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Chef Stefan Bowers culinary career developed its initial roots while growing up in Berkeley California during the early 1980’s. Living in a city on the forefront of the natural foods movement gave him his first look at the now popular “sustainable” culinary food culture.
In his twenties, at the end of a five year Navy career as a Helicopter Rescue Swimmer (where he logged a 1000 flight hours reading cookbooks in the back of HH-60 helicopters), Stefan had the good fortune of meeting two sisters from Positano, Italy. This transpired into a year long apprenticeship under Chef Catirina Di Luccia at restaurant Trattoria Positano in San Diego, Ca. Under Chef Catirina, Stefan never touched the stove. In fact, he never left the cutting board, which gave him the opportunity to learn proper technique from the ground up while observing true Italian cooking principles.
In 2003, with the desire to attend Culinary School, Stefan made a blind move to Houston, Texas in order to attend the Alain and Marie LeNotre French Culinary Institute. While studying at the culinary institute he worked at Restaurant 17 in the Alden Hotel under Chef Jeffrey Armstrong.
After completing culinary school in 2004 he moved to San Antonio (his wife’s hometown) where he went on to become the Chef de Cuisine under Chef Jason Dady at the acclaimed Lodge of Castle Hills. In 2008 Stefan took on his first Executive Chef position at 20nine Restaurant and Wine Bar.
Three years into his role at 20Nine Stefan was introduced to entrepreneur Andrew Goodman. Shortly after their introduction in 2011 FEAST opened and became an immediate success. Stefan considers this collaboration to be the best opportunity he has had to express his personal ideals about menu style and cuisine while working in an elegant and contemporary restaurant that has “style to burn.” This exciting alliance with Andrew Goodman has made for one of San Antonio’s most talked about restaurants, quickly racking up national write-ups and local accolades.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1994, Chef David Bull joined The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas. He moved quickly through the ranks at The Mansion to earn distinction as the youngest-ever sous chef employed by the venerable hotel. He then moved to Austin, serving as executive chef of the Driskill Grill, where he and his team earned the Austin American-Statesman’s Number One Restaurant Award for three consecutive years. Food and Wine Magazine honored Chef Bull as one of “The Best New Chefs 2003.”
In 2006 he appeared on the Food Network as an Iron Chef America competitor. And in 2007, Chef Bull was nominated for the prestigious James Beard award for Best New Chef Southwest. In 2010 Chef Bull opened Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen and Bar Congress in downtown Austin. In 2011 Congress was recognized as the only five-star restaurant in Austin by the Austin American-Statesman and was named as one of the “Best New Restaurants 2011″ by Esquire. Esquire also named Bar Congress as “One of the Best New Bars in America,” and all three establishments were named in the “Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit.
A classically trained chef, entrepreneur, and author, Tim Byres is the guiding force behind two Dallas restaurants. The first, Smoke, quickly became a culinary block buster in the Dallas dining world and was the perfect platform for Tim to celebrate the history and integrity of handmade food.
In 2012 another star was launched under the guidance of Tim. Through his restaurant Chicken Scratch, Tim nourishes the spirit of hospitality and celebrates the diversity and community of the American table.
Tim has made appearances on local, regional and national cooking shows and was recently featured on an episode of “Man Fire Food” on the cooking channel. He has appeared in Southern Living, Bon Appetit, Garden and Gun, and Forbes Magazine. He has just completed his first book (Rizzoli) which is due out in spring of 2013 and he is currently at work on numerous projects. Tim lives in Dallas with his wife, Mo, and three children.
Best New Chef for 2012 by Food & Wine Magazine
Best New Chefs in Dallas by the Dallas Morning News, 2010
Ten Best Restaurant Dishes in America by Food & Wine Magazine, 2010
James Beard House Dinner, NYC – The James Beard Foundation, 2010
Shawn Cirkiel’s creativity and innovation in the kitchen have made him one of Austin’s most coveted chefs and restaurateurs. Five years ago, Cirkiel opened parkside—the city’s first gastro pub—to much fanfare. The accolades continue on for this sophisticated spot, which is housed in a converted two-story space on East 6th Street, as they do for Cirkiel’s subsequent ventures: the backspace, a widely popular Neapolitan-style pizzeria, and Olive & June, an updated version of family-style Southern Italian dining. Cirkiel’s passion for local and seasonal food extends beyond the scope of his restaurants and has become a driving force behind his notable community engagement.
As a child growing up on a farm, Cirkiel learned early on the integral role fresh ingredients play in cooking. He took that core knowledge with him to the Culinary Institute of America, where he refined his skills and style and developed an even deeper appreciation for sustainable food. He soon landed a job at New York’s Café Boulud and then moved to Napa Valley to work in the kitchen at the esteemed Domaine Chandon. An entrepreneur by nature, Cirkiel moved to Austin to embark on his own endeavor—he took over as the owner/chef of the city’s beloved Jean-Luc’s Bistro. It didn’t take long for devotees to realize Cirkiel was very talented. His success spilled over to parkside, the backspace, and his latest venture, Olive & June, named for his grandmother and his wife’s grandmother. Inspiration for the many classic Italian dishes came from the family dinners Cirkiel enjoyed as a child in the Italian-American neighborhood of the South Bronx, where Cirkiel’s father was raised.
Cirkiel’s devotion to smart (sustainable) cooking and the community is evident by his involvement in many projects, including an initiative at Austin’s Highland Park Elementary, where he has helped develop healthy-eating, exercise, and gardening programs. Cirkiel is also a founding chef of the Sustainable Food Center’s Farmers Market in downtown and a board member and secretary for the Sixth Street Austin Association, which has been fundamental in raising funds to restore the legendary district. And while the chef maintains a high profile around town and in the media—he’s been noted in numerous publications, including Southern Living, Food Arts, Cooks Illustrated, Bon Appetit and the Los Angeles Times—Cirkiel doesn’t stay out of the kitchen for long.
Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole is a passionate student of the Japanese tradition having trained for more than 10 years in Tokyo, New York, and Austin, under two different sushi masters before opening his acclaimed restaurant, Uchi, in 2003. Cole became fascinated with sushi in his early twenties while working at an Austin Japanese restaurant and he dedicated himself to learning every aspect of the cuisine.
Demonstrating skill and dexterity with the knife, he quickly worked his way from dishwasher to head sushi chef. Cole then moved to Austin’s top sushi restaurant, Musashino, where he completed an intensive traditional apprenticeship under owner Takehiko Fuse.
In May of 2003, Uchi opened with Cole as executive chef and co-owner. Cole’s gift of marrying global ingredients with traditional Japanese flavors quickly garnered him local as well as national attention and Uchi became one of the top fine dining restaurants in Austin. The accolades continued when he was awarded a coveted spot on Food & Wine Magazine‘s Best New Chefs of 2005 list and in May 2011, the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest.
Chef Jason Dady pioneered an innovative culinary culture in San Antonio and developed a reputation of top quality, excellence and professionalism in food, service and hospitality through each of his San Antonio dining establishments and gourmet food truck. As Executive Chef and Owner of Bin 555 Restaurant and Wine Bar, Tre Trattoria, Two Bros. BBQ Market, DUK Truck and recent expansion of Tre Trattoria at The Fairmount Hotel. Dady has a passion preparing the best ingredients to perfection and providing exceptional service for each and every guest.
If Jason Dady has planted deep roots in the hospitality industry, it’s because he started out with deep roots in the hospitality industry. One set of grandparents—Gale and Ollie Dady—owned a local tavern for going-on 40 years, where the young Dady learned the value of customer connections. As if that wasn’t enough to prime a young man already in love with cooking, Dady’s maternal grandfather, Charlie Murphy, was a master butcher and favorite meat expert with locals.
Dady quickly took his passion from familial roots to official training. He studied at Texas Tech University, earning his BA in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management. With front-of-house and administrative skills firmly established, Dady went on to attend the California Culinary Academy. While there, Dady worked at Stars Bar and Dining under Chef Chris Fernandez. And after graduating, Dady’s travels took him to Napa and the Beringer Wine Estate, where he honed his skills in New American cuisine and perfected wine pairing techniques under chef David Frakes. Dady fused his front- and back-of-house savvy while assisting in the opening of two restaurants. In 2001, back on his native Texas soil, Dady planted his first San Antonio roots with The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, featuring one of the city’s first tasting menus. He followed that up with Modern American cuisine at BIN 555 Restaurant & Wine Bar in 2006, and two locations of Tre Trattoria, an Italian restaurant with a focus on fresh-made pasta. Two Bros. BBQ Market is Dady’s most emphatically Texan contribution to the San Antonio dining landscape. His latest venture roves around San Antonio serving ever-evolving gourmet menu, @DUK Truck. But given his proven penchant for innovation, and the success of the legacy he’s building upon, it’s likely Dady will continue to build into the next generation of family success, and San Antonio cuisine.
His hard work and attention to detail earned him “Forty under 40 Rising Star” in the San Antonio Business Journal in 2008, “Rising Star” Chef recognition and a cover photo in Restaurant Hospitality magazine in 2004 and in 2005 and 2008 was honored as a guest chef at The James Beard House in New York City, “Star Chef Restaurateur” by Star Chefs, semi-finalist nomination by James Beard, Best Chef San Antonio by San Antonio Current and San Antonio Magazine.
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are Los Angeles-based chef-entrepreneurs who blend innovative and seasonal cooking with ambitious dining experiences.
They opened Animal restaurant in June 2008 to widespread acclaim. Since then the duo has been awarded some of the most prominent national accolades including Food & Wine Best New Chefs, two James Beard nominations, Rising Star Chefs by Star Chefs, and Wine List of the Year by GQ Magazine. Their second restaurant, Son of a Gun, opened in February 2011 and was named one of Bon Apetit’s Top 10 New Restaurants for 2012 and Details magazine’s hottest restaurant in the world.
They also operate a full service catering company, and their cookbook Two Dudes One Pan was voted one of NPR’s “10 Best Cookbooks of 2008.” They have been covered in numerous publications, including, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, The New Yorker, Travel + Leisure, Garden and Gun, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine magazine, and have appeared on The Morning Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, Iron Chef America, judges on Top Chef, The Layover with Anthony Bourdain, Best Thing I Ever Ate, and NPR’s Good Eats.
Just prior to opening Animal the duo starred in their own reality show called Two Dudes Catering on the Food Network. They met while attending culinary school at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida, where they worked for a number if prominent chefs before making their way out west.
Graham Elliot is a critically acclaimed chef, restaurateur and television personality and one of the most recognized faces cooking in America today. Growing up a “Navy brat” allowed him the opportunity to travel the world and all fifty states, this sparking an intense interest in food and culture.
At age 27, he became the youngest Four Star Chef to be named in any major U.S. city and was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chef” in 2004.
In recent years has accrued several prestigious accolades, including multiple James Beard Foundation nominations as well as being named one of Crain’s Chicago Business list of “40 Under Forty”, putting him in an elite club that includes luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey and President Barack Obama, both of whom he has had the pleasure of cooking for.
In May of 2008 Graham opened his eponymous restaurant, Graham Elliot, which is now one of fifteen restaurants in the US to hold two Michelin stars.
In December 2010 Graham opened the fast-casual sandwich concept simply titled “Grahamwich” in Chicago’s River North area. Grahamwich has become a go-to spot for Chicagoans and visitors alike seeking inspired sandwiches, homemade sodas on tap, truffle popcorn, soft serves and french press coffee to go.
In June of 2012, Chef Graham Elliot opened his third restaurant, Graham Elliot Bistro, in Chicago’a West Loop. The bistro uses old school techniques and seasonal ingredients to present it’s whimsical take on culinary classics.
That same year also saw Graham being named “Chef of the Year” and his induction into the Chicago Chefs Hall of Fame. To top that off, Mayor Rahm Emanuel officially proclaimed September 19th “Graham Elliot Day” in the city of Chicago.
In addition to appearing on Iron Chef and two seasons of the popular “Top Chef Masters,” Graham currently co-stars alongside Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich in the FOX series MasterChef, which is now in its fourth season.
Graham, a singer and guitarist in his own right who records the music for his restaurants websites, is also the Culinary Director of Lollapalooza where he helps setup ChowTown which helps to showcase the relationship between food and music, all while highlighting the best chefs and restaurants Chicago has to offer.
When he’s not traveling the globe in search of gastronomic inspiration, he resides in Chicago with his wife and business partner, Allie, and his three children, Mylo Ignatius, Conrad Matthias and Jedediah Lindsay.
Jodi’s love of baking developed at an early age in the kitchen with her Grandmother, “Meme.” A picky eater, but a sweets lover, Jodi enjoyed the playfulness and nostalgia that went along with baking. With the encouragement of her mother, she started her pastry career at age 16 at a local café in San Antonio, TX. Jodi comments, “I was lucky to find my passion early on even before I knew what a pastry chef was.”
