From Singapore to Simpsonville, Whitney M. Young instructor teaches culinary
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From Singapore to Simpsonville, Whitney M. Young instructor teaches culinary

Ashley Shehan has been everywhere in the restaurant business, and even a couple things outside of it, but she always returns to cooking.

The Whitney M. Young Culinary Arts instructor is originally from Knoxville, Tenn. She’s been involved in culinary arts since she was 16, and has traveled as far away as Singapore to study the art.

And now, she’s sharing the lessons she’s learned with Whitney’s students.

“What’s worked for me so far is to keep them active, to keep them in the kitchen, to be hands on,” she said. “We do lectures every now and then, but then we’re quickly in the kitchen.”

Shehan learned a lot from traveling in Singapore that she applies to her cooking – and her teaching. She specifically mentioned aspects of food culture in Asia that she found noteworthy that include more experimentation with bold and vibrant flavors and a rejection of waste.

“It opened my mind to always try things,” she said. “I like to experiment…When I’m cooking, I’m like, ‘how can I make this taste different from what people are used to?’”

Shehan worked in a senior home throughout the COVID crisis.

“I had started to see too much death,” she said.

Soon, an opportunity came – instead of helping people out at the end of their lives, she wanted to help them find a new beginning.

So far, she’s enjoyed the experience and adjusted well.

“I feel like I’ve been here for 15 years, but it’s only been five months,” she said.

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