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Jon Ashton  

Chef Jon Ashton began his story in the cold, gray port city of Liverpool, which earned its spot on the world map thanks to the Beatles.

As a young lad, he learned about the joy of cooking through his grandmother’s warm, cottage kitchen. Granny Ashton taught him one of the most important lessons … to share what one has with others. Through cooking for those she loved, she affectionately enriched the lives of those around her, despite not having the pennies to spare. Many fond childhood memories were formed not only from the tasty meals, but from the emotions surrounding those meals. Emotions such as love, happiness and laughter made those moments memorable.

Creating recipes with Granny Ashton opened the door to home economic classes at school where Jon became further intrigued by the art. Although schoolmates bullied him for being one of the few boys in class, he persisted and quickly realized cooking was his passion. Soon after, Jon won first-place in an all-county cooking competition. This milestone achievement for young Jon gave him momentum to pursue his love of cooking in college.

In 1994 Jon graduated from St. Helens College in Great Britain and worked in several noted restaurants including the Derby Lodge Hotel’s French restaurant and as Sous Chef at The Kirkfield Hotel’s restaurant. Jon’s success and flair in the kitchen soon gave way to appearances on British cooking shows including the nationally syndicated “TV Dinners” where audiences fell in love with his wit, charisma and genuine love of food. Soon, America discovered him and Jon was featured in publications from New York to California. America was calling and Jon knew he had to answer. So, with $2,000 in his pocket he left everything he knew and traveled to America, eventually landing in Florida.

Jon quickly began producing and starring in his own local access TV show, “The Mad Chef”, which aired in Disney’s town of Celebration. Soon after, Jon took a position as the regular mid-day chef at Orlando’s FOX affiliate station and found himself appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” a short year later. He then hosted his own week-day cooking segment with Orlando’s ABC affiliate, WFTV for two years. Now he stays busy as CEO of Jon Ashton Enterprises, LLC where he offers his professional services including media appearances, group demonstrations and recipe creation to diverse clients like Kitchen Aid, Whirlpool, Walt Disney World, Cabot Creamery, and the J.M. Smucker Company.

The extensive repertoire of celebrities Jon has had the honor of cooking with include Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Jacque Pepin, Martin Yan, Jay Leno, Bobby Flay, Alton Brown, Gail Gand, Roy Yamaguchi, Norman Van Aken, Kat Cora, Counting Crows, Nascar Drivers and George Foreman. Jon Ashton has also had the honor of launching a Chocolate Souffle into space at the Kennedy Space Center!

No matter what Jon does he remembers his grandmother’s wise words; to share with others. Remembering his modest beginnings, Jon does his best every year to give back to causes close to his heart. These charities include “Give Kids the World”, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Jon sees his giving efforts as his way of thanking America for adopting him.

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