Melissa Gray



Photo by Lynne Harty

What is your favorite part of being a chef in Asheville?

My favorite part of being an Asheville restaurant owner is offering a completely unique menu to the community. I love hearing the reviews of our guests when they experience a new flavor profile unlike anything else Asheville has to offer. Also to be an Asheville native, working in the industry here my entire life, and finally having my own restaurant, is a very special feeling that I worked extremely hard for. There’s absolutely nothing like the loyalty that Asheville shows it’s own. 

What is the background of your restaurant’s name?

Rosa means pink and it’s my favorite color and Melissa means honeybee in Greek. I’ve had this name for over a decade and when I named my custom cake business (Cakes by Gray) it was just a Facebook page so I went classic, cakes by your name!  I had no idea it would take off like it did. When I started to build Rosabees, which was a donut truck in my mind a decade ago, I knew I could finally use the name I had been sitting on this entire time. Brick and Mortars should have a proper name and I was thrilled to get the chance to use Rosabees!

What ingredient could you not live without?

The ingredient I couldn’t live without is probably sugar but butter is a close second. My savory chef might have a different answer but as the pastry chef, that’s mine!!

What is your favorite dish on your menu?

I don’t have a favorite because they are all so unique and different. What’s the thing I eat the most……probably the pork. Being from NC and growing up on pork, it’s an easy go to for me. Chef Cookie wraps the pork in banana leaves and Hawaiian red salt, smokes it for about 15 hours. It’s so good, you don’t need any sauce. I’m a big fish fan so the garlic shrimp and poke is also in my top five. Just don’t forget to save room for the sweets because our desserts are out of this world.

What is your favorite dish from a fellow AIR restaurant’s menu?

I’m a real sucker for burgers and the Hi Fi burger at Cooper Crown is a favorite of mine!!

Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant?

I’m from Asheville so opening a restaurant here was the only choice

What is your favorite chef’s tool and why?

My favorite chef’s tool is definitely my kitchen aid mixer. I have seven and use them all.