Adam Hayes, the executive chef of of Canyon Kitchen, located at Lonesome Valley in Cashiers, N.C., developed his passion in life at a young age. He grew up working alongside his grandmother in her bakery in Asheboro, N.C. Raised nearby in the small southern town of Trinity, N.C., Adam’s parents fostered his love of cooking, as he worked with his father learning to master techniques on the grill.
In his late teens, Adam took a job as a fry cook at a sandwich shop and he was hooked on the energy, creativity and camaraderie of working in a restaurant. Shortly thereafter, he fell in love with the woman who is now his wife and they decided to attend culinary school together.
After culinary school, Chef Adam worked at several of Harper’s Restaurant Group’s Charlotte-area restaurants. He then took a job as the chef de cuisine at Quaintance-Weaver Restaurant and Hotels in Greensboro, N.C. and spent almost two years at the company’s Proximity Hotel, the first LEED© Platinum Hotel in the country.
Chef Adam then worked for five years as the executive chef of the highly acclaimed Grand Bohemian Hotel in Asheville. In that role, he received many awards and accolades including hosting a dinner at the prestigious James Beard House in New York where he used all N.C. ingredients in the meal. After a short stint at Barnsley Resort, a luxury boutique resort located north of Atlanta, Chef Adam joined the team at Lonesome Valley in early 2015.
Chef Adam is thriving in his role at Canyon Kitchen and is committed to continuing the tradition of using fresh, locally sourced produce, meat, poultry and fish in the menu that changes nightly. He is also working on expanding the gardens at Canyon Kitchen and pickling and preserving food.
In addition to cooking at the James Beard House, Chef Adam has received numerous other awards and accolades during his successful 16-year career. In August 2014, he was the winner of Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.” He was also the first place winner of the Best Dish of N.C. (Fine Dining Mountain Region) from the N.C. Department of Agriculture; 2013 Fire on the Rock Champion; Final Fire Cooking Competition; and Kessler Collection’s Rising Star Award and Leader of the Year Award.