New York, NA
Alex has always loved cooking since he was young and it has always brought him comfort. As soon as he was old enough to get a job, he found one in the kitchen at a popular Virginia Beach restaurant. He was so sure about a career in the culinary world that he enrolled in a program at school that allowed him to spend half of his day cooking.
He searched out cooking competitions in Virginia while in High School, and competed in all of them; one of which rewarded him a full scholarship to the CIA in Hyde Park. He also racked up several titles in other compeititions and then competed nationally for SkillsUSA. After 2 years working in Virginia Beach, he relocated to Austin, TX where he worked at Foreign & Domestic for a few months before taking off to NYC to start his education at the CIA. Post-associates, Alex spent 6 months at SQPR in San Francisco, and then returned to NYC where he took part in numerous trails and stages all over the city. His latest stint has been in Boston at L’Espalier during a short, two month break from school. He officially graduates in April and will start a career either in Tarrytown or Hudson, New York.
Brunswick & Portland, ME
Cara Stadler is a four time nominated James Beard Rising Star Chef and Food and Wine Best New Chef 2014. She trained internationally under Guy Savoy and Gordon Ramsay then traveled and worked in China and Singapore for four years. Her food is a culmination of her travels, heavily influenced by Asian flavors, French technique, and Maine's local produce.
Photo by Ted Axelrod
Ryan is the chef owner of Please Restaurant in Cincinnati. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, Santos originally set out to be a graphic designer. But after moving back home to Cleveland after school and taking a job under Chef Nolan Konkoski at the French-inspired Tartine Bistro, Santos says he found a passion and wanted to do and learn “anything and everything” in the kitchen. After two years at Tartine, he moved to Salt of the Earth in Pittsburgh, working under Chef Kevin Sousa, then traveled from L.A. to Virginia, working under various chefs he admired. After tiring of the nomadic lifestyle, he stopped in Cincinnati for a summer to try his hand at pop-up dinners under the Please moniker.
Apple was born in Udon Thani, Thailand. She grew up on her family's small farm, where they raised everything from rice and mangoes to pigs and ducks. When she wasn't helping around the farm, she was catching bugs, hunting paddy crabs, and finding other good things to eat. Later on she went to university in Chiang Mai, and continued to find good things to eat- this time in every restaurant, shop, stand, and stall worth visiting. She also met PJ in Chiang Mai, and after a few years they got married. PJ somehow convinced her to move to Texas. They settled in Lake Jackson, where they launched their fishmongering business. After years of fishmongering, and eating every edible thing they found in the Gulf, Apple and PJ were asked to open Foreign Correspondents. There Apple created a menu based on her love and knowledge of the cuisines of the northeastern and northern parts of Thailand, using mostly locally grown ingredients (the joy's of Houston's semi-tropical climate!). Her work (with a little help from PJ) led to Foreign Correspondents being named one of Bon Appetits "America's Best New Restaurants" in 2016. Since the sudden closure of the restaurant, Apple has been catering private dinners and events around Houston, still cooking the best Isaan food to be had in in the city. She and PJ are also working on their fish book- a definitive and extensive guide to everything edible in Texas saltwaters.
Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Page Pressley was drawn into the kitchen at a young age as his Italian godmother prepared robust dishes with fresh, quality ingredients. After working as a line cook in Santa Fe, Pressley was inspired to pursue a more formal education at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
Upon graduating and returning to the southwest, Pressley managed kitchens at several highly acclaimed fine-dining establishments, including the praised Trattoria Nostrani in Santa Fe and The Bellagio’s Le Cirque in Las Vegas.
Pressley made the move to Texas in 2011 to join the Uchi team as sous chef, working alongside Chef de Cuisine Kaz Edwards as an essential member of the Uchi Houston opening team. After two years of crafting menus and developing Uchi Houston, he moved to Austin to take the position of chef de cuisine at Uchiko. Pressley left briefly in 2014 to become the corporate executive chef at Starr Restaurants in Philadelphia, where he oversaw forty restaurants. He returned to Austin when he was asked to run the team at St. Philip as executive chef.
