Meet Mountain Valley Culinary Ambassador Chef William Dissen

Weaving local ingredients together with his Southern roots into every dish he creates, Chef William Dissen brings his brand of Natural American Goodness to the table at each of his restaurants across North Carolina. 

About Chef Dissen 

From his upbringing in the hills & mountains of Appalachia, Chef William Dissen always has been in touch with the outdoors & nature. Spending time on his Grandparents’ farm – watching his Grandmother cook bountiful meals straight from the garden to the kitchen table – has been a major influence on his style of cooking, as well as his beliefs in sustainable agriculture, seafood, & local cuisine.   

At his restaurants, The Market Place, in Asheville, NCHaymaker Restaurant in Charlotte, NC – and Billy D’s Fried Chicken at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC – Chef William Dissen works with a network of local farms, artisan producers, & sustainable fishermen to produce flavorful, fresh food for his patrons.   

Honored as a Rising Star Chef by Star Chefs Magazine, Chef Dissen was also named “40 Chefs under 40” for his innovative approach to sustainable cuisine, & was awarded the “Seafood Watch Ambassador” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and again was honored as a member of their elite group of chefs to the Blue Ribbon Task Force for his use of sustainable seafood.  He was also chosen as a “Green Chef of the Year” by Fortune Magazine in 2012 & 2013.  Dissen was selected as a member of the nationally acclaimed James Beard Foundation’s Chef’s Boot Camp in 2013 & 2019 and has hosted and participated in over 14 James Beard Foundation Dinners. 

Dissen is also a member of the U.S. State Department’s American Chefs Corps where he works domestically and abroad to bring culinary diplomacy to the table.  He recently spent time with the United Nations to update their Global Food Policy via the United Nation’s Chef’s Manifesto to help find solutions for global supply chain issues, food waste, and access to food.  William travels globally to address foreign governments and organizations on the importance of a better global food policy for a better world.  

When not behind the stoves in his kitchens, you can find him spending time with his family, enjoying nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and working on food policy issues in his local communities, or on Capitol Hill, helping to make change through food. 

About his restaurants 

The Market Place in Asheville, NC has been a fixture of Asheville dining since 1979. The restaurant specializes in American farm-to-table cuisine, with a menu that is equally healthy, locally sourced, unique, and delicious. Important to the philosophy of the restaurant is not just using ingredients from the surrounding area, but also in contribution to its community. For over 40 years The Market Place has supported the arts, local-needs and education programs.  

Haymaker in Charlotte, NC reinterprets the bounty of the Piedmont area and Appalachia, and explores the foodways, both historic and present across the region. Located in an urban setting on Romare Bearden Park, the kitchen is fueled by a brick hearth, artisanal products, and daily farm fresh deliveries. The offerings follow suit, honoring a heritage and contemporary approach with respect to hard working farmers and haymakers. 

Billy D’s Fried Chicken at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC brings quality, local ingredients to the playful menu of fried chicken favorites to the North Carolina Zoo.  

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