southwest Florida on the Gulf Coast to Jen and Charlie Hui. He is a first generation Chinese American chef that loves to cook to bring people together. In 2016 he moved to Asheville to find a community that would suit his pursuit for a new career working in higher level kitchens. It was then that he landed in Gan Shan Station as line cook and over the years with the company and the guidance of many exceptional chefs and mentors worked his way to be a sous chef and eventually as chef of Gan Shan West. What drives Ray to cook are his childhood memories and a deep love for cooking. Growing up, Ray's parents were always in the restaurant, working long, hard hours so that he and his brother could have a better life than they had lived in China. Mealtime was precious family time where Ray's father would prepare dishes that he and his mother enjoyed and share these with their two sons. In this way, Ray learned about his family's cultural roots and the ways food shapes and influences our lives.
The Meaning of Gan Shan
Loosely translated, Gan Shan means Sunset Mountain, and it is named in honor of the mountain in North Asheville on which owner Patrick O'Cain was raised
The “a” in both gan and shan are pronounced ah, like ah hah! Gahn Shahn.
Naming the restaurant this way is a nod to the concept of Gan Shan as a whole. Our restaurant serves Asian food, adapted from Asian recipes, and using what we refer to as “the Asian pantry.”
Each of these things is true, but it’s equally true that the food is made by Western hands, interpreted through a Western lens, and with local Appalachian-grown ingredients whenever possible.
We recognize that our own cultural influences undoubtedly “change” the character and flavor of the food, and we like it that way. That’s because making, serving, and enjoying food are about relationships.