Pressley brings his talent, vision, creativity, and work ethic with him as chef de cuisine at Emmer & Rye, which opened in November 2015 on Rainey Street. Helmed by Executive Chef Kevin Fink, one of Food & Wine’s 2016 “Best New Chefs,” Emmer & Rye brought a unique dining experience to Austin, as the restaurant is the city’s first to offer contemporary American seasonal small plates passed on circulating carts as part of their meal. The restaurant has been included in Bon Appétit’s “America’s Best New Restaurants 2016” list as well as Texas Monthly’s 2016 “Where To Eat Now” list.
La Jolla, CA
Born and raised in San Diego, California. Chef Christine Rivera has always had a love for Mexican Food and Culture, which is where she draws her inspiration for her cooking. Her restaurant career began as a dishwasher at a local seafood restaurant by her parent’s house. Today she is the Chef de Cuisine at Partner/Executive Chef Trey Foshee’s Galaxy Taco, a causal Mexican eatery recently opened in La Jolla Shores.
While in culinary school Christine gained experience by working at various kitchens throughout San Diego including Kensington Grill, Premiere Foods and the Ocean Terrace/California Modern at George's at the Cove. She has also staged in varies national acclaimed kitchens such as Taco Maria in Orange County and Cosme in New York City. In 2016, Christine was awarded one of Eater Young Gun 2016, for her tortilla/masa program she has built at Galaxy Taco. Here is where she is able to apply her craft to make the perfect tortilla from heirloom blue corn from Mexico.
Chef at The Rose in Venice, CA. Opened B-side Pizzeria in NYC. Previously at Superba Snack Bar, Chez Panisse, Spago, Le Cirque 2000, Tabla, Essex House. Eater LA's 2012 Chef of the Year, dad, husband, pizza lover & star wars freak.
Julia is the Pastry Chef and Sous at Bernadine's in Houston. She previously worked at Magnolia Bakery, Craft, Fat Cat Creamery, and the Pass & Provisions. When not working she enjoys petting her dog, eating in Chinatown with her husband Adam, and enjoying the amazing museums in Houston.
Born and raised Austinite. Cooking for twelve years. French trained (owing no small part to Ned) also trained in Japanese. Father of two little boys, husband to a babe. I really like tacos, egg rolls and Lyonnaise salads. Head Chef of Guild, a new restaurant coming to Austin in 2017. Before Guild, Sterling formerly worked at Foreign & Domestic and Uchiko, as Executive Chef.
Amanda Rockman’s interest in the culinary field began at an early age. Growing up in Katy, Texas, she was inspired by the dinner parties her mom would throw for friends. Rockman remembers seeing her mom dust the outline of the Kremlin on a chocolate sachertorte, thinking it was the coolest thing she’d seen. Her mom’s passion for food sparked the same interest in her.
Rockman went on to attend The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where she received her A.O.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts and completed an internship under Emily Luchetti at Farallon in San Francisco. Her career then took her to Chicago, where she worked at the acclaimed TRU, Spring, three Michelin-starred L.2o, and The Peninsula Hotel. Rockman also opened The Bristol, Balena and Thompson Hotel’s Nico Osteria as Executive Pastry Chef.
Having previously worked in Austin as Executive Pastry Chef at Fino and Asti, Rockman returned to Texas in 2015 as Executive Pastry Chef at South Congress Hotel. There, she oversees the pastry and bakery programs for in-room dining, banquets, and the hotel’s four food & beverage outlets: Café No Sé, Central Standard, Mañana Coffee & Juice, and the Stephen F. Frostin’ ice cream truck.
Rockman was named a James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist in 2015, received the Jean Banchet Pastry Chef of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012, and was named Chicago Tribune’s Pastry Chef of the Year in 2012. She has appeared on Top Chef Just Desserts, Hungry Hound, The Better Show, and Windy City Live. She currently writes her own pastry blog, Pastrylandia.
San Francisco, CA
Chef/Owner of ICHI Sushi in San Francisco. Tim is an 18-year veteran sushi chef, uses traditional Japanese ingredients and ethics with a sustainable approach. ICHI was named a SF Chronicle Top 100 Restaurant 2014.
La Jolla, CA
Host of Indie Chefs Week SoCal and Executive Chef/Owner of Taco Maria in Costa Mesa, CA. Previously at Winterland, Coi, Commis. Mixes traditional and modern Mexican flavors, techniques, and ingredients in prix-fixe meals.
