Award-winning chef, William Dissen—or as his family calls him, Billy—learned the benefits of sustainability following after his grandparents as a child on their farm in West Virginia. Throughout his journey from a teenaged dishwasher to a StarChef Rising Star award winner, Dissen has kept the lessons he learned way back when, close at hand.
“There was no food waste because you repurposed everything,” he says, reminiscing on the farm he grew up visiting every weekend. “If you’re cutting watermelon you save the rind and make pickles out of it. If you’re cutting corn off of the cob, you save the cob and make a soup out of it.”
Dissen has adopted this mentality for all of his restaurants, stating that it’s not only good for the environment, “but it is good for business too.”
At each of his North Carolina restaurants—Haymaker, Marketplace and his latest Billy D’s Fried Chicken—Dissen uses a network of local farms, artisan producers, and sustainable fishermen to produce fresh and delicious foods for his guests.
Patrons and media alike have taken notice of Chef Dissen’s above and beyond approach, he has twice been named Fortune Magazine’s Green Chef of the Year.
Although Haymaker is an American restaurant, the chef has found additional flavor thanks to his wife and her East Indian heritage.“Salt, pepper, and herbs can be blasé, so adding some heat or spice to a dish adds an extra layer of flavor that you may not get at other restaurants. Being married to my wife Jenny has helped me evolve as a chef and also helped me add that adaptation of flavor in our food.”
Water is just as important to Dissen as his food is, which is why he’s selective about the water he drinks and cooks with at home and at Haymaker. The chef has been drinking Mountain Valley Water for over a decade so it was only natural for him to add it as his water of choice when he began opening restaurants.
“Mountain Valley’s core values are parallel to our own and I know the product is going to taste good and present well at the table time and time again, he says.”
Chef Dissen’s “fresh is best” makes for flavorful food and a phenomenal dining experience. If you’re ever in the Charlotte area, be sure to stop by Haymaker, and tell them Mountain Valley Water sent you!