Aaron Deal

The River and Rail | Roanoke, VA

Aaron Deal is the Executive Chef of The River and Rail, a convivial restaurant with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients, in Roanoke, VA

A native of North Carolina, Deal completed his formal culinary training at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, SC, graduating summa cum laude in 2005. His first Executive Chef role came at the helm of Tristan Restaurant in Charleston, SC where he earned a 2009 James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef nomination amidst local praise. In 2009, Deal assumed the role of Executive Chef of Custom House Tavern in Chicago, IL. He earned many accolades during his time at Custom House, including being named a "Best New Chef Under 30" by Chicago Social magazine and one of Restaurant-Hospitality magazine's "12 to watch in 2012." After stints at Town House Restaurant in Chilhowie, VA and Cragie on Main in Cambridge, MA, Deal ventured to Roanoke, VA to open The River and Rail in 2012.

In his role as Executive Chef, Deal developed the culinary program for the restaurant from the ground up, creating regional cuisine inspired by the Virginia countryside. Outside of the kitchen, Deal has made appearances on The CBS Early Show's "Chef on a Shoestring," The Food Network, and as a culinary demonstrator, Deal has traveled to Johnson & Wales, The French Culinary Institute and the Culinary Institute of America, to lead discussions on sustainable food culture and cooking techniques. "Having recently celebrated our five-year anniversary at The River and Rail, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue exploring the kind of cooking that excites and inspires me as a chef," Deal says. "I'm also proud to share a distinctive regional cuisine that not many people outside Virginia have had the opportunity to sample."