Aspen Simms

For the past 2 1/2 years Aspen Sims has been cooking creative and delicious dishes at Binkley’s Restaurant. However, starting as a dishwasher at Ciao Grazie, is what kicked off her culinary jobs.

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Aspen Sims was always an adventurer, constantly looking for things to do to keep busy. She enjoyed many things, but her main thing was always food. At 4 years old whether being posted on the countertop watching her mother cook, or watching Food Network, Aspen was all about food. She was outgoing as well, so outgoing that she opened her own baking business at 8 years old, called Jade’sTasty Treats (or JTT for short). People all over her neighborhood knew about it, and supported her. As she grew older school became a priority, and later sports were introduced, leading to a retirement ofJTT. As Aspen grew older, she started to see how harsh, and challenging people, and growing up could be. She began to lack confidence to pursue Sports and/or Cuisine because of it. She later suffered a sports career ending injury, and was stuck in a really dark place. Luckily her parents took notice, and helped her to see the beauty in the world. Her father had a friend of a friend, named Chef Binkley who was willing to sit down with Aspen and tell her the truth about the restaurant industry, which were definitely not rainbows and chocolate mountains. Somehow that made Aspen want to be a Chef even more, and in a joking matter she asked Chef Binkley if she could intern there, just knowing he would say no. Only he said yes, and she nearly fainted. Aspen was still in high school so Sundays were the only day available, however once she graduated from high school, she was there everyday. That led to Chef Binkley offering her a job, knowing she had no culinary experience, and wanted to teach her himself.This helped her develop an interest and passion for cooking all over again. And she started her first job in the fine dining side of the restaurant industry as a prep cook at 17, in 2017. Although she had no culinary experience, Chef Binkley quickly noticed how easily it came to Aspen, and how she had aKnack for taking on challenges, and trying to improve her time when executing prep. Soon after she was in charge of her own dishes, and not long after that she was promoted to Chef De Partie at 18.Now at 19, she has traveled to experience multiple cuisines, and has made new connections. In spring of 2020, Aspen will be moving to Japan to further her Japanese Cuisine studies under a famous sushi chef in Akibane, Japan. She plans to continue on this journey, and hopes to open her own successful restaurant that will bring people together from far and wide.