Writer John Ash - Biography

November 2011

John Ash is an internationally recognized chef, educator, and author, who is credited as one of the creators of Wine Country Cuisine. After rising in popularity throughout Northern California wine country with his eponymous restaurant, which opened in 1980, Ash first came to national prominence in 1985 when he was selected by Food & Wine magazine as one of America's "hot new chefs." John Ash & Company—a trailblazer among restaurants in Northern California wine country that focus on local, seasonal ingredients used to create dishes that complemented the wines being made in the region—continues to garner praise, even as the region has exploded with wine-savvy farm-to-table dining options.

Working with Fetzer Vineyards as their Culinary Director allowed Ash to further deepen his knowledge of (and passion for) the dynamic between food and wine, earning him utmost authority as food and wine educator. In the decade between 1990 and 2000, Ash worked to de-mystify wine for countless wine professionals and consumers. And in 1999, Ash was named Dean of the Brown-Forman Center for Global Wine Education, overseeing one of the most comprehensive professional educational programs in the wine industry. Among other educational outlets in Ash’s resume are The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone as well as cooking schools around the world, including The Disney Institute, Sur La Table, and cruise lines such as Crystal Cruises. Ash has also acted as consultant to various restaurant and hotel groups in the development of new menus and concepts.

In 2008 Ash was voted “Cooking School Teacher of the Year” by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. His passion for teaching is matched only by his passionate voice on sustainable food issues, serving on the Board of the Chef's Collaborative, a national organization of chef's committed to sustainable and ethical food issues. He also is on the Board of Advisors of Seafood Watch, an educational initiative for sustainable seafood by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

In addition to contributing to several major publications (Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times website) Ash has written three books. The latest cookbook, John Ash Cooking One-on-One: Private Lessons in Simple Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher, was published spring 2004 by Clarkson Potter. It won a 2005 James Beard award. He has authored two other books: the James Beard-nominated From the Earth to the Table: John Ash's Wine Country Cuisine and American Game Cooking. The former was awarded the IACP awards for Best American Cookbook and the Julia Child Cookbook of the Year. Chronicle Books released a completely revised and updated version of From the Earth to the Table in 2007. And as if this isn’t enough, Ash’s fans can tune in every Saturday for The Good Food Hour, a food and wine radio talk show Ash has co-hosted for over two decades on KSRO (1350 AM) in Northern California.