Following her high school graduation, Jodi attended the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park where she met Ned. While earning her culinary degree, Jodi worked at Gramercy Tavern under highly-acclaimed Pastry Chef Claudia Fleming. After graduating from the CIA in 2001, Jodi moved to London and took a position at the Savoy Hotel. After a year in London, she returned to New York in 2002 and continued her culinary career at such heralded restaurants as Bouley, Thomas Keller’s Per Se, Peacock Alley in the Waldorf Astoria and Michael Symon’s Parea. It was during Jodi’s time as the Pastry Chef at Parea that the restaurant earned a two-star review from the New York Times.
Ned Elliott grew up gardening in a home where food played an integral role in daily life. Ned was raised by two women, his mothers Sandra and Linda, who shared their love of gardening, cooking and baking with him. Sandra the cook, taught Ned about the importance of fresh ingredients. From Linda, the baker, Ned learned patience. Both taught him that life should be about continuous learning, a philosophy that was reinforced by Chef Ducasse and his mentor Chef Doug Psaltis.
“My mantra is attention to detail,” says Elliott. “Chef Psaltis instilled this in me and it is an important part of how we define Foreign & Domestic.”
It was at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park in 1999 that Ned met Jodi. Eager to further his career outside of his schooling, Ned left the CIA and began staging at various restaurants in New York City and eventually landed a job at Tabla Restaurant. He continued building an impressive resume as he worked for such prestigious New York restaurants as the Essex House under Chef Alain Ducasse, Picholine, Country and on the opening team at Thomas Keller’s Per Se.
Susan Feniger’s passion for food has propelled her into a three-decade career as a successful chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and media darling, with the Los Angeles Times recently saying, “She deserves an Emmy for energy.” She spends most days dividing her time between her first solo venture, Susan Feniger’s STREET, and the Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, Downtown LA, and Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, as well as the Border Grill Truck–all co-owned with Chef Mary Sue Milliken.
A veteran of nearly 400 episodes of Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales” and “Tamales World Tour” series along with Milliken, Feniger has also appeared on season two of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” “The Today Show,” “Chef vs. City,” and “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” as well as in print for magazines such as Gourmet, Sunset, Bon Appétit and O, The Oprah Magazine. Feniger has co-authored five cookbooks including City Cuisine, Mesa Mexicana and Cooking with Too Hot Tamales with Milliken, as well as her most recent solo endeavor, set for release in July of 2012, Susan Feniger’s STREET: irresistibly crispy, creamy, crunchy, spicy, sticky, sweet recipes.
Susan shines a light on a number of worthwhile organizations and has been on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation for 17 years and the board of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center for three. In all her endeavors, Susan’s genuine love for the authentic flavors of street and home cooked food has been her driving force and she shows no signs of slowing down.
Aaron Franklin’s parents owned a barbecue stand in his native Bryan, Texas, so it could be said that making good brisket was in his blood. But barbecue runs thick in the veins of every Texan, and when Aaron began experimenting with brisket and a backyard smoker a decade ago, it just so happened that with him it ran thicker than most.
With the encouragement of friends, Aaron and his wife Stacy debuted Franklin BBQ in late 2009 on an East Austin parking lot. From the walk-up window of a travel trailer turned brisket stand, patrons quickly noticed the Franklins were selling the best barbecue around. By spring, the line of admirers snaked around the block, and the press followed. In less than two years, the duo could count contributors from The Washington Post, Texas Monthly, and Cooking Channel among a growing chorus hailing Franklin among America’s BBQ elite—mentioned in the breath as Smitty’s, Kreuz’s, and other stalwart temples to the holy craft of smoked meat that line the Central Texas brisket belt. In the summer of 2010, Bon Appetit hailed Franklin BBQ as the best in America.
Aaron and Stacy quickly outgrew their trailer, now parked behind a bricks-and-mortar restaurant a few blocks south. And despite the new digs and every reasonable effort to increase production, Franklin BBQ’s line is as long as ever, and the restaurant has sold out of brisket every day of its existence.
Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner met while developing Maze for Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel in New York City and formed an immediate bond. Collectively, the two chefs have worked in some of the industry’s most renowned and respected kitchens including Aquavit, August, Fiamma, Aureole, The Modern and Gordon Ramsay at The London in New York City; Viajante in the United Kingdom; Chicago’s C-House and Houston’s own Kata Robata.
In September, 2012, Gallivan and Siegel-Gardner opened The Pass & Provisions, two restaurants which share a roof and a kitchen in a historic warehouse in Houston’s Fourth Ward. Provisions evokes the convivial atmosphere of a neighborhood restaurant and bar, with the menu largely focused on items cooked in the central wood-fired oven, while The Pass offers a more intimate dining experience with a changing-daily tasting menu.
After moving and roaming in and out of Texas, Bryce Gilmore, owner of Barley Swine, has finally settled down and allowed his roots to grow in Austin. His journey from bussing tables to managing a restaurant has been one that’s spanned over ten years and had him migrating from Texas to San Francisco, to Colorado and back. With all his experience and know-how, Bryce was honored in 2011 to be named a Food & Wine Best New Chef, and this year was named a James Beard nominee for Rising Star Chef and Barley Swine was named a Best New Restaurant by GQ magazine in March.
Bryce grew up in the restaurant industry. With chef and restaurateur father, Jack Gilmore of Z’Tejas Southwest Grill and recently Jack Allen’s Kitchen, his destiny was in cooking. He started bussing tables at 14 and then began serving food through his high school years. Ready to move behind the line, he moved to San Francisco after high school to attend the California Culinary Academy. Following his graduation he returned to Austin and worked at two well-known local institutions, Wink and Moonshine, before working as a sous chef at Café 909 until 2007. Missing the San Francisco coast, Bryce headed west to work at Nancy Oakes’ Boulevard. After a year, the travel itch returned this time leading him to the Rocky Mountains where he work at Montagna Restaurant at famed hotel The Little Nell in Aspen, Co. His time in Aspen proved to be a great one, where he learned the importance of quality ingredients and where he met Barley Swine sous chef Sam Hellman-Mass. After a year in Colorado, Bryce was ready for 300 days of sunshine a year and came back to Austin. The food trailer scene was booming and Bryce jumped on the bandwagon—with one stand-a-part element, a focus on local purveyors and ingredients. In 2009, when all his ducks were in a row, he opened Odd Duck Farm to Trailer in South Austin.
Odd Duck Farm to Trailer is a place where Austin foodies flock for fresh, gourmet small plates. Gilmore creates his dishes with fresh and locally sourced ingredients, and prices them for the “average Joe”. He has gotten major recognition from local as well as national media and was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America. Following much success with his acclaimed cooking, Gilmore decided to open his first brick and mortar restaurant that encompasses his love of beer and food, especially pork. And thus came the aptly named, Barley Swine. Gilmore’s duties cover all aspects of running a successful business including managing personnel, sourcing and prepping ingredients, overseeing service from the kitchen, maintaining the financials and making sure “he has no life outside of the restaurant”. He has the best of both worlds: experience to execute dishes at a high level and the ability to still get creative with food.
As a cook, Gilmore always enjoys playing around with new techniques and flavor combinations. “By working with the farmers on their new crop or the animals they raise, we have a passion to create something that will bring joy to our customers while still being true to the ingredient.” Gilmore says of the importance of using local ingredients.
When not cooking at Barley Swine, Gilmore is busy shopping at farmers markets, supporting local food charities and planning his next culinary venture. And when moments of freedom arise Bryce can be found spending time with his wife, Molly, watching football and relaxing by the lake with a beer in hand; a quintessential Austinite.
Jack Gilmore’s bold, flavorful style hails from his experience across the Gulf Coast Region of the South, his upbringing in the Rio Grande Valley, and extensive work with Master German chefs. However, his legendary hospitality is 100% Texan. Gilmore began his culinary career working with “old school” Cajun chefs in South Padre Island, Texas. Seeking new challenges, Gilmore relocated to Austin where he helped open the original Chez Fred’s and longtime seafood favorite Louie’s on the Lake, before moving to Louisiana.
Returning to Texas in the mid-1980s, chef Gilmore worked under Master German chefs in Fredericksburg, which truly helped shape his culinary vision. In those kitchens, he learned to “put everything you have learned together and use it,” Jack remembers. “The Masters taught me to be humble when it does not work out and glad when it does.”
Gilmore came back to Austin in 1990 to create the culinary vision for the legendary Z’Tejas Grill, a perfect fit for his unique background and talent. As the founding executive chef for the Austin-based operation, fresh ingredients and signature elements marked his distinctive style.
In October of 2009, Jack and partner Tom Kamm left Z’Tejas to create their dream project – Jack Allen’s Kitchen, focusing on farm to table fresh ingredients, spirited Texas cuisine, and ‘Jacked up’ hospitality. Since its opening in December 2009, the restaurant has enjoyed rave reviews, loyal-already fans, and big time crowds.
“We focus on fresh ingredients in everything we do – from the produce to the meat to even the local honey and olive oil we use,” he says proudly. “Jack Allen’s is 80% local after only four months of operation. I tell the farmers, ‘Bring me everything you’ve got – it won’t go to waste.’ For example, if I get a bunch of great tomatoes, we might use the extras in tomato jam. I can get really creative.”
“Growing up in a coastal border town of South Texas, my meals came from the fresh seafood of the Gulf of Mexico and farm fields full of fruits and vegetables. I remember experiencing many layers of flavors,” explains Jack. “My number one goal is to honor the ingredients, and we work hard to create bold, fresh flavors in every dish we serve.”
Cocktails, using premium liquors, creative combinations, and fresh squeezed juices, are a big part of the successful equation at Jack Allen’s Kitchen.
When not in the kitchen, Gilmore enjoys spending free time with his wife LuAnn, and their two sons, Bryce and Dylan. His hobbies include gardening, cooking in his outdoor home kitchen, water skiing, and Longhorn football. He is actively involved in the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation, and received the Carolyn Nelson Award in April 2010 for his dedicated support of the organization.
Sarah Grueneberg developed a love for the culinary world as a small child. Raised in Houston, Grueneberg spent much of her time cooking and baking with her grandparents while her mother traveled for work. Her passion for exploring flavors and new cuisines grew from her German heritage as she made sausage, cinnamon rolls, and wild berry pies with her grandparents. Her flavor profile expanded in the fourth grade when she created her own restaurant called Taste of the World under her school’s bleachers. Grueneberg created globally-inspired menus and dishes from grass and flowers. From a young age it was easy to see that Sarah was destined to be a part of the culinary world.
Grueneberg attended the Art Institute of Houston and attained her associates degree in culinary arts in 2001. That July, Grueneberg joined Brennan’s of Houston working under Chef Randy Evans where she began as garde manger and worked her way up to become the restaurant’s youngest female sous chef at the age of 22 in 2003. While at Brennan’s Sarah was exposed to the epitome of southern hospitality and to a well-rounded menu of Texas Creole featuring locally driven foods, game meets and fresh farm produce.
In September 2005 Grueneberg joined the award-winning team at Spiaggia, Chicago’s only four-star Italian restaurant helmed by Chef Tony Mantuano. With just a brushstroke of experience with Italian cuisine, Grueneberg started on the line, which afforded her the opportunity to learn about Italian food, culture, and products. After much diligence and determination, Grueneberg was promoted to purchasing sous chef in February 2007 where she developed her leadership skills and gained insight into the business operations of a restaurant. In this position, she worked closely with Executive Chef Missy Robbins learning how to source and treat ingredients, developing her creative side. In August 2008, Grueneberg was promoted to chef di cucina, taking over for Chef Robbins.
Grueneberg’s growing knowledge of Italian food, culture and language has enabled her to create one-of-a-kind experiences for Spiaggia guests that ultimately led to her promotion to executive chef in January 2010. Since taking on this role, Grueneberg has been covered in The Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out Chicago, Eater, Grub Street, The Feast, The Daily Meal, and Star Chefs, among other outlets. In July 2010 she was named one of Chicago’s Rising Star Chefs by Chicago Social magazine and was named Chicago Chef of the Year in the 2011 Eater Awards. Furthermore, Grueneberg competed against 28 other cheftestants to make it to the finals of Bravo’s “Top Chef: Texas,” where she was named the runner-up on February 29, 2012.
To further broaden Grueneberg’s hands-on experience with Italian cuisine, she travels to Italy at least once a year to work with and visit some of the Italy’s best chefs and producers. Grueneberg has cooked in heralded kitchens including: Il San Lorenzo and Grano in Rome; Il Rigolleto in Reggiolo; and Del Pescatore, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Canento Sul’Oligo where Chef Tony Mantuano worked in 1984 prior to opening Spiaggia. From her travels, Grueneberg has become an expert on balsamico and attended the September 2010 harvest with producer Andrea Bezzecchi at his Acetaia San Giacomo with plans to further educate the Spiaggia and culinary community all about the vast world of balsamic vinegar.
