A native of Petaluma, Austin grew up enjoying the bounty of Sonoma and Marin counties. He took to cooking early in a family that enjoyed the pleasures of food, and Austin learned many of his first cooking lessons from his father, who enjoyed the kitchen.
Along a meandering path to the kitchen, his first jobs in the restaurant business were in the front of house. He always found himself enticed by the kitchen and the food. His next stop on his culinary journey took him to Tante Marie’s cooking school in San Francisco where he learned under famed culinary instructor, author, and celebrity Mary Risley.
Armed with the knowledge learned at the legendary culinary school, he set out into the restaurant and fine dining world. The next few years saw him working in some of the most famed kitchens in the bay area, including the two-michelin starred Cyrus restaurant in Healdsburg, California.
A quick study he took a sous-chef job at the Pat Kuleto designed Nick’s Cove in Marshall, California, learning under a bay area legend in Chef Mark Franz. In 2011, he was promoted to Executive Chef at Nick’s Cove, where he was recommended by the Michelin Guide, named “Best Of” four times by the Pacific Sun and mentioned in magazines such as Food + Wine, Men’s Journal, 7 x 7, and San Francisco magazine. His menus are delightfully approachable, while being meticulously combed over for quality.
Austin has coordinated events from casual to the most decadent coursed meals, he celebrates the bounty of local farms, and maintains close relationships with farmers and artisan producers all over the North Bay Area. He enjoys fine wine, and in 2015, along with wine-making partner Shea Lehman became the owner and operator of his own wine label, 1263 wine. When he’s not in the kitchen, he enjoys family, wood-working, golf, wine, and spending time with his wife, Kelly.