After various front and back of house positions just out of high school and in college, Adam started his culinary journey under the tutelage of Emmett and Lisa Fox at Asti Trattoria. From there, Adam was the CDC at Mark's and Polo's in Houston before taking over as a Chef Partner with Eddie V's where he opened their locations as Executive Chef In Houston, Tampa, Orlando, Virginia, and Chicago. He spent three years at their Chicago location before moving home to open his own Stoked Tacos and Tequila in Houston. Adam now lives in Austin with his wife April, dog Rambo, and "soon-to-be" little girl Addison. Adam is the Executive Chef of Fixe in downtown Austin as they look to expand to Forth Worth in 2018.
Misti Norris is a North Carolina native and was raised in Houston and Dallas. She is now the chef and creator of Petra and the Beast, a series of pop up dinners with a focus on the use of farms, foraging, fermentation and fire. Mist is the former Executive Chef at Small Brewpub and was a Sous Chef at FT33.
Santa Ana, California
Chef Aron is the Executive Chef of Vacation Bar and also runs a roving dinner series called On the Lam. He hails from the Pacific Northwest and made a name for himself in Orange County at such restaurants as The Crosby and The North Left before landing a coveted gig as Chef de Cuisine at Petit Trois under Chef Ludo Lefebvre.
Chef Jose Salazar was born in Colombia, South America and raised in Queens, NY. Jose got his start as a bartender and waiter at some of New York’s hottest establishments—among them, Donatella Arpia’s Bellini. However, it was the kitchen that eventually caught his eye. Upon graduating from the New York Restaurant School in 2001, he interned with famed Chef Jean George Vongerichten at his namesake restaurant: Jean George. After, he worked with some of New York’s most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs—Geoffrey Zacharian of Town; Josh De’ Chellis of Sumile, Eric and Bruce Bromberg of Blue Ribbon. However, it was Chef Thomas Keller who made the most palpable impression on Jose’s cooking philosophies. In 2003, he opened Chef Keller’s acclaimed Per Se restaurant as chef de partie. Then in 2006, he opened Chef Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, where he rose to the position of Executive Sous Chef.
In 2008, Jose took his talent to Cincinnati, Ohio to be the Executive Chef of The historical Cincinnatian Hotel and Palace restaurant. It was here Jose honed his style of cooking, incorporating ingredients and techniques of the Americas, Europe, and Japan. Since his arrival to the Queen City, Jose’s garnered national attention: in 2011 Food & Wine magazine awarded him People’s Choice “Best New Chef.”
In December 2013, Jose and his wife Ann opened Salazar, their much anticipated restaurant in Over the Rhine. Salazar was an instant hit. The little forty-five-seater modern bistro is always packed, and despite being just four years old, is recognized as one of the best restaurants in the city. Jose and Ann then opened Mita’s in August 2015, located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. In just a year-and-a-half Mita’s—which focusus on the cuisine of Spain and Latin America—has already set itself apart receiving praise from countless publications, both locally and nationally.
Chef Salazar is a 2016 and 2017 James Beard Nominee for “Best Chef Great Lakes.”
Adam Brick is the Chef / Partner of Vino Vino in Austin, Texas. He recently teamed with his Sommelier / Partner Paul Ozbirn to revamp the classic wine bar that has been open for over a decade. Brick focuses the menu on the classic wine bar traditions and specifically the classical wine regions of the old world. Before Vino Vino, Brick was the opening Chef de Cuisine of Apis and Pizzeria Sorellina in Spicewood where Brick led the team to much acclaim. While at Apis Brick was awarded a rising star chef from Star Chefs, 30 under 30 rising stars for Zagat, and led the restaurant to the highest numerically rated review ever written by the Austin American Statesman. Brick and Ozbirn are diligently working on their forthcoming project Marina's and Vino Vino Wine Shop set to open in 2018.