When not cooking at Spiaggia, Grueneberg can be seen teaching Spiaggia cooking classes, leading demos at the Green City Market, practicing her Italian and exploring Chicago’s vast culinary world.
A fifth generation Texan, Chef Holmes is the quintessential proud Texan. Growing up with a father and grandfather working in the oil fields, Holmes’ memories pay special attention to food and can fondly remember his grandfather taking BBQ to the oil rigs for lunch. Holmes left Texas to attend college at the University of Oklahoma where he received his Bachelor’s degree with concentrations in Communication and Political Science. He then moved to New York to learn his craft from The Institute of Culinary Education. Upon graduation, Chef Holmes began his career working at Joseph’s Table in Taos, New Mexico. Holmes then built his resume working with renowned New York City restaurants including Craft and Picholine, and eventually moved to Strausbourg, France to work in the kitchen at La Panier du Marche.
Chef Holmes made his way back to Texas and opened Rose-Hill Manor in Fredericksburg. He then settled in Austin and worked for the Texas Culinary Academy where he was a Chef Instructor for Ventana Restaurant. After Ventana, Chef Holmes helped open the Alamo Drafthouse and shortly after made the move to Out There Catering where he managed backstage catering for popular Austin music venues.
While Holmes’ tireless work often leaves him exhausted, he still makes time for his family. Daughters Olivia and Lucy—for whom the restaurants were named——and his wife and business partner, Cristina, are his driving force every day. Next in line to his love of cooking and family, are his loves for West Texas Mexican food, live music (especially Willie Nelson) and not surprisingly, bacon.
Fort Worth, Texas chef Tim Love is known as much for his freewheeling personality as his signature urban western cuisine. As chef and owner of The Woodshed Smokehouse, The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, and The Love Shack, his inspired and innovative dishes have earned critical and popular acclaim.
In 2000, Love opened The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards district, earning his reputation as a veritable meat master for his preparations of everything from steaks to rabbit, wild boar, kangaroo, elk, and even rattlesnake. In 2007, Love opened a classic burger joint called The Love Shack, also in the Stockyards, which was followed by two additional locations in Texas. In 2012, Love opened The Woodshed Smokehouse on the banks of the Trinity River in Fort Worth. This unique restaurant is chef Tim Love’s homage to all things grilled, roasted, and slow-cooked, featuring an ever rotating selection of beef, chicken, pork, wild game, fish, and vegetables, all cooked over a variety of woods and fire sources.
Through his restaurants and work in the community for such causes as Burgers 4 Babies in support of Fort Worth’s NICU Helping Hands Foundation or Spoons Across America, Love always tries to make his fans and family proud. His charm and southern hospitality are always on display, whether it’s at his restaurants, on TV, or at culinary events and cultural festivals around the world including the Austin Food & Wine Festival, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and as the official chef of Austin City Limits.
In less than two years, Brian Malarkey has created five wildly successful restaurant concepts in San Diego that together form the Fabric of Social Dining. Searsucker, Burlap, Gabardine, Gingham and Herringbone each opened to rave reviews, including Time Magazine naming Searsucker the country’s #2 hottest restaurant. With plans to open 15 more restaurants over the next five years, Malarkey has taken the show on the road with the national expansion of his “big three” flagship restaurants Searsucker, Burlap and Herringbone. First stop Scottsdale, which welcomed Searsucker this past November and next up is Searsucker Austin in April 2013.
Prior to opening his first restaurant Malarkey, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Portland, held positions at several marquee restaurants in Los Angeles including Chef Michel Richard’s Citrus. Soon after he was hired by The Oceanaire Seafood Room and opened their San Diego location as Executive Chef/Partner, where he garnered over 60 industry awards in five years.
It was while at Oceanaire that he combined his passion for food and entertaining and was cast on Bravo’s “Top Chef 3 Miami” where he advanced to the finale. He’s since hosted and guest starred in series on TLC, Travel Channel, Bravo, OWN and more. In early 2013 Malarkey joins ABC’s new cooking competition show “The Taste” as a judge/mentor alongside Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre. “The Taste” premieres January 22 on ABC. He is also the author of Come Early, Stay Late, a cookbook that is a collection of recipes from each of his five restaurant concepts.
Most often recognized as one of the Champions on season two of Bravos’ “Top Chef Masters” Chef Tony Mantuano is also internationally regarded as an influential culinary force. He is Chef/Partner at Spiaggia, the only four-star Italian restaurant in Chicago, and has been awarded the 2005 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Midwest.
Mantuano’s love for creating exciting restaurant concepts has given way to other ventures. He is owner of Mangia Trattoria, a classic Italian restaurant in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin and is the Chef/Partner at Terzo Piano, an Italian inspired restaurant that utilizes fresh, local, organic and sustainably produced ingredients to create seasonal menus at The Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. In November 2011 he opened Bar Toma, a long-time dream to create an Italian neighborhood pizzeria and bar, featuring wood-fired pizzas, an espresso bar, a gelateria, with a wide selection of Italian beers and wines. Up next for Mantuano includes the opening of Bar Lorenzo, a casual, elegant Italian restaurant located on Miami’s South Beach in the forthcoming Hotel Lorenzo in March 2013.
Mantuano’s first cookbook The Spiaggia Cookbook was lauded by Food & Wine magazine as one of the top 25 cookbooks of 2004. In 2008 Mantuano co-authored “Wine Bar Food” with wine expert and wife Cathy Mantuano, which has been the inspiration for WINE BAR FOOD outposts at the 2008-2012 US Open Tennis Championships in New York.
Mantuano has made numerous television appearances including “Nightline”, “The Today Show”, “The Early Show” and “Martha” and has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine, La Cucina Italiana, Bon Appétit and Wine Spectator, among others.
In addition to his 2005 honor, Mantuano’s Spiaggia has also received James Beard Foundation nominations for Outstanding Restaurant in America in 2006, 2007 and 2010 and for Outstanding Service in 2008, 2009, 2012. In September 2012 he was named part of the American Chef Corps and a 2012 State Chef by the U.S. Department of State and its new Culinary Diplomatic Partnership program. However, his favorite award was presented in April 2009, when he and Cathy Mantuano were honored with the keys to San Martino in the Italian region of Molise for serving authentic Italian cuisine in America and in particular to President Barak Obama, a long-time Spiaggia guest who celebrated his presidential election victory at Spiaggia in 2008.
Prior to launching the Noble Sandwich Co in September 2010, John was involved with two well-known Austin restaurants, as a sous chef at Wink and then as the executive chef at Asti Trattoria for 2 ½ years.
John attended culinary school at Del Mar College in his native Corpus Christi, graduating in 2000, and credits his work in a variety of restaurants since 1991 in helping him to refine his culinary skills and define his approach. Determined to fill a culinary void in Austin, he teamed up with longtime friend Brandon Martinez to create Noble Sandwich Co, where, as he puts it, “with a dedication to artisan cooking craftsmanship, you can make almost anything you want”.
Brandon got his start early, working with his grandparents for their famed Corpus Christi catering company Wilman’s Catering.
He went on to prepare for his professional culinary career by training at the New England Culinary Institute, graduating in 2002. After graduation, Martinez’ experience included stops at the Inn at the Anasazi, a Santa Fe resort hotel, and Aquarello, a Michelin-recognized Italian restaurant in San Francisco. While looking for a project to reflect his commitment to craftsman ship and food, Martinez joined forces with culinary school peer and friend John Bates to create the Noble Sandwich Co.
When El Chile Cafe y Cantina opened in 2003, it enjoyed a raving reception as a top Tex-Mex restaurant not only in Austin, but throughout the state. Its distinguished foray into the Austin dining scene is thanks in large part to the talent of Chef Jeff Martinez who together with El Chile owner Carlos Rivero created a menu that balanced fine culinary technique and skill with the rich and layered flavors they had grown up with in San Antonio.
Cooking has always been a part of Martinez’s life. In fact, he remembers writing his first recipe for his parents when he was in grade school. And though it was more of an ingredients list for the humble hot dog, the concept of thinking through how to prepare something tasty stuck with Martinez into his young career. His first jobs were in kitchens prepping and line cooking. It wasn’t until he landed a job at Biga—which later became Biga on the Banks—for Bruce Auden that he realized a profound love for making food.
Two years later, he made his way to Austin. While his first choice was to get a job in the highly competitive kitchen of Jeffrey’s, he bided his time at former Clarksville vegetarian favorite, West Lynn Cafe until a spot was available at Jeffrey’s. The first person he spoke to about a job at Jeffrey’s was then chef de cuisine Alma Alcocer. The two developed a strong working relationship with Martinez honing his skills in technique and flavor profiles from Alcocer.
At the same time, he met Carlos Rivero, who was managing Jeffrey’s at the time. As the two became friends, they both began to talk about ideas for a future restaurant. Before long, Rivero had solidified an opportunity to open El Chile and chose Martinez as his first pick for chef. Though Martinez had little experience with Tex-Mex cooking, he relied on his understanding of fine dining and his expanding palate to guide him in creating what would become some of El Chile’s most prized dishes including the Pescado Entortillado (tortilla-crusted Gulf drum) and the rich and smoky mole enchiladas.
In an effort to round out his culinary education, Martinez left El Chile after five years for an opportunity to learn alongside esteemed chef Diana Kennedy at Fonda San Miguel. His two years at Fonda combined with a few summer culinary courses in the Yucatan, his understanding of authentic Mexican fare deepened.
“Even though I’m from San Antonio, I knew little about Mexican food, but gaining this experience with authentic, traditional Mexican food really opened my eyes,” says Martinez.
Having gained a broader depth of skill in Mexican cuisine, Martinez and Rivero took up talks again to reinvent some of the menu at El Chile, in 2012, Martinez was brought back to the helm of the restaurant to combine his creativity with his great appreciation for Latin flavors. While Martinez has kept many restaurant favorites, he has also introduced a number of fresh and vibrant weekly specials as well as new permanent menu items including spicy short rib nachos and crab tostada served with smoky bacon guacamole.
While his time away from El Chile was bittersweet, his new understanding of Mexican cuisine awakened an even more passionate inspiration to take the well-loved restaurant to the next level.
“It was great to get the experience while I was away from El Chile,” says Martinez. “But it’s also really good to be back home.”
Thoughts to add:
Tex-Mex with integrity
Now traditional Mexican cuisine with Modern techniques.
Benchmarc president Marc Murphy, the 42 year old chef and restaurateur behind some of the city’s most innovative and expansive restaurant brands, has over 500 employees in his NYC restaurant organization – and balances nights in the kitchen with days in front of the Food Network cameras.
As the son of a French mother and American diplomat father, Marc spent his formative years in Europe and lived in Milan, Paris, Rome, Genoa, and Washington D.C. all before the age of 12. While he dreamt of becoming a professional race car driver or surfer, he began cooking simply to earn some extra money and ended up sautéed his way through Paris, Monte Carlo and other cities around Europe. Eventually settling in New York City, Marc worked under famed chefs at Le Cirque and Windows on the World before opening his first restaurant, Landmarc in Tribeca.
Over the past decade Marc’s one small neighborhood restaurant grew into a full service epicurean brand, and while he sits at the top of his organization overseeing executive chefs, directors of operations, general managers and others, he still considers himself “just a cook.”
Janina O’Leary is no stranger to the world of fine pastry. A graduate of The French Culinary Institute with a Grand Diploma in Pastry Arts, O’Leary stepped out the classroom and into her training under Laurent Tourendel in 2004 at BLT Prime in New York City. Following her time at BLT Prime, O’Leary had the opportunity to work in some of the world’s most prestigious kitchens, including three Michelen star restaurants Daniel and Per Se. Working under culinary giants, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller respectively, O’Leary mastered the art of pastry in fine dining establishments which primed her for her New York Times four-star rated restaurant, Del Posto.
Her talents were in demand outside of the restaurant as well. In 2009, she consulted on recipe development and photography for a Martha Stewart cookbook. O’Leary opened New York City’s Village Tart as Executive Chef before heading back to her native Texas to assume the position of Executive Pastry Chef at Trace at the W Austin. Having been mentored by greats like, Chef Sebastian Rouxel of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, O’Leary gained exceptional expertise that supports her passion for great desserts. She is an incredible talent offering incomparable sweets as part of the “conscious cuisine” concept of Trace.
