Sarah Heard + Nathan Lemley

Co-Executive Chefs & Co-Owners, Foreign & Domestic Austin

Sarah Heard
Co-Executive Chef / Co-Owner

Sarah Heard grew up in Conroe, Texas, watching her mother and grandmother cook from scratch, not because it was trendy, but because it was cheap. As a way to pay for her first car in high school, she started working at a local restaurant and immediately fell in love with the industry. While working as a hostess, Sarah’s soon-to-be ex-boyfriend said to her,”Girls can’t handle the kitchen,” in turn fueling her culinary career. A few years after that encounter, Sarah was hired as an executive sous chef at The Mansion at Judges Hill in Austin, Texas, and she never looked back. Sarah quickly worked her way up to executive chef at three different restaurants, banquet chef at two, and breakfast chef at the OMNI Resort. It’s here where she met fellow cook and future business partner, Nathan Lemley. Needless to say, he never had a problem with her being in the kitchen. The pair purchased Foreign & Domestic Austin in September of 2017 from founder Ned Elliot and have been sharing the kitchen ever since.

Nathan Lemley
Co-Executive Chef / Co-Owner

Nathan Lemley traces his passion for making food back to his nightly family dinners as a child growing up in Katy, Texas. Long before attending culinary school at The Art Institute of Houston, Nathan spent time watching his grandmother make cakes and pies at her bakery in Yoakum, Texas. After culinary school, Nathan continued to climb the ranks in several of the best restaurants in Houston, including Tony’s, Voice and Stella Sola. Nathan’s desire for a change of scenery led him to accept the position of Chef de Cuisine at the newly opened Foreign & Domestic in Austin, Texas. He spent the next few years travelling and staging across the country, before connecting with Chef Shawn Cirkiel back in Austin. While working for Cirkiel as the Executive Chef at Parkside and The Backspace, Nathan honed his knowledge of the industry and fine tuned his style of cooking in a busy environment. During his time working at Parkside, he was introduced to future business partner Sarah Heard, who had recently accepted the position of Banquet Chef at the restaurant. The pair purchased Foreign & Domestic Austin in September of 2017 from founder Ned Elliot and have been sharing the kitchen ever since.

At this inventive Austin eatery, the availability of fresh local items has taken the driver’s seat, and the menu rides shotgun. Redefining farm-to-table, the collaborative efforts of chefs Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley are focused on bold cohesive, flavors and an adventurous wine selection. Proving that two heads are better than one, this highly lauded duo has taken the reigns of a North Loop staple with a fresh perspective, a well-versed staff and a dedication to authentic hospitality.