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.

Now in our fourth year, we’ve expanded to multiple events in host cities across the country. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Williams Sonoma, we’re taking Indie Chefs Week on the road to Austin, New York, LA, and Houston with more cities to come. We’re now able to feature the best of up-and-coming talent cooking alongside ICW veterans to highlight the best there is to offer across North America.


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.

Grover Smith

Partner & Organizer
Grover Smith is a partner in Indie Chefs Week and is obsessed with wine, whisky, food, and beer. He started his career in real estate during college and founded a series of businesses that included real estate sales, development, and foreclosure acquisition. After realizing money doesn’t bring you happiness, he transitioned into a career that involves the things that he obsesses over and has never looked back.

Grover has been the general manager at acclaimed restaurants such as Foreign & Domestic, Bernadine’s, and the Pass & Provisions. He lives in Houston with his wife Jackie, their two cats Harper Lee and Truman Capote, and their 12 year old “puppy” Buckley. When he’s not herding cats for Indie Chefs Week, you can find him on the golf course.


 

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.

Special Thanks

Indie Chefs Week would have never gone from an idea to it’s inception without the tireless work, commitment, and passion of Crystal & Justin Esquivel. From the original branding, site design, and organization, they were the best of collaborators for the first four events. We’re incredibly thrilled to have had their help in building the foundation for Indie Chefs Week and expand the event into what it has become today.

Updated Site Design & Branding

The new Indie Chefs Week site, branding, and design provided by Roby Fitzhenry and Jeremy Wynn of Always Creative.