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Iredell Health System Hires New Executive Chef

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Shawn Rizzie is the new executive chef for Iredell Health System’s Food & Nutrition Services Department.

With an associate’s degree in culinary arts from Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, Rizzie brings to Iredell 18 years of professional experience in healthcare and hotel food services.

In his role as executive chef, Rizzie will focus on food quality, streamlining production, purchasing control, and sanitation. In addition to transitioning Iredell Food Services from frozen foods to fresh produce and proteins, Rizzie is creating enjoyable and exciting meals in Iredell Memorial Hospital’s cafeteria.

Rizzie grew his knowledge in food safety by earning a ServSafe certification, and he plans to become a certified dietary manager (CDM) within a year.

Rizzie’s unique approach to culinary arts fuses classical solid cooking techniques with new ideas and technology in the field. He is developing skills in sous vide – a technique utilizing precise temperature control with circulation. Always seeking to understand what is happening to food through each stage, he will next dive into the food science discipline of molecular gastronomy.

In his first professional cooking position, Rizzie worked as an intern under two master chefs at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. He has used his cooking skills as an executive chef at The Westin Huntsville in Huntsville, Alabama and as a banquet chef at Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club in Farmingdale, New Jersey.

Considering his professional experience – which includes playing a primary role opening a brand new Alabama hotel at age 25 and serving as the culinary expert of meals at one of New Jersey’s most highly ranked wedding venues – Shawn reflected on what has brought him to this point in his career.

“When there is no consequence for poor work ethic and no reward for good work ethic, there is no motivation,” he said. “No matter how tired you are or what day you’re having, always remember how long it takes to raise an animal and grow a plant.”

By working on new skills at home, Rizzie builds understanding of and appreciation for the origins of food. Last year, he taught himself how to make sourdough bread from a starter dough as well as how to make mozzarella cheese from raw milk.

Rizzie enjoys reading the What Einstein Told His Cook book series. He and his wife are New York Giants fans who spend their free time with their two dogs.