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.
Founder Ned Elliott is proud of where he’s come from and where he is now. And we at Indie Chefs Week are excited to provide a venue for up and coming 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 exciting food and ideas to cities outside their home bases. As a dinner series, we provide an experience for chefs and guests that most food and wine festivals don’t offer. Instead of cranking out 1,000 “bites” as is customary at most food and wine events, at ICW, each chef can cook a dish that best represents what they do in their own kitchens. We envision Indie Chefs Week spreading out across North America, 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, Indie Chefs Week is on the road in Austin, New York, Los Angeles, 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 is now the chef/owner at critically acclaimed Austin restaurant Foreign & Domestic, which opened its doors in 2010. But his story begins in his childhood hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. He 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, an idea that eventually propelled Ned into culinary school.
Eager to further his career outside of his schooling at the Culinary Institute of America 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. “My mantra is attention to detail,” says Elliott; “[my mentor] Chef Doug Psaltis instilled this in me and it is an important part of how we define Foreign & Domestic.”
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 busy recruiting chefs for upcoming Indie Chefs events.
Grover has been the general manager at acclaimed Texas restaurants such as Foreign & Domestic, Bernadine’s, and the Pass & Provisions. He lives in Houston with his wife Jackie, their two kitties, Harper Lee and Truman Capote, and their 12 year-old “puppy” Buckley. When he’s not organizing the next Indie Chefs Week event, you can find him on the golf course.
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. Many thanks to everyone else that has worked to make the event happen over the years.