Rene Ortiz is the executive chef of La Condesa Austin, a contemporary Mexican restaurant located in Austin’s vibrant 2nd Street district and a 2010 James Beard Foundation Award “Best New Restaurant” nominee; and La Condesa Napa Valley, which opened in September 2011. Chef Ortiz’s new modern Thai restaurant Sway opens in Austin in the fall of 2012.
A native of Texas, Ortiz crafted his signature culinary style during two decades spent travelling and working with some of the industry’s most influential chefs and restaurants, such as Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, and New York City’s La Esquina. His unique preparations combine traditional and contemporary Mexican techniques and ingredients.
Ortiz began his culinary career in Vancouver, as chef de cuisine for Robert Clark at the celebrated Star Anise, named Canada’s “Best Restaurant of the Year” in 1996 by Gourmet magazine. He then worked in brasseries and bistros throughout Western Europe, absorbing the continent’s varied culinary styles and developing his taste for exotic, international flavors.
In 1998, Ortiz returned to the U.S. and headed to New York City where he cooked with such respected chefs as Boulud, Ducasse, and the late Jean-Louis Palladan. Ortiz was soon appointed chef de cuisine for Douglas Rodriguez at Patria, and dazzled diners with his modern Latin-American fare.
In 2003, Ortiz left Patria to consult with notable restaurant investors and chefs from around the world. Mark Miller of Santa Fe’s Coyote Cafe asked Ortiz to revamp the menus for Wildfire and Ocean Room, Miller’s restaurants in Sydney, Australia. Also in Sydney, Ortiz helped launch the Emerald Room at Industrie, an upscale French bistro. More recently, he opened and served as executive chef at New York City hotspot, La Esquina, which won Time Out New York magazine’s “Best New Restaurant 2007” award and remains one of the City’s most coveted reservations.
Chef Ortiz showcases the bold flavors and vibrant colors of modern regional Mexican cuisine at both La Condesa locations. Dishes range from street food favorites to sophisticated specialties, all made with the freshest ingredients. An extensive selection of premium tequilas and innovative cocktails are available to complement the tantalizing fare. Sway will showcase Chef Ortiz’s modern Thai cuisine. His passion for Thai cooking began while living in Sydney and working alongside chefs adapting Thai food with local Australian ingredients, other regional Southeast Asian influences and using modern Western technique.
Named Top Latino Chef in the U.S. in 2009 by the Flavors of Passion Awards, Jesse T. Perez brings an extraordinary passion and lifelong dedication to the culinary arts as owner and executive chef at Arcade Midtown Kitchen.
Perez’s journey on his culinary path began after his enthusiasm working at restaurants while pursuing a degree in ethnic and cultural history at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Upon graduation, Perez postponed his graduate school pursuits and began working at Francesca’s at Sunset, an award-winning Southwestern restaurant at La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, TX. While there, internationally renowned Southwestern food connoisseur Mark Miller, chef and owner of Coyote Café in Santa Fe, NM, recognized him as an up and coming talent. Miller became Perez’s mentor and the two, who share a passion for learning and innovating in the kitchen, worked closely both in and outside of Francesca’s kitchen.
Under Miller’s tutelage, Perez quickly established his culinary expertise at Francesca’s, earning the top spot in the restaurant’s kitchen within a few short years. Perez’s leadership garnered the restaurant numerous accolades, including a spot on the “50 Best Hotel Restaurants in the U.S.” in USA Today. During his tenure at Francesca’s, Perez was inspired to expand his expertise and pursue his Introduction Certificate of Sommeliers from the Guild of Master Sommeliers. He worked closely with Master Sommelier Virginia Philip and earned the certificate in 2000.
As owner and executive chef at Arcade Midtown Kitchen, the restaurant’s focus will be Americana, a new cuisine choice for Perez. The 3,100-square foot restaurant will put a modern spin on the classic dishes with fares ranging from snacks and flatbreads to steaks and fish entrees that will change seasonally. Each dish combines Perez’s Latin influences with his skillfully crafted American menu; a place where Green Chile meets Fresh Lobster, Filet Steak is fused with Pasilla Mole and Shrimp meets Tomatillo Emulsion. Arcade Midtown Kitchen will offer dinner, lunch and breakfast and is located at the Pearl in San Antonio at 303 Pearl Parkway.
Perez has also worked at the Italian upscale restaurant, Luciano at the Strand, in San Antonio where he brought a Southwestern influence. His success led to an invitation by Pano Karatassos to join Buckhead Life Restaurant Group (BLRG) and Nava in Atlanta. As Executive Chef at Nava, Perez focused on modern Southwestern cuisine with Latin influences. Most recently, Perez was executive chef at Fuego at the Maya where he brought the authentic and traditional flavors of coastal Latin America to the table and was named to the “Top Four Latino Chef’s of Los Angeles” and “Top 40 Chef’s of Los Angeles.”
A deep appreciate for culture and its influence on cuisine has continued to inspire Perez to seek new learning experiences through travel. He has spent time working with chef and author Susana Trilling at her cooking school in Oaxaca, Mexico, an experience he credits with helping him refine his training and techniques.
Paul Qui is the recipient of the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest 2012, and the winner of Top Chef Season 9. Born in Manila, Philippines and trained in classic French and Japanese cuisine, Paul takes a modernist approach towards food, where there are no boundaries. Starting as a stage, Paul worked his way up the ranks of Uchi to Chef de Cuisine and eventually Executive Chef at Uchiko.
While training under Uchi Chef and Owner Tyson Cole, Paul learned to adapt traditional Japanese dishes with an eye towards local flavor, all while incorporating influences from South East Asian and European cuisine. Paul recently stepped down as executive chef at Uchiko, and is currently in the process of opening his flagship restaurant, Qui. He is also the co-founder and chef/owner of East Side King, a group of Asian-inspired street food trailers and restaurants in Austin, TX.
Sandi Reinlie is the pastry chef at Vespaio. Located on eclectic South Congress Avenue the restaurant is a long-time favorite of locals and visitors alike.
Reinlie grew up in Florida working in her family’s restaurant business, where at age 12 her first tasks were making pizza dough and washing dishes. She spent countless hours in her grandmother Beverly’s kitchen enthusiastically watching as her grandmother transformed basic ingredients into delicious sweets. After relocating to Texas with her family, Reinlie graduated from pastry school in 2008 and worked her way up to become the Executive Pastry Chef at Walton’s Fancy and Staple, a gourmet bakery owned by Sandra Bullock.
Having a deep love of the Mediterranean, Reinlie finds traveling a powerful stimulus for creating. Since 2009 she has been working with Austin based culinary tours company Petite Peche, where she teaches hands on pastry instruction for tour guests. The tours allow her to work in France and Italy’s most celebrated food and wine regions, exposing her to an international culinary art scene, while working with some of the finest seasonal ingredients.
Between culinary tours, Reinlie served as pastry chef at Chef David Bull’s Second Bar + Kitchen, creating their fall pastry menu in 2011. In 2012, Austin Chronicle Food Editor Virginia B. Wood gave Reinlie’s lemon panna cotta from Vespaio the number one spot on her Top 10 Sweet Bites of 2012, calling it an “elegant offering” and a “transcendent sweet bite.”
Chef John Russ was born and raised in New Orleans and grew up with a deep love and appreciation for food. He began his culinary career first at The Ritz-Carlton then Restaurant August where he began to form the relationship with John Besh and his company that would bring him to San Antonio. During his time at August, he learned the importance of forming relationships with farmers and fisherman, which would later be reinforced by his time working on farms in Alabama, New Hampshire, New York and Maryland.
Chef Russ spent years in Europe opening hotels, training staff, setting kitchens up for success all while gaining an appreciation of the European kitchen, which focuses on the education and evolution of the staff. After time in New Hampshire, New York and Maryland, spent honing his skills and revitalizing restaurant kitchens, Chef Russ returned to the Besh Restaurant Group as Chef de Cuisine on the invitation of Chef Besh. He now leads the kitchen at Luke San Antonio as Executive Chef.
Marcus Samuelsson is the internationally acclaimed chef behind Red Rooster Harlem,Ginny’s Supper Club and American Table Café and Bar by Marcus Samuelsson, a committed philanthropist, and The NewYork Times-bestselling author of Yes, Chef. Chef Samuelsson has amazed the culinary industry not only with his technical excellence but also with his ability to infuse food with a diversity of cultures. After being orphaned in Ethiopia at the age of 3, Chef Samuelsson was adopted by a Swedish couple who encouraged his passion for food and cooking. Named one of the “The Great Chefs of America” by the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Samuelsson culinary education developed with apprenticeships in Switzerland, Austria and France before he settled in the United States. At the young age of 24 during his time as executive chef at Aquavit, Chef Samuelsson impressed the culinary world by receiving consecutive four-star ratings from Forbes and became the youngest person to receive two three-star ratings from The New York Times.
Chef Samuelsson has continued to be celebrated by the food world. The James Beard Foundation has honored him on multiple occasions including “Rising Star Chef” (1999), “Best Chef: New York City” (2003), “Best International Cookbook” (2007) and “Best Television Program” (for Chopped – 2012). Furthermore, he has an award-winning collection of cookbooks including The Soul of a New Cuisine (2006) and New American Table (2010). New American Table won Best Overall Cookbook from Epicurious.com and earned nominations from both IACP and the James Beard Foundation. His cookbooks have also won numerous awards from The New York Times, Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. Chef Samuelsson detailed his personal and professional journey in memoir, Yes, Chef, which spent numerous weeks on The New York Times’ best-sellers list after it debuted in June, 2012.
Chef Samuelsson has appeared on a number of national and international broadcast platforms, including Iron Chef, the Martha Stewart Show, LateNight with Jimmy Fallon, NBC’s TODAY Show, CBS Early Show and Good Morning America. A committed philanthropist, Chef Samuelsson won $115,000 for UNICEF when he beat out 21 fellow chefs on Top Chef Masters. In May 2012, he donated $50,000 to the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) after winning the Food Network television competition Chopped: All Stars.
In addition to his many other successes and accomplishes, Chef Samuelsson was honored with the task of planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner for President Obama and his family, Prime Minister Singh of India and 400 of their guests.
In December 2010, Chef Samuelsson opened Red Rooster Harlem. The acclaimed restaurant, which earned a two star rating from The New York Times, celebrates American cuisine in one of Manhattan’s most culturally vibrant and historically rich neighborhoods. The menu reflects the roots of Harlem’s rich diversity as well as Chef Samuelsson’s personal culinary journey. In March 2012, Chef Samuelsson and his business partner Andrew Chapman opened Ginny’s Supper Club, a Harlem Renaissance-inspired lounge with live music from local artists and musicians, in the space beneath Red Rooster Harlem. Later that year, Chef Samuelsson, a committed supporter of the arts, opened American Table Cafe and Bar by Marcus Samuelsson at Lincoln Center.
Whimsical, complex and beautiful, Laura Sawicki’s desserts embody her background in art history and a lifelong passion for food. After earning a degree from the CIA in 2005, Laura honed her skills at City Bakery, Canyon Ranch, Craftbar and Marlow & Sons before moving to Austin, TX to open James-Beard-nominated La Condesa – and oversaw its subsequent expansion in Napa. Laura is currently working on the opening of the La Condesa team’s second effort in Austin- a modern Thai restaurant named Sway.
Made only from seasonal ingredients, Laura’s work has gained a devoted local following and high praise from both local and national press. She was recently named Best New Pastry Chef 2012 by Food & Wine magazine.
Barton Seaver is a chef, author, speaker and National Geographic Fellow working to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other—through dinner. He believes food is a crucial way for us to connect with the ecosystems, people, and cultures of our world. In 2009, Esquire Magazine named him “Chef of the Year.” Seaver has since left the restaurant business to use his knowledge and experience to link seafood to broader socioeconomic, ecological, health, and cultural issues.
Seaver’s relationships with leading organizations expand the reach of his message. The New England Aquarium named Barton their first Sustainability Fellow in Residence to help connect the Aquarium’s message with our dinner plates. Seaver has taken a position as the Director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard School of Public Health. Their efforts will aim to highlight the important connection between environmental resiliency and human health while ensuring the profitability of local food producers. As a member of the American Chef Corps, Barton is also helping the State Department with their diplomacy abroad.
Seaver’s first cookbook, For Cod and Country, was published in 2011.
Chef Chris Shepherd isn’t originally from Texas, but he got here as soon as he could. The fresh, local ingredients inspired him, scouring the farms of Oklahoma as a child in search of straight-from-the-vine tomatoes, fresh corn, and peas.
Two decades ago, he applied to several culinary schools in the South and ultimately decided on somewhere he had never been before, Houston. The cultural diversity of the city intrigued Chris while attending the Art Institute. Chris began his career as a line cook at Brennan’s working his way up to Executive Sous-Chef and Sommelier. He spent 9 years at Brennan’s, nurturing his passion and talent in the culinary arts and developing his own style. Chris left Brennan’s to become Executive Chef of Catalan where he maintained partial control of the menu for 5 years.
