Chef to Watch: Ashley Bare

Puts Fresh and Healthy Twist on American-Chinese Classics

Article by Danielle Lehman

Photography by Alyssa Broadus, Chris Dolt

Ashley Bare may not be a household name yet, but give her a year, and we’re convinced she’ll be a notable force in the Kansas City food scene.

Born and raised in Kansas City, Ashley found her love for cooking at a young age. Blending her dad’s classic American cooking style and her mom’s vegetable-driven Chinese cuisine, Ashley has found a voice of her own, developing modern American-Chinese classics with a fresh and healthy twist.

“Both of my parents are pretty food-centric people, so they definitely instilled in me a passion for eating ‘around the world’ from a very young age. We often ate out at ethnic restaurants; oysters were frequently ordered. I never got kids’ meals. Also, being that my mom is Chinese, unique and traditional Asian foods were mainstays at our house.” 

Although her parents were very education-oriented and wanted Ashley to pursue a “practical” career, she followed her heart and spent time abroad and in New York City, attending the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, and working for Michelin-rated chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten. 

In between her restaurant shifts, she built a career as a successful private chef and instructor, teaching people to cook seasonal, sustainable, and delicious dishes.

“Through travel and living in NYC, I've been exposed to so many different people and cultures—and therefore the associated cuisines. Food is one of the easiest ways to share with one another a history, the present, experience, life, all the things. 

Food is a connector, it brings people together, which is why I find it so special. I really just want to help people come together to create community, preferably around a table with some food.”

Follow Ashley @ashley__bare@ashbarekitchen. Follow Danielle Lehman @openbelly

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