Anoosh Shariat at Noosh Nosh | Photo by Edis Celik

Chef Anoosh Shariat has been a fixture in the Louisville foodie scene since the early ’90s — long before the term “foodie” was even created. He’s known for keeping up with trends while also serving up traditional dishes inspired by his Persian heritage.

From Remington’s and Shariat’s to Park Place and Browning’s, the jovial chef’s ventures always offer an appetizing, expansive menu along with a warm, welcoming environment.

Shariat, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday, now owns and operates Anoosh Bistro and Noosh Nosh, both of which showcase his impeccable talent behind the kitchen door. At the former, he offers refined American dishes with a Southern twist, and at the latter, he serves up sharable Mediterranean and Italian cuisine.

What you may not know is Shariat has been a vegetarian for more than 25 years and hosts a monthly breakfast at Noosh Nosh focused on eating healthy, called “Compassion & Cooking.”

He also was the first chef from Kentucky to appear on the Food Network, according to his bio, and has cooked at the James Beard House in New York four times.

We caught up with the busy chef in between meals to ask him some very important questions …

What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?

I don’t have a Bucket List — I just live and love life every day. Every day is a new adventure. My go-to motto is “Eat well, love life.”

Cookin’ up some Hendrix.

What poster was on your wall in junior high?

Jimi Hendrix.

If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?

The Dalai Lama. I would love to cook for him and have the opportunity to talk with him about compassion.

What are your preferred pizza toppings?

We make several different versions at Noosh Nosh in my Italian stone oven, named “Maria.” I am a vegetarian, so my favorite toppings are porcini mushrooms, morels, black olives and basil.

If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?

21 — I would love to go back and truly listen to the wisdom of the elders. Had I listened, I would have taken a very different path in life!

Taylor Hicks or Anoosh Shariat?

What famous person do people say you resemble the most?

Before my hair turned white, Richard Gere. During the “American Idol” fun, at several airports I had people wanting to take selfies with me, aka Taylor Hicks.

Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?

An elevator repairman.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."