Underbelly is Chris’ first concept that pays tribute to the abundant culinary resources, cultural diversity of our city and rich local food history. Chris works with local farmers and ranchers to raise herds, grow produce, and commits to purchasing whole crops exclusive to Underbelly. Chris is also using local by-catch, lesser known gulf species caught during commercial fishing. This relationship between fisherman and chefs is unique to Houston and promotes sustainability and more responsible use of the gulf’s resources. With Underbelly’s extensive butchering and charcuterie program, Chris’ passion for using the whole animal further demonstrates his devotion to the responsibilities of a well-run kitchen.
The menu, rather than being split up in to sections, is a list of rotating dishes inspired by Chris’ tenure in Houston. Through food, Chris tells the story of Houston from its’ beginning as a port city, to becoming the Creole city it is today, while still maintaining its’ Southern charm. Rather than following international food trends or staging around the country, Chris is inspired entirely by Houston and local restaurants off the beaten path. The various communities in Houston bring many flavors, techniques, and styles that inspire Chris and define his style of cooking. He continually works in restaurants all over the Houston area such as a Vietnamese restaurant in Pearland, Than Phoung, and Asia Market in the Heights.
Chris is the iconic Houston chef. In his free time he leads the Houston Culinary Tours: Where the Chef’s Eat, taking Houstonians and visitors to his favorite places to eat. Known for his lovable and outgoing personality, Chris enjoys interacting with people, and has requested lowered counters at the kitchen line and a community table where he can socialize with guests.
Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan met while developing Maze for Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel in New York City and formed an immediate bond. Collectively, the two chefs have worked in some of the industry’s most renowned and respected kitchens including Aquavit, August, Fiamma, Aureole, The Modern and Gordon Ramsay at The London in New York City; Viajante in the United Kingdom; Chicago’s C-House and Houston’s own Kata Robata.
In September, 2012, Gallivan and Siegel-Gardner opened The Pass & Provisions, two restaurants which share a roof and a kitchen in a historic warehouse in Houston’s Fourth Ward. Provisions evokes the convivial atmosphere of a neighborhood restaurant and bar, with the menu largely focused on items cooked in the central wood-fired oven, while The Pass offers a more intimate dining experience with a changing-daily tasting menu.
Chef Philip Speer conceives desserts that are an anticipated finish to dinner rather than an afterthought. A native Texan, Speer spent his early years in and out of bakeries around Houston and Austin, preparing for his jump to restaurant pastry.
In 2005, Philip settled at Uchi under James Beard Award winning Chef Tyson Cole. Combining elements of surprise and artistry with fresh ingredients are hallmarks of Speer’s approach to his craft and these techniques have garnered him awards in the Austin Chronicle, the Austin-American-Statesman and Texas Monthly as well as national recognition in Bon Appetit, Cooks Illustrated, and U.S.A. Today. Speer has been named a James Beard Award semi-finalist in the overall pastry chef category for the past three years, a Rising Star Pastry Chef by StarChefs.com, and Best Pastry Chef by Culturemap Austin Tastemaker Awards.
Speer’s talents are reinvented at Cole’s newest restaurants, Uchiko in Austin, Texas and Uchi in Houston, Texas. In addition to leading the pastry programs, Speer has taken the helm as Director of Culinary Operations at all three restaurants. Cole’s cookbook, Uchi the Cookbook, features an entire chapter on Speer’s desserts that highlight his inventive techniques and creative uses of less traditional ingredients.
While awards and recognition are greatly appreciated, Speer will tell you, “At the end of the day, it’s all about my love affair with food and working at such a high caliber establishment with diverse and talented chefs.”
Blaine has been a rising star in the culinary world during the past decade and a half. He first gained notice after becoming one of the youngest graduates of the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, NY at the age of 19. Following his graduation he spent two years under the tutelage of James Beard winning chef Marcus Samuelson at Aquavit Restaurant in New York City.
In 1998 he joined San Francisco based Aqua and Pisces Restaurant under acclaimed Chef Michael Mina, and in 2003 returned to his hometown of Dallas as the Sous Chef at Lola – The Restaurant.
His most recent venture, Fuse, gained him national recognition for his inventive Tex-Asian menu. During his career, he has been named Young Gun by D Magazine, received Four Stars for Food from the Dallas Morning News, appeared on “Good Morning Texas” and he was named Rising Star Chef by the Dallas Morning News in 2001. Most recently, he earned the title of “2012 Top Chef, Fort Worth, TX”.
Christina Tosi is the chef and owner of Momofuku Milk Bar, called “one of the most exciting bakeries in the country” by Bon Appetit Magazine. As founder of the dessert program at Momofuku, Christina helped Momofuku Ko earn two stars from the Michelin Guide and Momofuku Ssäm jump onto Restaurant Magazine‘s Top 100 Restaurants in the World list at #31. She won the 2012 Rising Star Chef Award by the James Beard Foundation, and has been named to the New York Times Magazine‘s “Nifty Fifty” list.
Christina and her confections have appeared on Martha Stewart, Live with Regis & Kelly and Conan O’Brien, among others. To much acclaim, the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook was published in the fall of 2011, published by Random House & Clarkson Potter. Christina lives in Brooklyn, NY with her three dogs and eats an unconscionable amount of raw cookie dough every day.
Kitchen wizardry is a dominant gene in Danny Trace’s DNA: He’s as comfortable preparing four-star meals in the nation’s most acclaimed restaurants as his father was in the family kitchen and his grandfather and uncle behind military stovetops.
Growing up just outside New Orleans, Danny spent countless hours with his extended family enjoying outdoor sports on land and sea: hunting, fishing, crabbing, and crawfishing. The thrill of turning the daily catch into a fresh, savory meal became Danny’s passion, landing him in the culinary arts program at the esteemed Johnson & Wales University.
As Chef Danny tells it, his ‘real’ education came first-hand in the bustling kitchen of Commander’s Palace, the acclaimed culinary landmark of the Brennan’s Family of Restaurants. Displaying the same intensity for learning as in his youth, Danny perfected his skills under Chef Jamie Shannon and mentor Ella Brennan, who dubbed Chef Danny “the complete package.” Taking Commander’s Palace into broadcast viewers’ homes, Danny was the witty on-air cohort on “Off the Menu,” the restaurant’s hunting and cooking show that enjoyed a popular five-year run. And outside the restaurant scene, Chef Danny expand his knowledge outdoors by interacting with farmers and producers, heading offshore with commercial fisherman, and hunting with wild game professionals.
A decade into his career, Chef Danny and his family retreated to nearby Texas to escape Hurricane Katrina — the 21st century’s most historical storm on U.S. soil, which also destroyed Danny’s home in its entirety — and the devastating aftermath. Ever loyal to the Brennan family, however, Chef Danny returned to New Orleans to take the Executive Chef reins of Café Adelaide, widely noted for its joie de vivre and cocktail culture spirit and which celebrated its post-hurricane reopening on Thanksgiving Day 2005. A new chapter in Chef Danny’s impressive career with the Brennan restaurant dynasty was written in 2008, taking him to the new Commander’s Palace and the On the Rocks Bar in Destin. His signature haute Creole cuisine, influenced by Louisiana roots and touches of Floribbean flair, quickly established the restaurant as a culinary paradise in Florida’s vacation hot spot.
With three stellar years under his belt at Commander’s in Florida, Chef Danny added a fourth restaurant in fall 2009 to his rich history with the Brennan’s Family of Restaurants. He today serves as Executive Chef at Brennan’s of Houston, creating traditional Creole favorites and intriguing daily specialties with a tempting twist that draw Houston diners time and again. And like those with whom he shares his passion for exceptional cooking and Southern hospitality, Danny’s family ranks at the top of his priorities.
In addition to his culinary creativity, Chef Danny is also known for his playful sense of humor, which has been known to make its way from the stovetop to the tabletop.
“Danny has magic in his hands. We have seen and expect more great things.”
Matriarch, Brennan’s Family of Restaurants
A native Austinite, Josh Watkins left his Central Texas hometown for schooling at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. While in the Golden State, Watkins worked on several restaurant openings with high-‐profile San Francisco Chef Reed Hearon—one of which, Rose Pistola, earned the James Beard Foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” award. Inspired by the wealth of seafood and high-‐quality, local produce San Francisco had to offer, Watkins decided to bring the same elevated, seasonal dining experience back home to Austin.
Returning to Texas, Watkins first worked under Chef William Koval at The French Room in the Adolphus Hotel, nationally recognized as the best restaurant in Dallas by The New York Times and Bon Appétit. Watkins then decided to make the move back home to Austin and joined the culinary team at the historic Driskill Grill under the tutelage of nationally acclaimed chef—and fellow Rising Star—David Bull.
By 23, Watkins had worked his way up to chef de cuisine (even making an appearance on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” alongside Bull). Watkins’ passion for farm fresh, ingredient-‐driven food led him to open The Carillon at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in June of 2008. It’s there, in the seat of his native city, that Watkins’ daring approach to traditional foods and emphasis on local, sustainable ingredients finally blossomed into something entirely its own. Watkins and The Carillon have quickly caught the attention of food critics across the state, earning consecutive four-‐star ratings from the Austin-‐American Statesman, solidifying his status as a talented chef invested in Austin’s thriving local culinary scene.
Working as a successful chef, restaurateur and author, Jonathan Waxman has graced such prestigious kitchens as Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Michael’s in Los Angeles. Waxman went on to open his own restaurant in New York City – Jams, described by the NY Times as ‘a culinary comet’, as well as the famed Washington Park. Today, Waxman is the chef and owner of Barbuto in Manhattan’s West Village. His first cookbook, A Great American Cook, was published in 2007 and his second book, ‘Italian My Way’, was released in April of 2011.
He participated in two seasons of Top Chef Masters on Bravo, where he earned the nickname ‘Obi Wan Kenobi’ and Jonathan Gold of the LA Times has referred to Jonathan as ‘the Eric Clapton of chefs’. Giving back is important to Waxman and he works closely with many charities including City Meals on Wheels and Alex’s Lemonade Stand. He currently lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.
Here’s the down and dirty. Wilcox worked in fast food at 17 and then landed a position at Eatzi’s, (where he worked his way up to corporate trainer). He participated in Brinker’s rigorous training, worked at Toscana restaurant and got a gig at Abacus (going from grill cook to sous chef to chef de cuisine), before attending The Culinary Institute of America in Greystone, California. He won a number of awards locally and nationally and was nominated as the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef for two consecutive years. He attended Alain Ducasse’s training center in Paris, appeared on Top Chef (Season 3) and on Iron Chef America. He also freelanced as a private chef (cooking for Russell Simmons, Jerry Stackhouse and the like), conducted in-home dinners and lead cooking classes for HEB. He was (and is) the face of Chantal cookware, and is now executive chef at Loft 610.
Wilcox is all too familiar with the world of chefs and their egos. He was on Top Chef after all. But just like the “bastardization of food,” he has no patience with the famous-for-being-famous shtick that is all too common even in the cooking world these days. “I’d rather be known for my cooking,” he says. For talented chefs, though, appearances on these shows “are very helpful with exposure if [the chefs] don’t make asses of themselves.”
Cooking is not the only thing that Wilcox is incredibly disciplined about. He is also a maniac about being in shape. And he is in incredible shape. “I was very heavy before,” he says. Seven years ago, I was 280 pounds. A plump kind of guy. I’d fluff the chef coat to hide it.” One day, he was just over it. “It was just a realization.” He not only recognized the gain, he also recognized exactly where it came from.
“You get married. You pick up happy weight. You get comfortable. I was a chef with a bad diet. You let it creep up on you,” Wilcox says. When he started losing weight he had a contest at the restaurant with other employees in the same predicament. “November 1 everyone put in $100. I lost 12 pounds in one month, took the pot, and never stopped. Now it’s an addiction.”
At 35 now, he opened Marquee in late April 2011 in Highland Park Village. Next, he plans to open a small 40- to 70-seat tasting restaurant some time down the line.
As for now though, he says, he’s just “taking it all in.” He knows what he wants and he likes what he likes. But he’s also a charmer, and his food is delicious. Between that and the disciplined way he approaches everything he does, he’s set to leave his teeth marks in the industry on every front.
After careers in real estate and on Wall Street, native Austinite Kevin Williamson chose a career in cooking. His work included cooking in La Jolla, New York City, and Aspen. While in Aspen, he worked for the famed Ajax Tavern at the base of Aspen Mountain with chefs Michael Chiarello and Nick Morfogen. During his tenure at Aspen’s Ajax Tavern, Williamson honed skills and decided he wanted to own his own restaurant.
