Saturday, July 13, 2024

Brews and Bites: Amber Ox Announces New Leadership

(Photo courtesy of The Amber Ox)

WILLIAMSBURG — Change and growth are two words that can be used to describe Amber Ox Public House as it recently made big staffing announcements.

Ileana White was promoted to Executive Chef and Nicole Pereira was named new General Manager.

“We are thrilled to announce the recent promotions of Chef Ileana and the hire of our new General Manager, Nicole,” stated Andrew Voss, restaurant co-founder. “These individuals are some of the most passionate, hospitality-driven food and beverage operators I’ve had the privilege to work with. Their roles as strong female leaders make this moment even more exciting!”

Chef White, who was born and raised in Gloucester, began cooking as a teenager. She went on to receive a degree from the Culinary Institute of Virginia and honed her craft while working in several area kitchens.

Chef Ileana White (Photo courtesy of The Amber Ox)

She also competed in season 21 of Gordon Ramsay‘s “Hell’s Kitchen,” where White says she “grew exponentially as a chef and person.”

“A lot has happened since ‘Hell’s Kitchen,'” explained White. “It has definitely been a learning curve and a journey.”

Before accepting the role of Executive Chef, White was the Chef de Cuisine for Amber Ox.

White says in her new role, she has been doing a lot of research and development and working with local farms.

“There has been a lot of learning farm-to-table, seasonality and how to make everything ‘play nice’ on a plate,” said White. “It’s been fun and there has been trial and error learning what works.”

Amber Ox will be presenting White’s new seasonal menu this month, with White’s promise for food to be fun, fresh and refined, “I just want to get back to basics, I don’t think you have to throw a million things on a plate to make it great. I am about celebrating the ingredients.”

In her new position as General Manager, Pereira brings a lifetime of restaurant experience. She grew up in restaurants, including her family’s bagel shop in Pennsylvania, then studied business management & marketing and public relations (while waiting tables).

Nicole Pereira (Photo courtesy of The Amber Ox)
Locally, Pereira co-founded Matchsticks BBQ before becoming Director of Operations at Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que.
“It’s exciting to see more women stepping into leadership positions, especially in industries that were so male-dominated. We’re ready to kick things into the next gear!” exclaimed Pereira. “I look forward to having the opportunity as General Manager to hopefully encourage more women and girls to grow in the industry.”
“We are incredibly proud and excited about the recent leadership changes at Amber Ox! Our inclusive, team-oriented approach enables the most talented individuals to succeed, regardless of gender or ethnicity.” Voss continued, “This marks the beginning of a new legacy for Amber Ox, and Chris and I are extremely excited about the future!”

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