A huge and heartfelt congratulations to our good friend Jason Alley today. Jason took home the Lifetime Achievement Award last night at the 2016 Elby Awards, a celebration of the Richmond dining scene, presented by Richmond Magazine.
Hailing from Appalachia, VA, Jason Alley spent his early years surrounded by the simple lifestyle of Southwest Virginia, enjoying comforting home-cooked southern food and helping out in the family kitchen. Inspired by his surroundings and family meals, cooking quickly turned into a calling for Alley. Alley began his culinary career in the kitchen of Harrisburg Country Club. Later, Alley travelled to work as a sous chef position in Illinois and later in Atlanta at the 1848 House, Blue Ridge Grill, and ENO. The ultimate career move brought Alley to Richmond, where he met his restaurant partner and eventually opened his renowned restaurants Comfort and Pasture, two of the most influential restaurants in Richmond.
Comfort, which ranked as one of Southern Living’s Best Restaurants, is an award-winning restaurant with a refined take on comfort and soul food. Alley’s second restaurant, Pasture, has a southern-modern vibe and uses traditional Virginia ingredients on a menu of artful small plates and refreshing cocktails. Pasture also has a unique focus on local Virginia beers and wines.
Alley is a celebrated chef in Richmond and beyond. He has represented the 2015 Chefs of the James Beard House nationwide tour, National Pork Board, and his restaurants and recipes have been featured in numerous national publications such as Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, New York Times, Eater, Tasting Table, and the Washington Post. Also, Alley has been repeatedly invited as Key Chef for many national festivals including, Nantucket Food & Wine Festival, Aspen Food & Wine Festival, Feast, Charleston Wine & Food Festival, and Terra Vita Festival, and has won Style Weekly’s Best Chef in Richmond four years running. In 2014, Alley represented Virginia in Chefs for Equality in Washington, DC and at the Democratic Gov’s Association Gala with No Kid Hungry in 2015.
We congratulate him on this well-deserved award!