Asheville, North Carolina, chef Ashleigh Shanti was just named is one of the 12 winners appointed nationwide as the Eater Young Guns Class of ’19. Shanti is the chef de cuisine at Appalachian soul food restaurant Benne on Eagle. The menu draws from African American culinary traditions in the Blue Ridge Mountains region. Find plates like oxtail with creamed peas, pork and benne seed biscuits, and akara fritters with piri-piri yogurt.
Here’s what Eater wrote:
Not every path to chefdom is linear. Ashleigh Shanti’s star rose as the culinary assistant for chef Vivian Howard’s PBS show A Chef’s Life, and now she’s working as the chef de cuisine at Benne on Eagle, a new Asheville restaurant from big-deal Southern chef John Fleer. In her role there, Shanti brings her unique perspective to the restaurant’s mission of showcasing the African-American foodways of Appalachia, combining her love of culinary history and storytelling with the relentless forward momentum needed of anyone opening a restaurant.