Chef Williamson returned to his hometown of Austin in 1996 where he first worked as Chef for the original Central Market, a leader in destination fresh markets, specializing in prep-less produce and chef-prepared meals for people passionate about food.
In 1998, Williamson opened his own unique restaurant, Ranch 616, a South Texas-style icehouse reminiscent of his many years hunting and fishing in South Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. It was at these ice houses where Williamson was served his finest meals and made many memories, inspiring him to create a town gathering spot similar for local Austinites. At Ranch 616, Williamson combines the flavors of the Gulf Coast with the spices of the border towns of Texas. As quoted by Texas Monthly Magazine, “If there was a Texas-style diner in Manhattan, it would be Ranch 616.”
Ranch 616 and Chef Williamson have won numerous wards, from his sugar cure rub to his legendary fried oysters voted Southern Living Magazine’s “Best in the South” for three consecutive years.
Williamson has served as the President of the Austin Restaurant Association, and as the President of the Saveur Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, a position he held for the past five years. He is current spokesperson and chef for the Texas Beef Council, and also promotes Texas’ Gulf Coast oysters and shrimp on behalf of the Texas Department of Agriculture. He has traveled extensively with the Texas Department of Agriculture promoting the bounties of Texas – from Brazil, China, Australia, New Zealand, New York City’s Fancy Food Show, to all over the great state.
Williamson traveled to Nantucket, Massachusetts as the featured chef for the Nantucket Wine and Food Festival. There, he kicked off the festival with a seminar called, “Where’s the beef?” Soon after, Williamson traveled to Tokyo, Japan as the spokesperson for the Southern United States Travel Association, the largest food show in Tokyo. At the show Williamson prepared various pecan dishes daily and presented them in English and Japanese.
Most recently, Williamson is a co-owner of Star Bar and The Rattle Inn with Matt Luckie.
Andrew Wiseheart is the co-owner and Executive Chef of Contigo Austin. As a native of West Texas who trained in Michelin rated kitchens across the country, Wiseheart’s approach to cooking combines influences from his ranch-upbringing as well as classic French technique.
In 2011 Wiseheart opened Contigo Austin with business partner Ben Edgerton, and he quickly gained notoriety for his thoughtful approach to bar food. In his first role as Executive Chef, Andrew was recognized as a “Rising Star” by Star Chefs and Eater.com named him one of theTop 50 culinary professionals in the country under the age of 30. Under Wiseheart’s direction, Contigo Austin was named one of the Top 10 New Restaurants in the state byTexas Monthly, and was voted the Best New Restaurant in Austin by Culturemap.com.
When he’s not in the kitchen, Wiseheart enjoys spending time with his family, riding his motorcycle, and working cattle on the ranches near his hometown of San Angelo.
Chef Zelko, is a culinary advocate that focuses on creating delicious, sustainable, organic and locally resourced cuisine she calls “New American Comfort”. A native Houstonian, and All American Girl, barely 30 years of age, has made her way through the restaurant scene for 15 years and created the intimate atmosphere at Zelko Bistro in the Heights – a now favorite by locals, critics and chefs alike – the 1920s bungalow was sustainably remodeled and retro-fitted with salvaged antiques.
Zelko is also a strong advocate for conservation responsibility. She encourages people to become more aware of the ecosystems and agriculture surrounding them and to make the kind of positive food choices that encourage growth in those areas.
Earning many accolades througout her young life, such as: Texas’ “Best Up-and-Coming,” Star Chef-Sustainable Chef” for 2010 from StarChefs.com, recently featured on Food Network, and recently named Sustainable Restaurateur by H Magazine, Chef Zelko is proud to have shared the culinary scene with the best chefs in Houston.
Andrew Zimmern is a James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, food writer, teacher and is widely regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, host and co-executive producer of Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World, and his new series, Bizarre Foods America, he travels the globe, exploring food in its own terroir. From world class restaurants to street carts and jungle markets, it’s all about discovering and sharing the authentic experience as a way to interpret the way we live our lives so we can make better choices for our future.
In May 2012, Zimmern won the prestigious James Beard Award for “Best Television Program On Location.” He previously won a Beard Award for “Best TV Food Personality” in 2010. His MSN.com web-series, Toyota’s Appetite for Life, received an Effie in 2010. Bizarre Foods also took home two CableFax awards in 2009, one for “Best Television Program: Food,” another for “Best Online Extras” for Andrew’s Travel Channel web-series, Bizarre Foods in the Kitchen.
Zimmern is a contributing editor at Food & Wine magazine, an award-winning monthly columnist at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and a senior editor at Delta’s Sky magazine. As a freelance journalist, his work has appeared in numerous national and international publications. Andrew is the author of The Bizarre Truth, and Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World of Food published by Broadway Books/Random House. Feiwel & Friends published Andrew Zimmern’s Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild & Wonderful Foods: An Intrepid Eater’s Digest in the fall of 2012.
Andrew has served as a corporate and product spokesperson for Target, Cascal, Pepto Bismol, Toyota, General Mills, Proctor & Gamble, and Travel Leaders. Recently, Zimmern joined Babson College as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Lewis School through the spring of 2013. He is also a board member of Services for the Underserved in New York City.
He resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife Rishia, son Noah and several un-eaten pets.
Tony Abou-Ganim is widely regarded as one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world. He has made countless national TV appearances on shows including TODAY, Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, CNBC, Fox News and more. Abou-Ganim is the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails (Agate, 2010) which offers readers an in-depth look into spirits and ingredients available to today’s mixologist, both professional and amateur alike. This entertaining and informative journey will take readers from the early stages of the cocktail to what Abou-Ganim has come to deem “Modern Mixology.” Abou-Ganim also has a DVD to his credit, Modern Mixology: Making Great Cocktails at Home, and hosted the Fine Living program Raising the Bar: America’s Best Bar Chefs. Abou-Ganim has also won two Iron Chef America competitions; his first pairing cocktails with Iron Chef Mario Batali in “Battle Mango,” and most recently pairing cocktails in “Battle Tequila and Tortillas” with Iron Chef Jose Garces. His signature branded line of Modern Mixologist bar tools will be released summer 2012. Abou-Gamin is also a partner at Inoteca Liquori in New York City.
Abou-Ganim grew up in the bar business, learning the craft from his cousin Helen David at the Brass Rail Bar in Port Huron, Michigan. His initial introduction to the business was steeped in the tradition of classic cocktails and professional barmanship, teaching him the necessary steps to become a leader in the beverage industry. After graduating from college, Abou-Ganim further developed an appreciation for a hand-crafted cocktail using only the freshest ingredients while working at Jack Slick’s Balboa Café and then during the opening of “Harry Denton’s,” a legendary hangout in Fog City. In 1993 he moved to New York City and took a position as the opening bartender at Po, Mario Batali’s first restaurant.
Tony later returned to San Francisco to open Harry Denton’s Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel and it was here that he developed his first specialty cocktail menu featuring several of his original cocktail recipes including the Sunsplash, Starlight and his most famous of them all, the Cable Car.
In 1998, Abou-Ganim was selected by Steve Wynn to develop the cocktail program at Bellagio Las Vegas. He not only implemented his philosophy of bartending and drink preparation, stressing both quality ingredients and proper technique, but also created several original cocktails for the resorts 22 bars. In 2002 he won the Bacardi Martini World Grand Prix – one of only two Americans to ever win this title.
As one of the National Ambassadors of the U.S. Bartenders Guild, and Associate Member of the Museum of the American Cocktail, Abou-Ganim continues to educate about the history and lore of cocktails. He also operates his own beverage consulting firm specializing in bar staff training, product education and cocktail development. Abou-Ganim is currently working on his upcoming book dedicated to the often overlooked spirit, vodka, which is scheduled to be released in Feburary 2013.
Master Sommelier Devon Broglie lives and works in Austin, Texas where he is the Coordinator of all Specialty products for Whole Foods Market’s Southwest region. Upon graduation from Duke University, Devon began a five-year stint in the restaurant industry, working his way up through every aspect of the business, from busboy to management. His true passion for wine developed in the late 1990’s as the Manager of Brightleaf 905 restaurant, declared one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants of 1999 by food writer John Mariani.
In 2000 Devon packed his bags and followed his love to Spain where he worked the harvest season for the pioneering winery Bodegas Costers del Siurana in the Priorat region of Catalunya. Upon returning to the United States in 2001 he began his career with Whole Foods Market. Devon won the Texas’ Best Sommelier Competition in August of 2006 and is an active member of the Texas Sommelier Association and a board member of the TEXSOM wine conference. In 2011 Devon passed the rigorous Master Sommelier Examination making him one of 118 wine professionals in the United States and 186 in the world to hold the title Master Sommelier.
Master Sommelier Craig Collins has been passionately exploring his love for wine since the day he turned 21 and began working at a local winery. His advancement continued after graduating from Texas A&M University and working for Glazers Fine Wine Division. It was through this appointment that Craig was introduced to the Court of Master Sommeliers and refined the professional skills and industry knowledge that would shape his career.
Craig moved to Austin, TX in 2005 to manage Prestige Wine Cellars where he was responsible for the sales and marketing of over 300 boutique wineries. In 2011 he followed his love for all things Italian and began working for Dalla Terra as the South Central Regional Manager.
He currently lives in Austin, Texas with his wife April. In 2011, Craig became one of less than 200 people in the world to have passed the esteemed Master Sommelier Exam.
Anthony Giglio is one of the most entertaining wine and spirits authorities on the planet. He is a journalist, sommelier, educator, author and raconteur who has written several books, including three editions of the annual FOOD & WINE Wine Guide review of 1,000+ wines; five editions of the enormously popular Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide, and his highly-regarded first book, Cocktails in New York. Throughout his career Anthony has attracted countless fans and admirers nationally, all of whom appreciate his sense of humor as much as they do his insight and his perspective, which is that wine is best regarded as a pleasure, not a problem.
Giglio is currently a wine correspondent for CBS News Radio as well as the wine columnist for La Cucina Italiana, the American edition of Italy’s most prestigious magazine dedicated to gastronomy. Giglio is the longtime “Online Sommelier” for the FOOD & WINE Magazine’s Connoisseur Club, as well as for Departures Magazine’s Reserve Wine Club. In addition to contributing regularly to his own blog, Anthony is also the “Resident Sensualist” blogger at TheImprovisedLife.com, as well as the “Official Vino Blogger” for ItalianMade.com.
Giglio has written for numerous publications, including Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, New York, Esquire, Details, Robb Report, Worth, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Parade. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, The Food Network, CNBC, and FOX Business News. He is also an occasional guest on American Public Media’s “The Splendid Table” with Lynne Rossetto Kasper. This year, Giglio was invited to speak twice at The Moth, a Peabody Award-winning not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling.
Ray Isle is the Executive Wine Editor of FOOD & WINE, where he oversees F&W’s wine department, writes the magazine’s monthly wine column, Tasting Room, and directs the title’s spirits coverage.
He regularly conducts wine-tasting seminars at epicurean events and appears as a wine and spirits expert on national television, including NBC’s Today and CBS’s The Early Show. In addition, he reports on his tasting adventures as Twitter.
Prior to joining FOOD & WINE, his articles about wine, food and spirits appeared in a range of publications including Wine & Spirits, The Washington Post, Martha Stewart Living and Gastronomica. He has also been nominated for a James Beard Award. He has a BA in Literature from Rice University, an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University, and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford in Fiction Writing. Isle lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.
Dr. Russell Kane is a wine writer, author and aficionado with articles and tasting notes that have appeared in local and regional publications. Russ’s recently published book titled; The Wineslinger Chronicles: Texas on the Vine will be released February 2012. On his blog, he is chronicling his tastes, travels and search for Texas terroir. Russ has organized and moderated winemaker panels at major festivals including: “Hot Weather, Cool Wines” at the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, and “Mediterranean Cowboys” and “Pinot Gringos” at the Grand Wine and Food Affair.
He and Chef Terry Thompson-Anderson were the creative sparks that came up the concept of the highly successful, first of its kind, Edible Texas: Wine Food Match (wine and food pairing competition). In 2010, Russ was selected to present a tasting of Texas wines, “Cowboys, Cabernet and Beyond”, at the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University. Russ was a Houston entrepreneur for over 20 years and has traveled extensively and has an active interest in regional cuisines, wine education, and wine and food pairing. Both Russ Kane and his wife, Delia Cuellar, come from families with restaurant ties and understand the qualities of wine in a context of family, friends and food. Russ has served as a judge in several international wine competitions. He was also the founder and organizer of the annual Texas’ Best Wine Competition for the Wine Society of Texas (2000 – 2005).
