About Ashley Shelton
Ashley Shelton, executive chef of Pastaria in Clayton, has been named a 2017 James Beard semifinalist for the Rising Star Chef of the Year. She is only the second St. Louis chef to be nominated in the category, after Rick Lewis' nomination in 2014. Shelton calls her cooking style fairly traditional. When she thinks of new dishes at Pastaria, she imagines if she could see herself eating the dish in Italy. But she is also flexible to tweak items as needed to cater to a Midwest palate. Born and raised in St. Louis, she finds that her roots and background in Italian cooking give her an advantage in figuring out what diners want.