Growing up in Charlotte, NC Alyssa Wilen (formerly Alyssa Gorelick) has been involved with cooking nearly her entire life. For her, cooking has been a culmination of her love of art and fine food. Alyssa has always had the creative spirit in her – whether it was in dance, art, or theater. In short time, Alyssa found her love and passion for cooking and focused her career path on this model.
Alyssa has made many wonderful stops in her professional journey. A 2005 graduate of the Art Institute of Charlotte, Alyssa started and ran her own catering company while in school. Her professional career has taken her to Italy and several restaurants in Charlotte the range from upscale restaurants, a country club, to small intimate dining.
In 2011, Alyssa was presented with the opportunity to hone her style in a brand new restaurant in Charlotte. Fern, Flavors from the Garden, appointed her the opening Executive Chef and in October 2011, Alyssa officially became “Chef Alyssa.” Working tirelessly for months, Chef Alyssa made countless connections with local farmers to ensure that all of her menu items would be healthy and local. The menu and dessert items, which changed seasonally and daily upon availability, reflected her efforts.
While at Fern, Chef Alyssa was recognized in multiple local, regional, and national magazines, including Food & Wine Magazine. Aside from being named one of Charlotte’s Top 5 Chefs by CBS Charlotte, Chef Alyssa had the opportunity to cook two separate times at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. Most recently, Chef Alyssa appeared on June 24, 2016 on Beat Bobby Flay on The Food Network.
Since starting Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen, Alyssa won the 2014 Iron Fork Competition, named as one of the top 10 chefs in Charlotte to know by The Braiser and listed as one of the top culinary minds in Charlotte by South Park Magazine. In 2015, Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen was named Best Cooking Class by Charlotte Magazine. She can been seen cooking weekly on TV every Saturday morning on NBC Charlotte, WCNC. In 2016, Chef Alyssa launched her product line of condiments: Chef Alyssa’s Spreads.
Alyssa loves adding her personality, passion and creative sense into all of her menu items. She credits Chefs Joseph Bonaparte, Paul Verica, and Lorenzo Polegri. Currently, Chef Alyssa resides in Charlotte, NC and enjoys practicing yoga, exercising, kombucha, and trying new things.