Califonia Bountiful

Dinner is served, and served, and served

Dec. 2011/Jan. 2012 California Bountiful magazine

Chef Ashley Hosmer serves 1,000 meals on any given weekend.

Ashley Hosmer, executive chef of Shadowbrook Restaurant

Ashley Hosmer cannot cook for one. Good thing for Hosmer that her "the more, the merrier" approach fits perfectly with her position at the Shadowbrook Restaurant in Capitola-by-the-Sea. The first female executive chef in the 64-year history of the fine-dining restaurant, Hosmer runs a kitchen that dishes up more than 1,000 meals on any given weekend.

"This past Friday, we did 400 dinners," Hosmer recalled on a recent weekday morning. "On Saturday, we did 600, plus a banquet. On Sunday, we did 350 with a 100-person banquet that was a surprise 60th birthday party. That's a lot of people in one weekend."

A graduate of the California Culinary Academy's Le Cordon Bleu Program in San Francisco at 19, Hosmer—now 26—was promoted from sous chef in mid-2010. One of her first orders of business was to expand upon the restaurant's practice of using as many locally grown products as possible.

"I grew up on the West Coast, which I feel is a culinary mecca on its own," said Hosmer, a native of nearby Santa Cruz. "With the Pajaro Valley, Salinas Valley and San Joaquin Valley all close by, we're surrounded by fresh, delicious products."

On her days off, Hosmer can't help but stay true to her love of entertaining by cooking for family and friends.

"We serve a lot of people here at the Shadowbrook, and the challenge is that we need to have the food that comes off the line for the first guest to be the exact same high quality for the 600th guest," she said. "I can do that, but I can't cook for one—it's just the hardest thing."


Kirsten Fairchilds

Editor's note: Ashley Hosmer became executive chef of Mom's restaurant in Chico ( in early 2013. 

Follow us on: Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest Pinterest