Michelle Bailey has been named the Executive Chef for Smoky Park Supper Club, the riverside restaurant made from shipping containers that will open its doors this summer in the River Arts District.
Bailey, 32, was born in Memphis and has been living in Western North Carolina for the past 22 years, where she’s worked in local kitchens since the age of 14. Most recently, Bailey held the position of Executive Chef at the Season’s Restaurant at Highland Lake Inn, where she developed the menus for both the restaurant and banquet operations.
In her new role at Smoky Park Supper Club, which will feature a wood-fired menu, Bailey will work closely with operating partner and local farm-to-table pioneer, Mark Rosenstein, who was the owner of The Marketplace Restaurant, where Bailey was the Executive Chef from 2006 to 2009.
“I am thrilled to be part of the Smoky Park Supper Club team and look forward to working with these creative, hospitality-driven professionals. I am also quite excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with Mark Rosenstein again, both of us ten years older and wiser,” Bailey said.
Bailey was selected as Executive Chef from over 125 applicants, and according to Rosenstein, she is the perfect chef for Smoky Park Supper Club.
“Michelle is well rounded, enthusiastic, and has the right experience. She is a leader and a champion,” he said.
Back when she was working at The Market Place, Bailey was a full time student at AB Tech where she went on to become a three-time American Culinary Federation gold medal winner in the student team competition. Last year, Bailey added more accolades to her plate, as a Semi-Finalist in the Final Fire Competition Dining Series, and as Champion for the WNC Fire on the Rock Competition Dining Series.
“In order to lead a kitchen many talents are required: creativity, excellent people skills, technical precision, and a head for numbers. This is a rare combination. Michelle has all of them, in the proper balance,” commented Rosenstein.
“Two other big pluses—we have collaborated before and we are bringing a woman into our most important leadership position. We had 125 applications for this job and Ms. Bailey stands above them all,” he added.
The menu for Smoky Park Supper Club will be a collaboration by Rosenstein and Bailey, to feature wood-fired foods with an accent on classic American fare and seasonal offerings.
“So many aspects of this project are unique and inspirational, and the wood-fired cooking focus will allow us to showcase new methods of preparation as well as some more antiquated techniques that we can refine,” said Bailey.
The official opening date of Smoky Park Supper Club will be announced soon.
About Smoky Park Supper Club
Smoky Park Supper Club is located at 350 Riverside Drive in Asheville, North Carolina. It is the nation’s biggest shipping container restaurant to date, on close to two acres of land, featuring a wood-fired menu, wrap-around deck, and stunning views of the French Broad River. Visit smokypark.com to learn more.