Today, a longtime veteran of working in the Fox Theatre kitchen during AFFAIRS at the FOX events, Chef Ahmad Nourzad has a rich food history, one that includes some rather delicious New South fare, quite popular for fundraising events. Comfort food delights and people bid more when they’re happy, right?
Born and raised near the Caspian Sea, Chef Ahmad has traveled the world. He learned to cook from his mother—as so many of us Southerners did—studied the culinary arts in Vienna, Austria, where he also worked as a chef for a period of time, then traveled to Austin, Texas, where he continued to grow his culinary expertise.
He eventually moved to Atlanta, where many locals remember his signature menu at Eureka where he delighted guests with his Southern and Southwestern fare. Today, he creates menus featuring a wide range of cuisines, including some of the best Southern food you’ve ever had!
What’s his favorite food? Tomatoes, which beckon memories from his childhood. Just writing that has me craving a classic Southern staple, the Tomato Sandwich, of course with mayo and lots of black pepper!
“I grew up in Tehran, Iran—a lush, green, bountiful country. We would buy truckloads—literally!—of tomatoes, when they were at their peak, for canning. Hours of blanching, shocking, peeling…I can still remember the taste. Local olive oil and simple sea salt were just about all we needed to ‘put up’ tomatoes for winter.” – Chef Ahmad
Since his time with Affairs to Remember, Chef Ahmad has been working with the Fox Theatre, a place where he loves to elevate the guest experience through the food they’ll enjoy.
Our clients are treated to multiple tastings prior to their event, the first being a welcome to Affairs to Remember and an opportunity to discuss the client’s menu, decor and other details. In this tasting, Chef Ahmad treats clients to a Chef’s Choice organic vegetable or fruit dish, with ingredients from our on-premise Chef’s Garden! Chef Ahmad is responsible for what’s planted in the garden, that clients and other visitors see on their way into our offices and Tasting Salons.
Chef Ahmad creates new menu items weekly featuring local and/or organic produce that he sources from local farmers. To expand upon this practice, Chef Ahmad began offering Affairs’ clients a Farm-to-Party solution that includes local produce, proteins and artisan ingredients. For this option, which we’ve offered for a number of years now, clients share with us what protein they would like (beef, chicken, fish, etc.), what method of cooking they like (fried, grilled, roasted, etc.), and what flavor profile they like (Southern, Mediterranean, Pan-Asian, etc.), as well as what foods they don’t like. When it’s time to shop for the event, Chef Ahmad selects the freshest, in-season produce and local produce for that Farm-to-Party event…it’s the freshest you’ve ever had!
Rounding out Chef Ahmad’s Southern credentials, he is an alumnus of the prestigious Georgia Grown Executive Chef Program, which effectively make him an ambassador who shares the “buy local”, “buy Georgia-grown” message with fellow chefs and consumers across Georgia. He continues to embrace this philosophy, giving our client fresh, local foods, while supporting our local economy.
If you’re looking to feature a Southern menu at your next fundraiser event at the Fox Theatre, look to Chef Ahmad Nourzad to elevate your food for a magical guest experience, an experience that will make your guests gladly bid, bid, bid!