About Us

Indie Chefs Week began as a way to create a dialogue that isn’t just online – it’s a face-to-face meeting of the country’s best young, aspiring chefs.

At Foreign & Domestic, we’re proud of where we’ve come from and where we are now. We’re excited to be able to provide a venue for these chefs as they cook the dishes that inspire them, that tease them, that keep them awake at night.

We want to get people talking about what these indie chefs are doing out there in the food world, and we want to bring their food and ideas to Austin. We hope that Indie Chefs Week will spread out across the country, bringing together dedicated chefs to cook, collaborate, and inspire.

Ned Elliott

Chef/Owner, Foreign & Domestic

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. 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.”

Eager to further his career outside of his schooling at the Culinary Institute of American at Hyde Park, Ned left the CIA to begin 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, and Country. 

Ned has been inspired by the many young chefs he has met through social media and events, and wanted to establish and host an event to bring them together and encourage collaboration between these creative minds. In 2013, Foreign & Domestic hosted the first Indie Chefs Week, bringing in over 20 chefs to cook together and learn from each other. The event was successful for both attending chefs and guests, and he made plans not only to host the event each year, but to expand to other cities and reach out to more chefs. He is currently busy recruiting chefs for the next Indie Chefs Events.

Crystal Esquivel

Chief of Stuff
Crystal Esquivel is a food lover, writer, organizer, and home cook. She started her food career as a registered dietitian, then worked as a cook at two Austin bed-and-breakfasts. After authoring The Food Lover’s Guide to Austin and The Austin Chef’s Table, she moved on to organize food photographers, cocktail experts, cooking supply shops, and chefs. She has worked with Foreign & Domestic since 2011.

Crystal manages web updates, copywriting, social media, and general communications for Foreign & Domestic. After helping with Indie Chefs Week 2013, Crystal took the reins in 2014 and became the overall planner and organizer of the event. Working with sponsors, chefs, and media, Crystal helped to make the event successful for both chefs and attendees. She is currently busy planning and improving the next Indie Chefs Event.


Creative Collaborators

Foreign & Domestic’s Chefs de Cuisine have been integral in keeping the kitchen organized in the presence of 20 to 30 chefs at once. Joel Orsini, Anthony Fusco, Nathan Lemley, and Cable Smith worked hard to keep the kitchen going.

All branding and design, from menus to website, was done by Justin Esquivel. Photography, video and other creative services were provided by talented makers and doers and friends and family.