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Cooking for a Cause

Chef Anoosh shares about his new cookbook and virtual cooking and dining series

 

By Ellie Kemper
Photos provided by Anoosh Shariat

 

Anoosh Shariat, chef and owner of Anoosh Bistro and Noosh Nosh restaurant in Louisville, KY, has shared his culinary gifts with others for 45 years. During his 30 years of owning Louisville restaurants, Chef Anoosh opened several restaurants downtown but wanted to take the opportunity to open one in the East End. Anoosh explains that he opened Anoosh Bistro because it “was on a smaller scale” and he “could concentrate on making better foods.” After opening Anoosh Bistro in 2014, Anoosh says, “I got excited and I wanted to open a place to have casual food. We ended up opening Noosh Nosh, which is a breakfast, lunch and dinner place,” in Brownsboro Center. 

Paula Barmore and Chef Anoosh Shariat.

Two years ago, Chef Anoosh started writing a cookbook filled with his signature dishes. The motto he lives by has always been “Eat Well, Love Life” and it was the most fitting title for his masterpiece. Anoosh described his cookbook as a “dream come true” that gave him a lot of joy and purpose while writing it. Although this cookbook has been a personal project for Anoosh, it has opened up so many avenues for helping others since it was printed in May. Anoosh explains, “someone gifted me some of the expenses of the book, so we wanted to pay it forward by opening a non-profit.” The Compassion & Cooking Foundation, started by Anoosh and his wife, Paula Barmore, donates all the proceeds from his book “Eat Well, Love Life.” The donations go to a host of charities and programs that uphold the “Eat Well, Love Life” mantra, including a local non-profit, Apron. Apron Inc. helps provide financial relief to workers in the food industry. Through these connections, Chef Anoosh hopes to convey to his customers that he wants to give back to the community. When COVID-19 caused restaurants to close and left many restaurant workers unemployed, Anoosh was “able to sell the book and use the proceeds to pay some of the restaurant workers’ electric bills, rent and car insurance,” and other critical expenses. 

The book “Eat Well, Love Life” has opened even more doors for Chef Anoosh and Paula to support their community through their new Virtual Cooking and Dining Series. Anoosh and Paula have wanted to host private dinner parties in their home, during which Chef Anoosh would cook and they could enjoy a meal all together. But, in order to ensure the safety of customers, Anoosh has chosen to have a virtual dining series over Facebook live-streaming. Chef Anoosh and Paula will host bi-weekly virtual events for customers who want to cook alongside Chef Anoosh, or who want to take notes for the next time they make the featured dishes. Four guests will attend each virtual event, where Chef Anoosh will cook three dishes from his cookbook, “Eat Well, Love Life.” “We want to have guests [to our house] but we can’t, so we do a virtual event where we cook recipes out of my cookbook, for whoever has the book or wants the book,” explains Anoosh. Customers can pre-order the ingredients for the event and pick them up at the Bistro in preparation for each event. Chef Anoosh adds, “[guests] can follow me and ask questions and hopefully make a good dinner.” Anoosh firmly believes in cooking with friends and family and being able to enjoy each meal with others. “The whole concept of ‘Eat Well, Love Life’ is, I wanted to teach them how to cook like a chef, though the recipes are very friendly and are modified for families,” he explains. 

The Virtual Cooking and Dining Series will debut on Tuesday, September 1 at 6 p.m. with Anoosh’s first event, “A Labor of Love.” This themed event will include Derby and Labor Day dishes from the “Eat Well, Love Life” cookbook. Customers can buy “Eat Well, Love Life” at Anoosh Bistro or Noosh Nosh restaurant and they can order it online at eatwelllovelife.org. All proceeds from the Virtual Cooking and Dining Series will benefit Apron Inc. and The Compassion & Cooking Foundation.

For more information on the Virtual Cooking and Dining Series, visit anooshbistro.com.