He developed wine training lectures and seminars to promote a knowledgeable and responsible wine culture in Texas. In 1998, Russ and Delia started the Houston Chapter of the Wine Society of Texas, a 501c3 non-profit, educational organization. Russ has served as its President, on its Board of Directors, and as its Executive Director, on the Board of Directors of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA), and on the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Wine Industry Development Advisory Committee. In 2002, Dr. Kane received his first level certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and, in 2011 he was accepted into the program of study by the Institute of Masters of Wine.
Influenced by her Italian heritage; the flavors of grandma’s cooking, the fascination of grandpa’s homemade wine, and the big family celebrations including both, Cathy Mantuano knew from an early age she was destined to make a career in food and wine.
While working in the dining room of an esteemed Milwaukee restaurant during college, Mantuano met a young chef with a remarkably similar passion for all things Italian. The couple joined forces and decided to take the best of their respected strengths to Chicago.
Before opening Chicago-based Spiaggia, Mantuano worked in the dining rooms of several Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy including the three-star Dal Pescatore in Mantova and Da Romano on the Tuscan coast in Viareggio.
Since opening and operating a number of successful restaurants, Mantuano went on to write and manage restaurant wine lists; presenting classes on wine, and wine and food pairing.
In 2004, Mantuano coauthored “The Spiaggia Cookbook – Eleganza Italiana in Cucina” (Chronicle Books) with Tony Mantuano. The cookbook was named by FOOD & WINE magazine as one of the top 25 cookbooks of 2004 and was also nominated for a James Beard award. The Mantuano’s share their experiences and recipes from their favorite wine bars in Italy and southern Europe in their second cookbook, “Wine Bar Food” (Clarkson Potter).
Mantuano can also be found teaching in cooking classes and demonstrations about wine and food pairing from DeGustibus at Macy’s in New York’s Herald Square to San Francisco’s popular Ferry Market. She is also a contributor to local Chicago television and radio.
A seasoned professional in the restaurant and wine business, Mantuano consults on restaurants wine lists nationwide. At the 2008-2012 U.S. Open Tennis Championship in Queens, New York, Mantuano created the wine lists for WINE BAR FOOD, two stand-only wine bars that featured recipes from the cookbook of the same name. Currently, Mantuano is the wine director at Terzo Piano, an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant at the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago and at Bar Toma, a neighborhood bar and pizzeria. She will also be the wine director at the forthcoming Bar Lorenzo, a casual, elegant Italian restaurant located on Miami’s South Beach, opening March 2013.
For more than eighteen years, Bill has poured drinks in venues from the Jersey Shore to London to New York to Austin, winning numerous awards and cocktail competitions along the way, and consulting on bars in Austin and Schulenburg, Texas.
While in New York, he helped to open L-Ray in the West Village with Chef Aaron Sanchez (Isla, Paladar and Mixx) and consulting chef Jimmy Bradley (The Red Cat, The Harrison). He was on the opening staff at FINO, where According to the Austin American Statesman, he “planted the sacred seeds” of the modern cocktail in Austin, before creating the nationally recognized bar program at Haddingtons.
He graduated from Drew University with a degree in political science and writing, briefly toiled on political campaigns, and then attended Sarah Lawrence College to earn an MFA in fiction writing. When his novel, Snapshots (still available for a film option if anyone is interested), was published in 2001, he thought his bar tending days were finished, but it turns out slinging drinks supports a writing habit, and the drinks gradually became his career. He now oversees beverage programs at all Alamo Drafthouse locations, The Highball, 400 Rabbits and Midnight Cowboy, recently named one of the ten best new bars in the United States by Food & Wine Magazine and CNN.
Passionate about helping wine enthusiasts jostle the jaded, slay the snooty, and drink bravely, Mark Oldman is one of the country’s leading wine personalities. He is the wine expert for Pottery Barn and wine columnist for The Food Network. His signature style was best summed up by Bon Appètit Magazine as “winespeak without the geek” and by Publishers Weekly as “the ideal mix of wine connoisseur, showman, and everyday dude.”
He has twice won the Georges Duboeuf Best Wine Book of the Year Award.
Born in the Philippines and raised in Texas, June Rodil is a talented professional who combines her deep knowledge of wine with her personal passion for the culinary industry. Though her original aim was a career in law, she was deterred by her intense love of food and drink, and after several memorable dining experiences, she decided to pursue a career in wine. June began her studies at Austin’s highly acclaimed Driskill Grill, where she quickly rose from service to sommelier, and spent seven years honing her hospitality skills and learning the intricacies of varietals and vintages before taking on the role of beverage director at Austin’s highly distinguished Uchi and Uchiko restaurants.
Enjoying the thrills and challenges of opening restaurants, June recently stepped down as Beverage Director of Congress Austin to become the General Manager of Paul Qui’s flagship restaurant, Qui, to be opened in Spring 2013. She will continue to oversee the wine and spirits program there and looks forward to collaborating with Paul to achieve a remarkable and cohesive dining experience for their guests.
In August 2009, June took home top honors as Texas Best Sommelier, awarded by the Texas Sommelier Association and the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas, and was recognized as Best New Sommelier 2011 from Wine and Spirits Magazine. Remaining diligent in her wine studies, June continues preparation for the arduous Master Sommelier exam, the final level of the Court of Master Sommeliers.
photo courtesy of Jennifer Day
Jason Stevens has 15 years of experience in the bar, management and service industry, and is the bar manager at Bar Congress in Austin, Texas. Before running Bar Congress, he honed his craft cocktail focus at the East Side Showroom and The Tigress.
Stevens consults, speaks, and teaches the history, theory, and execution of quality-focused cocktails and bar-tending best practices. He works with local organizations such as the Fusebox Festival on its Digestible Feats series and is also the co-owner of Bad Dog Bar Craft, which includes a line of commercial bitters. He has won several awards and had his cocktail recipes and theories published nationally and locally.
Nate Wales is a La Condesa’s General Manager and in-house mixologist. He’s a long-time Austinite, graduate of the University of Texas, and world traveler. Through his travels he experienced food, drink, and culture all of which helped him develop his cocktail style and perspective dining. To Nate, dining is more than a meal, but a tool to connect with friends and family and believes there is a proper cocktail for every occasion.
They say everything is bigger in Texas – just check the supersized crates of DJ Mel. His renowned party-rocking sets are as musically broad as they are technically skilled, and this deep selection and unique touch behind the decks has made Mel a true “DJ’s DJ” and an Austin institution for almost two decades.
Catch him in the flesh, packing crowds in at his long-running parties Swoll and Rock The Casbah, hosting the longest-running hip hop weekly in Texas, and making crowds of thousands throw their hands in the air at the Lollapalooza festival.
Hear him melting your stereo down with genre-flipping remixes and critically-acclaimed mix CDs (including his 2004 Scion “Free Your Mix” finalist). Just don’t sleep on one of the strongest selectors in the game!
Hatched in the twilight months of ought nine, these five young men came from all corners of the US looking to do one thing: knock the dust off roots music. A freewheelin’, trashgrassin’, folk tornado, the Whiskey Shivers take traditional instrumentation, soak it in gasoline and send it into outerspace. Breakneck speeds, killer grooves and impeccable musicianship: it’s enough to make Bill Monroe himself do a double-take as he spins in his grave.
With upright bass, fiddle, washboard, banjo, guitar, Whiskey Shivers adds a fine layer of grit on top of the hard-driving rhythms of traditional bluegrass. They’ve been called everything from “trashgrass” to “hardcore roots” to “crazy-assed redneck music” ‹ whatever the words, the meaning is the same: Whiskey Shivers brings the house down.
When it came time to record Delta Spirit’s third album, the band members knew one thing: It was time to shake off the stylistic labels that have shadowed them since they formed in San Diego, CA, in 2005. Though lyricists Matt Vasquez and Kelly Winrich were grateful for the warm reviews that their previous albums Ode To Sunshine (2008) and History From Below (2010) received, they were perplexed at being called “rootsy Americana” or “twangy folk.” In their eyes, Delta Spirit has always been a thoroughly modern rock band, and, with their self-titled new album, they set out to prove it.
We found the sound that we’ve been looking for, that we’ve been growing into, and as soon as we hit on it, we ran with it,” Vasquez says. “That’s why it’s a self-titled record, so we could connect our identity with the album, because this album is what we think Delta Spirit is. People make records for their time and we wanted to make one for our time. Just like novelists want to write the Great American Novel, we wanted to make a Great American Record. Not one about yesterday, but one about right now.”
To help them realize their vision, Delta Spirit recruited producer Chris Coady, not only for his indie-rock credentials (he’s worked with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Beach House, and Smith Westerns, among others), but also because, with five strongly opinionated band members, Delta Spirit needed a producer who wouldn’t be pushed around easily. “We also wanted a great engineer and someone who knew how to make sounds that didn’t sound stock and average,” Vasquez says of Coady, who brought in a home-built synthesizer, which was used on the song “Home.”
The band also experimented sonically, creating layers of texture by using previously verboten instruments like MPC samples and drum machines. They also empowered their new guitarist, Will McLaren, to create stand-alone parts, and to go to town on electric instruments. The experimentation can be heard throughout the album, which opens with the rollicking
opening number “Empty House,” and serves as a transition between Delta Spirit’s previous sound and its new one. “The intention was to introduce the album with something that hints at what we used to sound like,” Winrich says. “We wanted to ease people into it.” The band, who recorded the album at Dreamland — a converted church built in 1896 in Woodstock, New York — also upended traditional song structures, playing around with writing songs with no choruses (“California”) and generally throwing off simple verse-chorus-bridge conventions, making sure each verse felt different from the one that preceded it.
When it came to lyrical content, Vasquez and Winrich stuck to what they knew. “We’re not hearkening back to anything in the lyrics,” Vasquez says. “We’re writing about situations that are mostly personal. I think the topic of love has affected us the most.” The most direct approach comes from Winrich. “My songs all seem to pertain to one situation, a failed relationship,” he says. “‘Anyone who’s been in a long-distance situation will be able to relate to ‘California.’ ‘Otherside’ is about being delusional and holding onto something that may or may not be real, and ‘Time Bomb’ is about being blind to what the future holds and how happiness and sadness are kind of intertwined.”
Several (though not all) of Vasquez’s songs tend to make their points through the perspective of others, a style favored by some of his favorite songwriters, including Tom Waits and Nick Cave. On “Empty House,” he takes on the persona of a construction worker who is seeing the Dharma in his work. “This guy is mixing concrete and suddenly notices the tiny glinting specks in it,” Vasquez explains. “He begins to wonder ‘What got me here? Where am I headed’ and relating that little speck to his life.” “Tellin’ The Mind” is about Colton Harris Moore, the teenager known as the Barefoot Bandit who became an internet sensation after committing several burglaries, and stealing and crashing a plane. “I loved him,” Vasquez says. “I thought he deserved an anthem.” “Tear It Up” was originally inspired by the events in Egypt during the Arab spring, but morphed into a more universal song about what can happen with people get together with a common goal. Vasquez’s most personal song is “Yamaha,” which he wrote for his wife when she grew upset about his being away on tour for long stretches of time. “I felt like shit but I couldn’t do anything. A guy’s first instinct is to fix it, but you can’t when you’re three time zones away, so I wrote this song for her.”
The album’s raucous energy and no-holds barred performances will appeal to Delta Spirit’s fanbase, which has grown consistently thanks to their explosive live shows. The band, who have completed headlining tours of the U.S. and Europe and appeared at SXSW, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Coachella, are looking forward to hitting the road and playing the new songs. “There’s no other experience on earth like playing music with people and feeling that kinetic energy,” Vasquez says. “I want to do it even when I’m old and it’s ridiculous to see me on stage. If I can hold on to even a tenth of the feeling we have when we’re playing, I’ll be happy.”
Matt Vasquez (lead vocals, guitar), Kelly Winrich (keyboards, vocals, drums), Jonathan Jameson (bass), Brandon Young (drums/percussion), Will McLaren (guitar, vocals).
USA Today has called Allen Stone a “pitch-perfect powerhouse” and The New York Times has likened his socially conscious music to that of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers. But the 25-year-old singer-songwriter from the tiny backwoods town of Chewelah, Washington just sees himself as “a hippie with soul.”
One look at his long, curly blond hair and thick-rimmed glasses brings home the first part of that equation – and perhaps leaves one unprepared for the raw, soulful power unleashed when Stone opens his mouth to sing.
Like many soul singers, Stone got his start in church. He was a preacher’s kid, so whipping crowds into a call-and-response frenzy as he performs “Say So” is second nature. Steeped in gospel music and shielded from secular songs, Allen didn’t discover soul music until he was a teenager and started collecting classic albums from the 60’s and 70’s.
