Chef John Ash

Dubbed the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine” he opened acclaimed John Ash & Company in 1980 and it continues today.

He has had a show on KSRO radio (The Good Food Hour) for 34 years. He hosted two shows on the Food Network. John teaches widely to professional and home cooks.

John has written 5 books and is a two-time James Beard Award winner as well as a Julia Child Cookbook of The Year. His latest Cooking Wild was published in 2018. He is working on a new book: Soups: The Original Comfort Food.

He writes regularly for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and occasionally for other culinary publications. John is a passionate supporter of sustainable food practices, having served on the Board of the Chef’s Collaborative as well as Seafood Watch, an initiative of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.


COOKING WILD by Chef John Ash and James O. Fraioli, takes a big view of “eating close to nature,” including recipes and information on foraged and uncultivated foods as well as looking at the progeny of wild foods more conveniently found for sale alongside their conventional cousins. >READ MORE

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SONOMA MAGAZINE: 11 Sonoma Chefs Over 60 You Should Know. By Heather Irwin

JOHN ASH, Age 75, Founder of Wine Country Cuisine and Educator
Though Ash is retired from the daily rigors of his namesake Santa Rosa restaurant, he continues a vigorous schedule of teaching about sustainable fish, cooking for events, writing cookbooks and co-hosting his weekly radio show, “The Good Food Hour.” Constantly in demand thanks to his role as creator and champion of the fresh, local farm-to-table food that we’ve come to expect in these parts, Ash never seems to slow down. His advice? “Eat simple fresh food and take a nap every day.”

“John … My husband, Frank, and I were lucky enough to have you host a cooking lesson and dinner at your home a number of years ago. I’m reaching out in gratitude for how often we utilize the culinary skills we learned that night and thru your books. The first of your books we came into contact with was “From Earth to the Table” and it remains our favorite (and it shows in a broken binding and food stained pages). We fondly say we’re dining with John Ash tonight when the book comes out. Tonight is such a night.  

“We have a couple of friends coming over for dinner and Frank will be making your Grilled Salmon with Black Bean Salsa and chipotle-tangerine vinaigrette. At some point this evening we’ll be enjoying the meal and someone is bound to say “ frank.. this is really good, where did you get the recipe?” That’s when we’ll talk about you. He’ll say that though sometimes a bit time consuming, he has never made anything out of the cookbook that he hasn’t loved and then I’ll agree. We’ll talk about your other books. How One on One is the perfect book for everyone, but particularly a new cook (our daughters relied on it) and your wild cooking book. And then we might talk about the dinner with you.

“So… just want you to know how much we appreciate that you have shared your gifts with us and others. AND… tonight in Duluth, MN there’s a small group of friends spending a quiet evening enjoying conversation and a meal together who will lift their class of wine to you in appreciation.”

– Kathleen Busche from Duluth, Mn

Dear chef and cookbook author John Thomas Ash – every year the #JBFA comes around I want to acknowledge your generosity, kindness and spirit for #localfood because back in 2005 when your book ‘Cooking One on One’ was nominated for a #JBFA award – you’d opted instead to stand in my kitchen and dining room in Vineyard Haven, to speak in front of a bunch of farmers, fishermen, growers, caterers, grocers, writers, clergy and food bankers – asking and challenging us neighbors and community, what does ‘sustainability’ mean to us and moreover, what did we want to DO about it. From that potluck-dinner Slow Food Martha’s Vineyard and Island Grown was born. And just as we were about to sit down to break bread and get down to it, you got a call from your agent, telling you – you had won a James Beard Award. Yet and still, there you stood – steadfast and generous in your beliefs and actions – supporting new friends and a community in food, farming, fishing and cooking. The next day before you traveled back to CA, we went for a breakfast of oysters at Larsen’s Fish Market in Menemsha to raise a shell to it all. There you go John Thomas Ash. You change a course. You believe and you act. You are a gentleman, my hero and a friend. Thank you. In gratitude always xoxoxali Come back!!

– Ali Berlow, May 2016