For Chef Ashley Merriman, her culinary career began at the dish pit. Before competing on Top Chef and graduating from ICE’s Culinary Arts program, she worked as a dishwasher after school. One afternoon, the restaurant’s chef was making a batch of tuna salad and asked Ashley to season it with white pepper instead of black. Having never experimented with seasoning before, Ashley really tasted the difference — a brief moment in tasting that had “a big influence on” Ashley. Since that day, her goal was to cook professionally. Today, the co-chef of NYC’s acclaimed restaurant Prune couldn’t imagine her life going any other way.
Watch the video to hear Ashley dish on her unique culinary voice.