Get to know the Zero Café + Bar team! Step into our 110 sq. foot kitchen and chances are, you’ll see Amanda Black teaching a Monday night cooking class at the Zero George Cooking School or prepping for dinner. As Sous Chef, Amanda works side-by-side Executive Chef Vinson Petrillo where they are constantly innovating new dishes that are fresh, local, ever-changing, and full of artful presentations. See a Q&A with Sous Chef Black below.
1. Where did your passion for food and cooking begin?
I always wanted to help my parents in the kitchen as a child, but I’d say my passion really developed in high school, when I first started learning the fundamentals of cooking and began reenacting recipes and creating my own.
2. How long have you been at Zero Café + Bar?
I came to Zero George about two years ago. My teacher at the Culinary Institute, Randy Williams, heard about the opportunity at Zero and asked whether I would be interested, and I happened to be looking for a new job at the time.
3. What’s your favorite part about working at Zero?
I love being able to come in every day and learn something I didn’t already know. I love working one-on-one with [Chef Vinson Petrillo] and just constantly learning from the ever-changing menu.
4. What’s your favorite dish on the menu at Zero Café?
It’s hard to choose favorites since we change the menu so frequently, but right now, I love the Yakitori Hamachi collar (pictured). It’s so complex yet so simple at the same time, and the presentation really makes it stand out against other dishes. It’s simply delicious!
5. What’s your favorite way to enjoy Charleston on your days off?
I don’t usually have much time off, but when I do, I love going to the beach or anywhere outside. I usually like to go out to eat somewhere, whether it’s a favorite spot or a new restaurant that I’ve been wanting to check out.