With more than a decade of high end culinary expertise, Chef J. Christopher Ayala joined the Nashville Zoo in June of 2020. Known for his classic flavor combinations that are familiar and comforting, the Boston-turned-Nashville native grew up cooking alongside his father in the kitchen from a very young age. It was during this time he discovered his passion for food.
Chef Christopher solidified a deep appreciation for fresh ingredients and the culinary process during first job at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg. Shortly after his time there, Chef Christopher completed his education at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he was voted “Best Teen Hispanic Chef” by Mamiverse Magazine. After his graduation, he further defined his culinary skills while working in fine dining at country clubs, restaurants and with tenure as an Executive Chef in Sarasota’s boutique hotel, The Sarasota Modern.
During his leisure time, Chef Christopher enjoys spending quality time with his family, as well as experimenting with new ideas and techniques at his home kitchen
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