Five Questions with Chef Anoosh Shariat

Updated: Jan. 5, 2018 at 2:25 PM EST
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Chef Anoosh Shariat
Chef Anoosh Shariat

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Have you made (or more likely broken) your New Year's resolutions yet? Many people vow each year to eat healthier in the New Year. But when it comes down to it, it's not so easy.

Chef Anoosh Shariat, who is now 60 years old, has made healthy eating part of his life. As owner of Anoosh Bistro and Noosh Nosh, Chef Anoosh would find it easy to indulge on a daily basis. But he opts instead for a vegetarian lifestyle and also works out with trainer Carlos Rivas of ProFormance on a regular basis.

I've been a fan of Chef Anoosh's for years, because he's been a favorite in Louisville since the early 1990's. His food fills your belly in a delicious way, but his smile and warmth feed your soul.  He's also achieved national acclaim with features in USA Today, Food and Wine and Southern Living.

So to help you start the New Year on a healthy note, here are my five questions with Chef Anoosh Shariat.

1) It's the New Year and many people start thinking about eating healthier. What's the one change you suggest people make to their diets to improve their health? 
Drink more water!

2) I recently learned you are a vegetarian. Is it hard coming up with dishes with meat since you don't eat it?
I have been a vegetarian a long time (30+ years). If you start with quality meats or fish, I know how it is going to taste before I cook it and I don't have to taste it. Also, many dishes can be modified with or without meat or fish. I have several delicious vegan and vegetarian options on the menu at both Anoosh Bistro and Noosh Nosh.

3) What's your favorite dinner to make when at home?
I am rarely at home to cook dinner, however a favorite is Shirazi salad with cucumbers and tomatoes (quick and simple), and rice with lima beans and dill.

4) You host monthly "Compassion and Cooking" Series at your restaurant. What do you hope people learn by attending a class?
For 15 months we have been doing this series at Noosh Nosh in conjunction with ProFormance, and I am excited to see people learn that compassion starts with one's self - what you put in your body and what you tell yourself. I am teaching simple cooking techniques that anyone could do at home. Teaching people how to use herbs for flavor, and how to have fun with cooking! Cooking starts with love -- that is what I really hope for people hear. To love yourself and those you feed. My motto is "Eat Well, Love Life." I'm hoping people learn that eating well means eating "clean" food.

5) You have two restaurants located in the same strip center. Is that part of your exercise plan - running back and forth between the two?  And on a more serious note - how do you split your time between the two?
Ha! My watch tells me I do about 12,000 to 20,000 steps a day, so yes! I think the exercise has helped me lose the 30 pounds I lost in 2017 (along with diet changes and weight training for 30 minutes twice a week). Seriously, I am so grateful to have my two restaurants so close to each other. Noosh Nosh is open all day 7 days a week beginning at 8 a.m., and Anoosh Bistro is open for dinner and private lunches. I tend to start and end my days in our office in the basement of the Bistro taking care of the business side of the restaurants, however I love talking to guests, so I tend to spend a few hours a day at each restaurant on the floor. We have a great team at both places, so more of my time is managing and thinking up new dishes, training and planning for expansion.

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