Kristine Kittrell was a traveler before she was a cook. Originally from Canada, she migrated to the Caribbean after college and discovered ceviche, jerk pork, and fried plantains (among other un-Canadian cuisines). After two years, she left to visit parts of the Mediterranean, Mexico, and South Asia, digesting the culinary culture at every stop. When she landed in Austin in 1997, Kristine began working at Jeffrey's Restaurant. Kristine left Jeffrey's in 2003 to found El Chile Cafe y Cantina. Two years later, she helped open that restaurant's "little brother," El Chilito.
After five years with El Chile, Kristine left to further her culinary studies. She staged in Barcelona, working at Michelin starred Comerc 24 and Cinc Sentits, and spent a summer studying pastry in Vancouver, B.C. After two years as executive chef at Mulberry, a downtown wine bar, she moved to Weather Up where she became the Executive Chef of an amazing little kitchen under the stairs. While the kitchen still thrives under her leadership, Kristine has broadened her scope of work at Weather Up Austin, where she is now the managing partner. She plays a key role in syrup and cocktail development, curates and coordinates events such as the annual Billy Reid shindig during SXSW, and polishes a lot of glassware. Weather Up is more than a job for Kristine; it is a family affair.
(The person, not the horse.) A Texas native, Jonathan moved to Chicago in 2003 after the dotcom bubble burst, and started flipping burgers in a late-night bar for fun. After attending culinary school in London, he moved to Los Angeles in 2005, then returned to Texas in 2013 to be able to spend more time with family and listen to more country music. After helping open Rapscallion in Dallas 2 years ago, he returned to Austin and is now Chef de Cuisine at Clark's Oyster Bar.
From a young age, Chef Joel Orsini’s life has been centered around the kitchen. With a pair of skilled home cooks for parents and a family bond forged at the table, he learned to love food early on and dreamed of a career as a chef since age 12. This goal drove him to the Culinary Institute of America and positions in kitchens throughout New York City, gaining expertise that he would eventually bring him back to his home state of Texas.
During his time in New York, Joel served as Sous Chef at Beacon Restaurant, where he trained under Chef Waldy Malouf and gained an intimate knowledge of open-fire cooking, which he considers now a foundation of his culinary style. He then joined the team at Jean-Georges, where he helped maintain the restaurant’s three-Michelin star record. Returning to Texas, he played an integral part in some of Austin’s most respected kitchens, including Uchiko and Foreign & Domestic. His curiosity of the state’s food culture brought him to Dallas. Now Sous Chef at FT33, he maintains the simple and passionate approach to food that he cultivated at the family table. His focus is on suffusing dishes with the careful attention and love that truly create a memorable meal. His goal is for guests to experience “a feeling of comfort like walking into the home of a close friend.” Joel has made contributions to the opening of our sister restaurant, Filament and we are now excited to have his experience in the FT33 kitchen.
Chef Aron hails from the Pacific Northwest and made a name for himself in Orange County at such restaurants as The Crosby and The North Left before landing a coveted gig as Chef de Cuisine at Petit Trois under Chef Ludo Lefebvre. Now, he's getting back to his roots by creating a series of pop up dinners titled: on the lam. A nomadic dining experience that seeks to capture the landscape of the pacific northwest through dishes that are deliciously designed, earthy and mystical. He chars, roasts and smokes a lot of his ingredients to capture that feeling of being on a campsite by the lake in his home state of Washington.
Chef/Co-Owner with his wife Cassie of Clock Tower Grill, in Brewster, NY. Focuses on local, sustainable ingredients and having fun. Clock Tower Grill was just named named one of the best new restaurants in the Hudson Valley.
San Francisco, CA
Brett is the Chef/Owner of Michelin starred Aster, in San Francisco. He trained at Rubicon x Coi x Saison, on to lead the expansion of Outerlands, and is now cuddling with his awesome team in the Mission district.
Kendall was on the opening team of Contigo Austin as their pastry chef in 2011 and endowed the position with joy, passion, and lots of love for three years. After some time away at Odd Duck and opening Al Fico, she has returned home to the family of Chicon, Contigo, and Contigo Catering. Kendall enjoys hiking, reading scientific books about animals, and looking after her three very well-fed rescue cats. She also sojourns frequently to Paris, where she stages at local boulangeries and patisseries. And to eat the bread & cheese.
Foreign & Domestic
306 East 53rd Street
Austin, TX 78751
Apis Restaurant & Apiary
Spicewood, TX 78669