I’m not nearly as inspired by the food as I am by the people I’m creating it for. Memorable dining experiences rarely happen in large group situations. Rather, they occur in intimate settings over real laughter and conversation. The trick is in the details. Food is merely a very special vessel.
As far as I’m concerned, food is so much more than fuel. It’s the gateway to our most cherished life experiences.
One bite of a crisp and smoky hatch green chile from New Mexico is so much more than a little heat in my mouth…it instantly transports me to El Paso. I’m a young boy enjoying the company of my grandparents and a mouthwatering meal under the hot summer sun…and life is just…good.
Food is powerful. It’s the vehicle that brings families together at the table every night and silences the noise of the outside world. Food is the center of every celebration. It’s an homage to family history. And for me, it also symbolizes hope, healing and the beginning of a new chapter in my life.
I’ve been cooking since I was a teen. My parents both worked long hours and I was the oldest of four children, so the responsibility to prepare dinner for the family often fell on me. I can’t say I actually enjoyed that job as a teenager, but I most certainly enjoyed the fruit of my labor; as the meals I made were the catalyst for bringing my very busy family together every night.
As the years passed, the impact of family dinners became more and more apparent to me. I learned that what starts at the dining room table, impacts every neighborhood. And what happens in neighborhoods, impacts cities…states…countries…the world.
Contrary to what you might expect, I did not go to culinary school immediately after high school. I actually earned a degree in marketing and intended to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I spent 10 years working my way up the corporate ladder. But in 2009, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Over the course of my 9-month long treatment, I did a lot of soul searching. Shortly after completing treatment, I decided to reinvent myself and enrolled in culinary school.
I honed my cooking skills in Austin’s great kitchens like Second Bar + Kitchen, The Driskill Hotel, and 2 Dine 4 Catering.
Along the way, I cultivated a passion for sustainable, local, and seasonal food. I even harvested my own herb garden so that I could more easily experiment with new herb-infused recipes as I reinvented classic dishes.
The Austin Artisan was born in 2013. Rooted in the core philosophy that taste and memories are inextricably bound—evoking emotions and creating unforgettable experiences—we’re different from cookie-cutter, feed-the-masses catering companies.
We focus on smaller gatherings of less than 30 people, which provide the opportunity to craft plated, multi-course, progressive dinners or even custom cocktail parties. From molecular gastronomy to infused oils, My team and I offer a true upscale dining and chef experience that is absolutely unforgettable.