Rising Star Chef William Dissen of The Market Place - Biography

Asheville, NC

November 2013

In a family wrought attorneys and politicians, William Dissen followed a different route: the (sustainable) culinary arts. Dissen grew up foraging in the mountains of Charleston, West Virginia, his earliest kitchen memories shaped by his grandmother’s farm-to-table cooking. But at age15, he began work in a professional kitchen, first as a dishwasher and later as a prep cook at a local Charleston country club.

Graduating from West Virginia University with degrees in English and French language and culture, Dissen followed budding culinary passions, enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America, where he sharpened his cookery skills and graduated with honors. His education didn’t stop there. After attending the C.I.A., Dissen spent time in the kitchen of Certified Master Chefs Peter Timmins and Richard Rosendale at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. In 2005, the already career-driven chef attained a Master’s Degree of Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism Management at the University of South Carolina.

From there, he pushed forward with hands-on learning. In Montecito, California, he worked under Chef Jamie West, who cultivated Dissen’s passion for garden-fresh ingredients. After moving to Charleston, South Carolina, Dissen advanced his career under the mentorship of Chef Donald Barickman, the former executive chef and owner of Magnolia, Blossom, and Cypress, work for Chef Craig Deihl at the latter. In 2009, deeply versed in culinary arts and restaurant management, Dissen achieved his long-time dream of opening his own restaurant—The Market Place in Asheville, North Carolina, where he’s been twice named Fortune Magazine’s Green Chef of the Year, working every day with farm-fresh, local ingredients.