HIDDEN F&B: Amanee Neirouz, Relish Restaurant Group

Helen Mitternight

By Helen Mitternight

Photograph by Ferris Kaplan. 

(Editors Note: Charleston is such a foodie town that food and beverage superstars are hiding in plain sight, out of the James Beard limelight, but still very much creating and serving amazing food and drinks. This series profiles Charleston’s “hidden F&Bs.”)

Amanee Neirouz started out with sausages at Bob Evans, but she’s rocketed up the culinary ladder and now she’s in management at Relish Restaurant Group, the owners of the former 492 King Street and Tristan Catering, and of Ms. Rose’s Fine Food and Cocktails.

Amanee’s take:

Favorite Kitchen Tool or Gadget: A plastic bowl scraper. We call it the Devastator. It leaves nothing behind.    

In My Refrigerator (3 Things): Beer from Cincinnati – I’ve been into a rose cider lately; eggs – I love eggs; and condiments. I have five to six kinds of mustard. I call my refrigerator the bachelorette fridge because it’s a little nicer than a bachelor fridge.

In My Pantry (3 Things): Rice – I love rice; pasta – I’m obsessed with chickpea pasta; and a can of Skyline Chili for emergency purposes.

Favorite After-work Hangout: Stems & Skins in Park Circle.

Favorite Charleston Restaurant Other Than Yours: The Obstinate Daughter. The food is so good and I love Jacques (Larson, executive chef)  

Comfort Food: Rice. A big pot of rice, just plain white rice. If I’m getting fancy, I’ll cook it with Better than Bouillon or chicken stock if I have it.

Favorite Smell: My dog’s face. It smells like candy sometimes.       

Favorite Drink: The El Satanico at Minero.    

Number of Hours You Work a Week: It’s changed. When I was in the kitchen, it was 50-60. Now it’s 40-50.

Customer Pet Peeve: The complaint after you’ve asked them how things are.

Most Under-rated Ingredient: Minimal amounts of salt or sugar. People don’t realize that you can season with sugar, even in savory things.  It can cut down on acidity.

Favorite Meal to Cook at Home: Anything that takes time: chili, chicken and dumplings, anything braised.

Best Advice a Mentor Gave You: It was Anita Zucker, the Relish Restaurant Group owner. She told me one day that if you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life.

Ms. Rose’s Find Food and Cocktails is at 1090 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.

Want more details (including the gory details of butchering a pig and why she loves the smell of her dog’s face)? Check out the companion podcast