Chef Austin first discovered his gift for cooking at a young age, cooking and baking with his mother, grandmothers, and aunt. A native of southern Mississippi, he grew up within an hour of the gulf coast and New Orleans. Weekly visits to the French Quarter and fishing with his father was Austin’s first experience of the traditions of southern regional cuisine and the importance of locally sourced and endorsed ingredients.
He worked in restaurants part time at the age of 18 while in college and found his passion a short two years after enrolling in the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena California. After a short time at The Jonathan Club Santa Monica, Austin moved back to his southern roots.
In Atlanta, Austin worked at Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s Greek concept, Kyma, where he honed his skills learning cuisine variations, leadership, and attention to detail, earning him a position on the opening team of Bistro Niko, Buckhead Life’s newest modern French bistro concept. Following his experience in Buckhead Life Restaurant Group and a short stint at BLT Steak in the W Downtown hotel, Austin spent a year at Canoe Restaurant in Vinings under Chef Carvel Grant Gould. At Canoe he was able to integrate a simplistic and ingredient driven Mediterranean training and a local ‘farm to table” concept to create a unique style of Avant-garde Southern American cuisine.
At Le Vigne, Chef Austin’s personal style is reflected in the artistry of his plates, his well established flavor combinations, and a distinctive way of presenting familiar local ingredients with an innovative elegance.