Ashley is a North Carolina native. She has traveled to work, eat, and cook from age seventeen and will continue this journey until she is very old. Ashley has planted roots in the mountains of Asheville, connecting to the community in this region since 2002. Places that shifted her perspective and laid the path that she walks today have been: Restaurant Five & Ten, Farm and Sparrow, Eleven Madison Park, MG Road Bar and Lounge, Rhubarb, Buxton Hall Barbecue, cooking at the Appalachian Food Summit, and teaching at Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College. Her dedication to pastry work is serious and uncompromising, blended with a humble disposition.
Ashley always gives credit to the people she works alongside. She has been apart of teams that received national acclaim including Bon Appetit’s Top 50 Best New Restaurants, Southern Living’s 100 Best New Restaurants Southeast, Bon Appetit’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants 2016, Southern Living’s Best Restaurants 2016. In February 2019, Ashley was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a semifinalist for the Outstanding Pastry Chef category. Ashley is on the board of the Appalachian Food Summit. She is proud, but shy about her accomplishments.
Ashley’s values are woven into her work. Supporting small farms, connecting to producers, and using seasonal ingredients are important to her. She finds fulfillment in teaching and creative collaboration. Tending to her chickens, garden, teaching classes and escaping into a bath fill up her non-kitchen time. Everyday is busy and full, and its not considered ‘hard’ work when you love the work.
Over 20 immersive signature events are featured throughout the weekend! Tours, dinners, parties, foraging and more await.
This inspired, friendly and free-spirited food scene tucked in the mountains of Appalachia has been called “Foodtopia,” but the locals just call it home. Plan your trip now.
Access to affordable and healthy food and reducing food waste are important initiatives of the signature event’s charitable giving goals.