2018 Talent

James Robert

Executive Chef and Co-Owner, Fixe

Born and raised in Opelousas, Louisiana, food was a very big part of Chef James Robert’s upbringing. With cooks on both sides of his large family tree, he recognized at an early age that cooking and dining has a way of bringing people together. Some of Robert’s fondest childhood memories include watching his grandfather barbecue on Easter Sunday, sampling his grandmother’s crawfish bisque and watching his mom make homemade biscuits and cinnamon rolls on Saturdays. However, it wasn’t until he left the small city for college life at LSU that he recognized food for more than a conduit to connecting at family gatherings, but rather a passion of his own. Disinterested in his marketing studies, he instead became completely immersed in his college restaurant jobs, loving every part of the culture and energy. After working with Chef John Yarbro, Robert got a glimpse of his future as a professional chef and enrolled in New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont, a small school featuring a hands-on curriculum. From there, he interned in Boston at L’Espalier, where he was able to learn French technique, then went on to an internship at Brio Vista in North Austin, where he worked under Guy Villavaso and Larry Foles. After the acclaimed Austin spot shuttered, Villavaso and Foles brought Robert on to their next big venture, Eddie V’s, where the Chef became an integral part of the restaurant group’s team. As Executive Chef for Eddie V’s at the Arboretum, Robert was also involved in every Eddie V’s restaurant opening from that point on and was promoted to Corporate Executive Chef in 2008, overseeing all culinary operations for the restaurant group. In 2013 Robert teamed with the group’s Director of Front of House Operations, Keith House, on their own project, Fixe. The restaurant, slated to open in downtown Austin in 2014, brings to life familiar tastes in surprising and progressive ways. Paying homage to the dishes from his childhood, Robert will combine his extensive knowledge and commitment to quality with his take on soulful Southern dishes, seeking to delight guests with an unexpected and memorable culinary experience.