Growing up in Charlotte, NC 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 graduated from the Art Institute of Charlotte in 2005. She was trained by her mentor and renowned instructor, Chef Joseph Bonaparte. While studying at the Art Institute, she also established her own catering company, Eliza’s. During this time, Alyssa cooked for many different types of events including cocktail parties and weddings, which included a kosher menu. After graduation from the Art Institute, Alyssa traveled to Orvieto, Italy and completed a program at Instituto di Arte Culinaria in Basic Italian Cuisine, Pasta and Wine under Chef Lorenzo Polegri.
After returning from Italy and while continuing her catering business, Alyssa began working at The Club at Longview under the direction of Chef Paul Verica. This position directly helped shape Alyssa’s outstanding pastry skills. After 2 years, in the summer of 2007, Alyssa moved on to join the opening team at M5 Modern Mediterranean where she remained for 3 years.
In the Fall 2008, Alyssa joined other culinary professionals in Umbria, Italy for a 3-month internship in the fine art of Italian Cooking. While studying local culture and cuisine, Alyssa worked at Zeppelin Ristorante, an upscale restaurant in Orvieto, Italy. She taught cooking classes, served as a private chef and catered events across the country. Upon her return to the United States, Alyssa rejoined her team at M5.
In 2010, Alyssa was named the Sous Chef and Pastry Chef for Mez Restaurant. Just a year later, Alyssa was offered a position to launch the opening of Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth. Halcyon is a small, locally driven restaurant, providing contrast to the large, upscale restaurants Alyssa had previously been accustomed to, and worked under creative and innovative Executive Chef, Marc Jacksina. Preparing unique, seasonal food is exactly where Alyssa found her niche. Throughout the journey of finding her professional fit, Alyssa was able to truly discover her own style. Making food that was balanced and healthy, along with upscale creative dishes resonated with Alyssa. From this point, Alyssa was determined to not to lose this feeling of making healthy, delicious food for guests who enjoyed what she made!
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. In the Spring 2012, Chef Alyssa also developed a Brunch Menu for Fern.
During her time at Fern, Chef Alyssa loved adding her personality, passion and creative sense into all of her menu items. The colors, textures and flavors had all been developing throughout Chef Alyssa’s training and education. From producing menus, creating relationships with farmers and running her own kitchen, Chef Alyssa grew into her own.
While at Fern, Chef Alyssa was recognized in multiple local, regional, and national magazines; she also appeared on television doing living cooking demonstrations.
Aside from being named one of Charlotte’s Top 5 Chefs by CBS Charlotte, Chef Alyssa had the opportunity to cook with two other Chefs from the Mother Earth Group at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. Currently, Chef Alyssa resides in Charlotte, NC.