In college, Ashley Christensen began cooking by throwing dinner parties for her friends and family. She then recognized her passion for cooking and sharing food, which lead her to take her first professional cooking job at the age of 21. After years of working in various top restaurants, she would become a restaurateur in 2007, opening Poole’s Dinner. Four years later, she opened three new restaurants, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck and Fox Liquor. In 2014, Ashley was awarded the James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Southeast.” Then a year later she opened two new ventures, Death & Texas, a restaurant celebrating wood-fire cooking with Southern ingredients and Bridge Club, a private event loft and cooking classroom. Ashley’s work has gained national attention from such publications as Bon Appétit, Gourmet, The New York Times, Southern Living and Garden & Gun. She has appeared on Food Network’s popular series Iron Chef America and MSNBC’s Your Business. She has also completed ICC’s Sous-Vide Intensive program.
Nomination: Outstanding Chef (Poole’s Diner)
For more information on the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists, click here.