Storytelling is an art. Unfortunately, many people self-proclaim themselves as storytellers on many a Linkedin profile, but if you have to tell the world you’re a storyteller…you’re probably not a good one. The best storytellers don’t think you’re interested in their stories; they feel like they’re rambling and are often apologetic. But, who in the world wouldn’t want to listen to a person share their most intimate conversations they had with some of the culinary world’s most respected and illusive icons?
John Ash is a natural storyteller. He opened his restaurant in Sonoma County in 1980 and is allegedly the first restaurant to cook in the California Cuisine manner; seasonal, local, sustainable. I was able to be under his spell at this year’s IFBC conference in Sacramento. And since I have only just met him recently, I can’t say if he’s always been this way or the art had been honed over time. His stories about the time he spent with Julia Child and the stunningly natural beauty MKF Fisher – one of America’s most popular food writers – were enough to bring the wide of eyes of wonderment I feel like I’ve lost over the years for food. Julia Child had already passed by the time I entered the culinary industry professionally, so the next best thing is to stand next to someone who stood next to her.
John kept me engaged the entire time – a much harder thing to do lately – and I really could have listened to John speak for much longer than he did. I hope I’m honored enough to have a chance to be in his presence again. There are not many like John Ash left in the world.