Chef. Teacher. TV Personality. Restaurateur. Aaron Deal has acquired 20 years of experience from restaurant operations throughout the United States. After finishing his formal culinary training at Johnson & Wales University, Deal worked alongside industry leaders such as Ciaran Duffy, James Beard Award Winner Tony Maws, Michelin Starred Chefs John Shields of Smyth and Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern among many others. His first Executive Chef role came at the helm of Tristan Restaurant in Charleston, SC where he garnered a 2009 James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef Nomination amidst local praise. At his next project, Deal was highlighted as Executive Chef for his work at Custom House Tavern in Chicago, IL by Timeout Chicago, Chicago Social as a “Best New Chefs Under 30” and Chicago Magazine’s Top 10 Singles of the City. Appearances on local affiliates, The CBS Early Show’s “Chef on a Shoestring” and The Food Network further showcased Deal’s versatility in the kitchen. As a culinary demonstrator, Deal has traveled to Johnson & Wales, The French Culinary Institute and the Culinary Institute of America to discuss sustainable food culture and cooking techniques. Designing & opening The River and Rail Restaurant in Roanoke, VA in 2012 has been his latest project. Serving roles as Executive Chef, General Manager & Beverage Director has garnered the restaurant a mention twice in Southern Living’s Top 100 Restaurants in the South and USA Today’s #2 of the 10 Best Southern Fine Dining Restaurants in America.