Robin is the Founder and CEO of Epicuity Consulting, LLC – which is a group that focuses on business development in the hospitality industry and nonprofit trade association space.
Robin started her first catering business in Charleston when she was 22 years old. She spent 4 years living in the British Virgin Islands as a sailing yacht chef before moving to Washington, DC and spending over 13 years on Capitol Hill managing the lives of Senators and Congressman. Robin is also an owner of Mermosa Wines, and actively manages her family’s 145-acre working farm in Eastern North Carolina. Robin is passionate about hospitality initiatives, diversity and inclusion. Her youngest son has Fragile X Syndrome, and she is actively involved in the local, state, and international special needs communities.
Operations Manager, Ms. Rose’s Fine Food + Cocktails. It takes humble persistence and an inspired stomach to go from a rural town outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, to an executive chef in culinary hotspot Charleston, S.C. But that’s the story of Amanee Neirouz. She came to Charleston in 2005 and was a butcher at the Sanctuary on Kiawah Island before starting at Relish Restaurant group as a part-time pastry cook in 2008.
In the 15 years that she has been with the group, she has worked her way up the ranks to serve as both an Executive Chef and Executive Pastry Chef for the restaurant group. In her current role for Ms. Rose’s Fine Food and Cocktails, Amanee serves as Operations Manager. Some of Amanee’s most prized professional moments include traveling to Cortimellia, Italy, to represent America in the 2014 International Hazelnut Festival and having her smoked chocolate parfait named “Best Frozen Dessert” by Food Network Magazine in 2013.
Rhonda Mitchell was born and raised in Charleston and attended The College of Charleston and the Citadel Graduate College. Her love of food and people placed her at the intersection where The Drizzled Pear Catering Company was created. Her fierce resolve for creative Southern cuisine, coupled with her business acumen, helps to provide each client with a unique and unforgettable experience.
Having spent decades in the IT industry specializing in Customer Success Management, Software Implementations and Consulting, Rhonda prides herself on effective communication and methodically working with her clients to ensure each event is a success. She believes that “your passion is your purpose” and delivers this passion by recreating recipes passed down by her Grandmother Emmaline and her Mother Ruby, while incorporating a modern flair. This passion led her to leave corporate America and transition to Catering full time in November of 2022.
Rhonda is married to Chef Kevin Mitchell, Culinary Historian, Author, and Educator. They share 3 wonderful children and love to explore this great city of Charleston we call Home. She loves all things food, jazz/neo-soul, travel and spending quality time with family & friends.
Mary Kay Gill has been feeding family, church-goers, neighbors and friends since she made her first batch of chocolate chip cookies.
She started out her professional career as an accountant for Price Waterhouse and Baxter Healthcare. In 2008, after juggling family and career, she put her long-standing culinary interest on the front burner and earned a Professional Cookery Certificate from Kendall College. For the last 14 years she has been teaching home chef enthusiasts all levels to learn to select and prepare recipes geared to a healthy lifestyle that are tasty, nutritious and satisfying.
After training in the nutritional needs of seniors, Mary Kay is now the owner/operator of a “Chefs for Seniors” franchise, serving seniors in the Hilton Head and Bluffton communities as a private chef, to improve their lives through food. Mary Kay’s organizational skills and business acumen from her decades in finance have enabled her to create a successful and well-run business, allowing her to concentrate on her secret sauce: listening to what her clients want and adapting recipes to suit their taste and lifestyle. This combination has proven to be a winning recipe for the customized and reliable service she brings to her clientele.
For Amethyst Ganaway, food is an entryway to talking about history, theology, agriculture, and sustainability. Between cooking in restaurant kitchens in South Carolina, Georgia, and New Mexico, and working as the head recipe developer for Yolélé, Ganaway has written about the history of Black communities using food as protest, the finely tuned art of red rice, and about Edna Lewis’s roast duck technique.
For over 12 years, Amethyst has been working her way through the food and beverage industry. A chef and food writer, she focuses primarily on Southern and African-American foodways and the foodways of the African Diaspora. After making her way through various corporate and fine dining management positions, Amethyst's resume now includes recipe development, catering, and food writing. So far, she has been published in The New York Times, Eater, Food & Wine, Garden & Gun, Whetstone, Plate Magazine, The Post and Courier, Serious Eats, and more. In 2020-2021, she was awarded the Les Dames d'Escoffier International Legacy Culinary Award before becoming a memember of Les Dames.
Isabella Macbeth is a Charleston, SC native. She grew up in the rich food and hospitality culture of the Lowcountry. After her time studying at the Citadel and her time in the US Army came to an end. Isabella decided she wanted to dedicate her life to southern hospitality. Where she could highlight and connect her culture to those from around the world. She would leave the US and travel to the Netherlands to study at the world renowned Hotelschool The Hague.
Isabella not only spent her time studying but traveling Europe to see all the amazing cultures and sites, taking in their regional hospitality styles. Once Isabella finished college she moved back home to put everything she learned to use. First helping open that years New York Times review best restaurant in Charleston to rebranding and opening food and beverage director of hotels. Isabella never stopped striving to better herself and her town. After several year in the 5star 5diamond resort world as a rooms division manager she decided it was time to come out and grow even further into herself. She would leave hotels and start a new life in the oyster industry becomings one of the most recognizable faces in the world of oysters. From that first step out into her new self to today she has always hoped to build a brighter world for those around her and set the stage for the next group of amazing professionals behind her.
Julie Shaffer grew up in rural Ohio gardening and foraging with her grandma, which lead to a life-long love of food and farming. She moved to the mountains of Tennessee for college and fell in love with the south. She made her home in Georgia for 40 years and founded Slow Food Atlanta in 2000. She served as leader of the Atlanta chapter for ten years, and went on to serve as regional governor for the SE region before being elected to the board of directors of SFUSA, where she served for eight years.
Shaffer taught public high school art for thirty years before landing at Emory University to become their Sustainable Foods Education Director and Project Manager. While in this position, Shaffer created many strategic partnerships with farmers and producers in the SE
to help Emory meet their sustainable food goals.
Retiring from the world of work for pay in 2016, she retired to Charleston, SC and now works as a volunteer for several food oriented organizations, including HRN, Heritage Foods USA, Slow Food Charleston and LDEI Charleston.