“Soul music from that time wasn’t just about bumpin’ and grindin’ at the club – it was a huge part of a cultural movement. That’s where my inspiration comes from,” says Stone, who was also schooled by folk records of the period.
On his new album, Stone shines a light into some of the darker corners of his own era. “Contact High” is a striking commentary on the toll technology has taken on relationships and the sensuous sounding “Unaware” is a sly examination of the current economic crisis. This is the kind of stuff that keeps Stone up at night and keeps him on the road, as he sings in the single “Sleep”: “Spend my night shootin’ at the stars/Trying to change the world with this guitar/I know it’s a long shot/But it’s working out so far…”
While he is in awe of music’s power to ignite change, Stone is equally enraptured by its ability to simply make people feel good – as evidenced by songs like “Celebrate Tonight” and “Say So” and the dance-offs that are de rigueur at his shows.
Stone has spent the past four years honing his unique style the old-fashioned way: crisscrossing the country in a van with his ace band and playing any small club that would have him. Since the digital release of his self-titled album via his own stickystones label in October 2011, Stone’s shows have been selling out from coast to coast. The album jumped into the Top 10 of Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and entered the Top 5 of iTunes’ R&B/Soul charts. His first national television appearance – on “Conan” – came after the music booker saw a YouTube video of Allen performing “Unaware” in his mother’s living room. Performances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Last Call with Carson Daly” and “Live from Daryl’s House” followed and Esquire, CNN and Billboard named Stone as an artist to watch – all before he had the support of a record label. Stone has since signed to ATO Records, which is bringing the album into wide release.
Coming in from out of town or looking to stay downtown during the Festival weekend?
Book your stay at one our partner hotels located near the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival and in the heart of the city.
Looking to discover more about Austin? Visit http://www.austintexas.org for more information on the best places to eat, shop, stay and explore.
98 San Jacinto Boulevard
200 Lavaca Street
111 East Cesar Chavez Street
Pamper your palate in one of the hippest cities in the country at the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, presented by FOOD & WINE Magazine. Join top chef talent, sommeliers and winemakers from across the nation and Austin's own acclaimed gourmet scene for an indulgent, two-day epicurean adventure unlike any other, topped off with live musical performances.
Throughout the weekend, you'll experience up-close and personal access to culinary, wine and spirit talent at dozens of cooking demos, wine and cocktail seminars. Between sessions, drop by the Taste or Savor Lounges for beer, wine and cocktails. Then sip and nibble your way through The Grand Tasting Pavilion showcasing over 80 wine, spirit and artisanal food exhibitors, along with celebrated local and regional restaurants. Plus, pick-up copies of inspiring cookbooks and get them signed by your favorite chefs in the Autograph Tent.
From tacos and tequila to grilling and grapes, spoil yourself with the sights, sounds and laid-back flavor only the Live Music Capital of the World can offer.
Looking to discover more about Austin? Visit austintexas.org for more information on the best places to eat, shop, stay and explore.
The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival marks a collaboration between C3 Presents and some of Texas’ most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs, including Tim Love, Iron Chef Champion and Owner/Chef of The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro and The Love Shack in Fort Worth; Tyson Cole, the James Beard Foundation Award-winning Owner/Chef of Uchi and Uchiko in Austin; and Jesse Herman, owner of the James Beard Foundation-nominated La Condesa in Austin/Napa. C3 is the Austin-based producer of Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival.
The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival is presented by FOOD & WINE Magazine, with 30 years of experience developing, organizing and sponsoring world-class culinary destination festivals around the country.
The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival will be its first foray into Texas and it promises to be a gourmet celebration unlike any other.
A portion of the Festival’s proceeds will benefit The Austin Food & Wine Alliance, dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas food and wine community through grants, educational programming and events.
Got a question about the Festival? Contact Us.
The Austin Food & Wine Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas culinary community through grants, educational programming and events.
Guided by an all-volunteer board of directors and committees made up of culinary-and-community-minded professionals, the Alliance’s commitment is to promote Texas food, wine, spirits and craft brews and to increase appreciation of Texas’ culinary impact.
As the beneficiary of the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, the Alliance will give back to the Central Texas culinary community through a vibrant grant program to fund projects focused on culinary innovation.
Alliance events are structured to provide an artisan, interactive and educational experience while offering the best in food, wine, spirits and craft brews.
For more information, visit austinfoodwinealliance.org.
Have a general question for the Festival? Scroll down to our Festival FAQs. You can also contact us directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to messages in the order they are received. Thanks for your patience!
For general questions on Festival Passes, scroll down to our Ticket FAQs below. For questions or concerns about a specific ticket order, please contact our ticket partner, Front Gate Tickets. Click Here or call 1.888.512.SHOW.
For inquiries, e-mail us with vendor questions.
To partner with the Festival, contact us.
To cover the Festival, contact us.
|04/24||Bear In Heaven||The Parish||Buy Tickets|
|04/25||The Black Keys w/ Arctic Monkeys||Frank Erwin Center||Buy Tickets|
|04/25||Bon Iver (Austin City Limits Taping)||ACL Live||Buy Tickets|
|04/26||Al Green||ACL Live||Buy Tickets|
|04/28||Blue October||Stubb's||Buy Tickets|
|04/28||North Mississippi Allstars||Antone's||Buy Tickets|
|Uchi||801 South Lamar Blvd||Official Website|
|Uchiko||4200 North Lamar Blvd||Official Website|
|La Condesa||400 West 2nd St||Official Website|
|Congress||200 Congress Ave||Official Website|
|Second Bar + Kitchen||200 Congress Ave||Official Website|
|Barley Swine||2024 South Lamar Blvd||Official Website|
|Franklin BBQ||900 East 11th St||Official Website|
|Ranch 616||616 Nueces St||Official Website|
|Parkside||301 East 6th St||Official Website|
|Backspace||507 San Jacinto Blvd||Official Website|
|Lambert's Downtown Barbecue||401 West 2nd St||Official Website|
|Perla's||1400 South Congress Ave||Official Website|
|TRIO||98 San Jacinto Blvd||Official Website|
|Driskill Grill||604 Brazos St||Official Website|
|04/27||Screaming Eagle Private Wine Tasting||Four Seasons Lawn||Official Website|
|04/28||SFC Farmers Market||Republic Square Park||Official Website|
|04/29||Schlotzsky's Bun Run||Downtown Austin||Official Website|
|AMOA-Arthouse at The Jones Center||700 Congress Ave||Official Website|
|Blanton Museum||200 East MLK Jr Blvd||Official Website|
|Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum||1800 Congress Ave||Official Website|
|Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center||4801 La Crosse Ave||Official Website|
|LBJ Library & Museum||2313 Red River St||Official Website|
The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival is a 21+ event. No one under 21 is permitted, including infants and small children in child carriers. This policy pertains to all events including demonstrations, seminars and Grand Tastings. A valid ID is needed to enter the Festival. If we cannot verify your age, you will not be allowed into the Festival. Anyone under the age of 21 will be stopped at the gate, refused entry and tickets will not be refunded.
To reach a representative with The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, e-mail us at email@example.com. We receive a large number of e-mails each day, please be patient and we will respond to your e-mail in the order it is received.
Festival Passes can be purchased at the Box Office at Butler Park on the festival grounds with Credit Card only on festival days. Also, please note there are no Single Day Passes available for purchase.
Sat 4/27 – 9am-4pm
Sun 4/28 – 10am-3pm
Tickets to the Taste of Texas Kickoff & Rock Your Taco Showdown events at Republic Square are only available online to TASTE Pass purchasers during or after the purchase process by contacting Front Gate Tickets at 1-888-512-SHOW. Tickets to these events will not be sold at the door.
To view details on Pass Pick-Up, view the Registration Pick-up FAQs on the left. For any other Box Office, Ticket or Badge Registration questions, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Passes purchased to be picked up at Registration Pick-up are to be obtained in advance of attending the festival. Registration Pick-up is located at the Four Seasons in downtown Austin, across the lake & a few blocks from Butler Park. Passes cannot be picked up at the Butler Park Box Office on the festival grounds.
To pick up your SAVOR Passes (or your TASTE Passes & add-ons purchased after 4/14), enter The Four Seasons Hotel Lobby & turn right to take the elevator up to the 4th floor. Turn left & proceed to Boardroom 416 to find our Registration Check-in, the first door on your left.
Thu 4/25 – 10am-8pm
Fri 4/26 – 10am-8pm
Sat 4/27 – 8am-6pm
98 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78701
Once you receive your Passes, make sure you Register Your Badge to gain access to contests at the park and special offers within the Grand Tasting. Register when you pick your passes up at Check-In and immediately be entered to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer!
The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival is located at Butler Park, 1000 Barton Springs Road, between 1st Street and South Lamar Blvd. VIP only events are also being held at Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe Street between 4th Street and 5th Street.
As part of a VIP Pass to the Festival, VIP Passholders will have dedicated on-site parking at The Long Center. In addition, there are several easy options for getting to Butler Park. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis within easy walking distance of Butler Park at the following locations:
- 301 Congress ($7)
- 300 San Antonio ($7)
- One Texas Center Garage at Barton Springs Rd. & S. 1st St. ($7)
- Austin Convention Center Parking Garage at 2nd & Brazos ($8)
- Austin City Hall at Cesar Chavez & Guadalupe (Free until 5pm; $5)
Handicap parking is available at all of the above locations. For info on special-needs access and accommodations, please write email@example.com.
Ample bike parking is available next the main entrance on Riverside Dr. You must provide your own lock.
Taxis will be allowed convenient access to the entrance/exit, and will have a designated area for pick up and drop off near the entrance.
There are several routes that service Butler Park. To map your ride, visit The Cap Metro Planner. Enter “Butler Park” in the Ending field.
Butler Park is situated right across the street from the Town Lake Hike & Bike Trail, accessible from many points near Downtown Austin. Click here to figure out the best way to take a stroll down to the park.
Austin FOOD & WINE Festival is open to ALL food and wine lovers! Special seating for persons in wheel chairs and those with mobility, sight or hearing impairments is available in each session. Simply see the seating assistants upon arrival to the tent and they will escort you to your reserved area. For info on special-needs access and accommodations, please write firstname.lastname@example.org.
We make every effort to create a safe environment on the Festival grounds, including public and private security and medical staff. If you need any assistance, seek out the medical tent, or look for a peace officer or festival staff member.
During the Festival, return found items or look for lost items at the Information/Lost & Found booths. After the Festival, email email@example.com to inquire about lost items. Valuables will be held for 30 days and then donated to a local charity. C3 Presents will not be held liable for any unclaimed items.
The Festival is 21+ only. A valid ID is needed to enter the Festival. If we cannot verify your age, you will not be allowed into the Festival. Anyone under the age of 21 will be stopped at the gate, refused entry and passes will not be refunded. Please don’t bring infants or small children in child carriers as they will not be permitted entry.
Visit our Tickets Page for more information about all ticket & travel package options.
TASTE Passes will ship 2-4 weeks prior to the festival date. SAVOR Passes will be picked up at the VIP Registration Check-In (to be determined) the week of the festival, more information will follow to the email address used at the time of your purchase. Travel Packages will be picked up at Hotel Check-In when you arrive. If you have not received your TASTE passes 7 days prior to the festival date, please contact http://support.frontgatetickets.com or call 888.512.SHOW (7469).
No worry, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we receive a large number of e-mails each day, be patient and we will respond to your e-mail in the order it is received.
For general inquiries, please contact email@example.com.
Check back later to apply to cover the 2014 Austin FOOD & WINE Festival.
Check back soon for The 2014 Grand Tasting Vendor Application.
Check back soon for 2014 Volunteer Information.
Contact us to partner with The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival.
No Service Charges. No Add-ons. No Surprises. No Lie.
Rain or Shine. Your Pass is for Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, not for a specific artist, chef, or personality. Artists, chefs and schedule subject to change without notice. Artist, chef or demonstration cancellation is not grounds for refund. Your Pass is a revocable license for the time/date listed on the Pass. “Management” means C3 Presents, LLC, and their affiliates. Management reserves the right without the refund of any portion of the ticket purchase price, to refuse admission or to eject any person who fails to comply with the rules of the venue, local, state or federal law or whose conduct is deemed illegal, disorderly, or offensive by Management. Persons entering the facility are subject to search for contraband. Pass user bears all risks of personal injury incidental to the event, whether occurring before, during or after the event. Pass user bears all risks, including cancellation of the event and of inclement weather. The resale or attempted resale of the ticket is prohibited and if discovered will result in the ticket being voided without refund. The Pass may not be used for advertising promotion (including contests and sweepstakes), or other trade purposes without the express written consent of Management. Pass user contests to Management’s use of their image or likeness incidental to any video display, transmission, or recording of the event.
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