Photography by Eric Forberger

Executive Chef Abby Shelley: Fueling the Cuisine of York, PA

Story by Michael Vyskocil for YRK Magazine

To experience the flavor of downtown York, you don’t need to look any farther than the city’s emerging restaurant scene. The chefs of York are embracing more cultural cuisines and pairing culinary innovation with farm-to-table cultivation.

We asked the chefs from our Autumn 2017 edition cover story to give us their thoughts on cooking for and serving in York’s culinary community. This week, we introduce you to Executive Chef Abby Shelley of Rockfish Public House.

Shelley is no stranger to the downtown York restaurant scene. She worked previously at Rockfish Public House’s sister restaurant, the White Rose Bar & Grill, before becoming the executive chef at Rockfish in 2016. She and her kitchen staff deliver Rockfish guests an experience they’d get at the best seafood restaurants by the beaches without having to leave downtown York to do it. From lobster rolls to freshly shucked oysters on the half shell, Rockfish’s focus on premium fresh, never frozen, seafood has made the new kid on North George Street’s restaurant row a prime space for lunch, happy hour, dinner and special occasions.

Featured dish: Sesame Seared Tuna


Q: How did you get interested in cooking?
A: I randomly decided I wanted to do this as a profession. In high school, I had several jobs cooking. However, one chef helped me to fall in love with the hard work, long hours, humor and passion you get from being in a kitchen.

Q: What do you like most about creating your own recipes?
A: I like hearing people talk about a recipe that I have created. It’s amazing to hear the positive, but it’s also important to hear the negative. It helps you to change and better yourself.

Q: What do you appreciate most about dining in York?
A: I personally love the fact that every place is so different, but we are all tied together. As a result, you feel comfortable in any of the settings.

Q: What do you think makes York an attractive place for foodies?
A: Close proximity and plenty of options: We are trying new things as a community and open for the growth.

Q: What’s one dining concept or cuisine you’d like to see introduced to York?
A: I am not sure. I am excited for the next great idea to see it come to life and grow in this exciting downtown.

Like what you’re reading here? Explore all the stories in the Autumn 2017 edition of YRK Magazine

06 Oct