Aaron Vandemark is the Chef Proprietor of Panciuto — an Italian-inspired restaurant in Hillsborough, North Carolina, focusing on American Southern and Italian culinary traditions. He has earned six consecutive nominations for James Beard’s Best Chef Southeast Award, and in 2011, he was named a nominee for Food & Wine’s The People’s Best New Chef.
Aaron’s first foray into restaurants was a bar gig in Atlanta during summer break at Emory University, where he majored in economics. Aaron credits that first job, the frenetic energy of the nightly grind, the kitchen’s cast of characters and his employee discount for hooking him into restaurant life. After graduating from Emory, Aaron worked with and learned from many talented professionals — notable and nameless — in Atlanta and North Carolina before finally settling in his home state to open Panciuto in 2006.