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It takes humble persistence and an inspired stomach to go from a rural town outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, to executive chef in culinary hotspot Charleston, S.C. But that’s the story of Amanee Neirouz. Growing up in a town with mostly fast food, Neirouz didn’t find her calling until her junior year of high school when a home economics teacher inspired her to apply for culinary school. Neirouz went on to earn her Associates Degree from Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh in 2002 before beginning her career in cooking at The Mansion at Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington, KY. What started out as an internship turned full-time, and it was there that she worked the gamut of the restaurant industry. She came to Charleston in 2005 was a butcher at the Sanctuary on Kiawah Island before starting at Relish as a part-time pastry chef in 2008. In the nearly a decade that she has been with the restaurant group, she has worked her way up the ranks and become an integral part of the family. Most recently, she served as the executive pastry chef, providing baked goods for Tristan Catering & Events, Ms. Rose’s and 492. In her new role, she continues to lead the pastry department while assuming additional responsibilities for Tristan, including overseeing catering functions, managing teams, streamlining operations and handling administrative duties. Her first task was a complete overhaul the Tristan menu. Some of Neirouz’s most prized professional moments include traveling to Cortimellia, Italy, to represent America in the 2014 International Hazelnut Festival and having her smoked chocolate parfait named “Best Frozen Dessert” by Food Network Magazine in 2013. She also participates in many charity events, including Chef’s Feast, Feed the Need, Chocolate Affair, etc. Neirouz is a firm believer in the saying that “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life,” and enjoys spending her time outside the kitchen with family, friends and her two rescue dogs.