Andrew Wiseheart, a native of San Angelo, Texas, is co-owner and chef at Contigo in Austin, which includes Contigo Restaurant, Contigo Catering, and Contigo Fareground. With experience in the kitchens of acclaimed restaurants in America and abroad, Wiseheart’s extensive travels have contributed to the authentic character showcased on the menus nightly at both restaurants.
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, Wiseheart headed to the rolling vineyards of Napa, where he worked at Angele and Michelin-starred restaurant La Toque. Along the way, the chef developed an interest in charcuterie and decided to follow his newfound passion to Italy. A series of European adventures followed, including rock climbing and assorted odd jobs in Croatia, with homemade meals as compensation for olive-picking and vineyard tending. These travels taught him that each culture has its own form of “charcuterie,” in the form of ancient preservation methods, which greatly influenced his cooking.
After staging and working in restaurants in Italy and Denmark, Wiseheart returned to the states, re-acclimating to American life by working at a West Texas ranch until he got a call from old friend and fellow chef Aaron Meneghelli. After a year and half back at Angele with Meneghelli and one more European adventure walking across the entirety of Slovenia, finding inspiration from the unique ingredients at local markets, Wiseheart finally returned to Austin. There he reconnected with his current business partner, Ben Edgerton, who he originally met at summer camp in Texas Hill Country. After throwing around countless restaurant ideas at lunches and happy hour meetings, the two finally decided to open up Contigo in 2011 in East Austin.
Wiseheart’s cooking reflects techniques and flavors accumulated throughout his travels, as well as his Texas roots. Wiseheart along with partners Edgerton, Brooke Greer, launched Contigo Catering in 2014. Contigo Catering offers creative, seasonal menus for events of all sizes with style and exceptional service. Contigo Catering goes beyond the traditional catering company by offering rentals, décor, event coordination, bar services, and the venture has quickly become one of the top catering companies for weddings and events in the Central Texas region.
Wiseheart’s recent accolades include a 2012 Starchefs Rising Star award, Eater Austin’s “Chef of the Year 2014”, CultureMap Austin’s “Chef of the Year 2015”, and three consecutive nominations for The People’s Best New Chef: Southwest from FOOD & WINE in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Contigo and Gardner were both winners of Eater Austin’s “So Hot Right Now” Best New Restaurant award in 2011 and 2014 respectively, and Contigo was awarded Eater Austin’s “Restaurant of the Year” in 2012. Gardner was named one of Bon Appétit Magazine’s top 50 Best New American Restaurants 2015, Austin Monthly’s Best New Restaurants 2015, and was one of seven projects in Architectural Record’s Interiors issue for 2015. Chicon was nominated for CultureMap Austin’s “Tastemaker” Awards for Best New Restaurant 2016.