William Dissen
Chef/Owner of The Market Place Restaurant
Asheville, North Carolina

Twitter: @chefbillyd
Instagram: chefbillyd

Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, NC-10

Chefs Boot Camp alum, April 2014
Areas of interest: sustainable seafood, school nutrition standards, responsible sourcing, agriculture, food accessibility and affordability, and antibiotic overuse

"Our connection to the land has taught us to learn to use the best of what we have. So we grow gardens and we can and preserve and "put up" vegetables and sauces for the winter. We have learned the forest floor and found a plethora of wild mushrooms, shoots, and greens to nourish us and keep us healthy, we hunt for wild game, and raise livestock. We've learned to use everything, and throw nothing away."

William Dissen focuses on sourcing locally and sustainably in order to best represent his Appalachian surroundings. Employing local products like country ham, rainbow trout, and heirloom vegetables is his most important advocacy work, as it allows him to support producers in his area and share the seasonal fare of his community. He is on the Blue Ribbon Task Force at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and is involved with Common Threads, an organization that teaches cooking and nutrition skills to kids in low-income, urban areas, and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, whose mission is to help farmers thrive and improve the community's access to fresh, local food. William is also the culinary advisor to Rainbow in My Belly, a nutritional-enrichment program serving western North Carolina, and with a local church he hosts a monthly "Welcome Table" to serve hungry, homeless people sit-down meals.

Organization affiliations: Wholesome Wave, Chefs Collaborative, Common Threads, Environmental Defense Fund, Blue Ribbon Task Force at Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, Rainbow in My Tummy, and Growing Minds

Southern Foodways Alliance: An Introduction to Appalachia