Get To Know Ashley
Hometown: New London, CT
Years at America's Test Kitchen: 7
Years on the Cook's Country Team: 4
Favorite Cook's Country Recipe: Don't make her choose!
After four years of developing some of your favorite recipes for Cook’s Country, Ashley Moore is taking her talent in front of the camera. Ashley began working as a test cook for the book division of America's Test Kitchen in 2011 and has been developing recipes for Cook's Country since 2013. She's also an instructor for America's Test Kitchen Cooking School. On Cook's Country TV, she's able to combine her culinary chops with her degree in acting from California Institute of the Arts.
Here she talks about her dream road trip, why filming this season was so special to her, and why she likes being on appetizer duty at potlucks.
What's the most memorable food tradition from your childhood?
Food is the center of my family and almost everyone has their signature dish. I grew up sitting down to dinner every night at 6pm—it gave us a chance to come together as a family and talk about our day. My mom is a great cook and baker and I can remember sneaking into the den to pinch off pieces of bread dough that were rising by the radiators. As kids, my brother, sister, and I had to try everything. The rule was we need to take at least three bites—absolute torture at times, but a great way to get us to try everything. For the record, I still hate beets and no longer need to eat them if I don’t want to.
What's your favorite dish from your hometown or home state?
Hand’s down, either a bacon or clam pie from Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut. But if we’re staying in, a big pot of steamers.
You've been invited to a potluck. What dish do you bring?
Anyone that knows me well, knows that I love a good dip. I would definitely bring the Artichoke-Green Chile Dip.
If you had to plan a road trip through the US based on food destinations, what would be your top five must-visit places, and what would you eat in each place?
I would start in Maine and eat my way through the state—North Haven Oyster Company, Primo, seafood shacks, and lobster pounds. Then, I would head down to Philly for a real cheesesteak. Once I ate my fair share, I would go south to Nashville for some hot fried chicken. Next, I’d head to the Northwest—probably Oregon or Washington. There I would slurp down my share of oysters, drink some fine wine, and eat lots of seafood. Finally, I would hop over to Hawaii and go to a pig roast on the beach.
Can you speak a bit about what your typical day is like?
I begin each day with a very early morning hang out session with my infant son, Jackson. Once I get to work, my day consists of cooking, eating, and eating some more. I'm also an instructor for the Online Cooking School, so I might be filming an instructional video or working on a script that day. After I get home, I hang with my son again, and then watch my husband scarf down the leftovers I brought home from work.
What do you love most about the Cook’s Country brand?
The fact that it brings the spotlight to smaller parts of the country and the regional recipes people have been cooking for centuries. The small towns, the passionate people, celebrating the food they make—that is what excites me.
What do you think sets Cook’s Country apart from other TV shows and magazines focusing on regional American food?
We do our homework. We travel to locations, we make phone calls, and we do thorough research—we leave no stone unturned. Once we have the necessary information, we then go into the kitchen to perfect the recipe and try to make it so that the home cook can make—and fall in love—with the recipe. And we try to keep the integrity of the recipe as much as possible.
What was your favorite recipe segment to shoot for the 10th season of Cook’s Country TV?
It is hard to choose one recipe, but I would say that the Crispy Parmesan Potatoes was my favorite because it meant I got to eat them multiple times during rehearsal and filming.
What's your favorite part about being on the show?
Getting the opportunity to press pause on our everyday recipe development and come together with an amazingly talented, fun group of people to make the show happen.
Any fun anecdotes from filming this season?
Well, I was pregnant when we were shooting, so this season will always stand out as an extra special season for me.