Foreign & Domestic, a 47-seat restaurant in Austin, co-owned by Chef Ned Elliott and Pastry Chef Jodi Elliott, has become a neighborhood favorite for expertly prepared food at reasonable prices. We got the chance to sit down and talk with Ned over the Austin Food & Wine Festival weekend! Enjoy some images and enjoy the details on their talent!
Chef Ned Elliott 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. Sandra the cook, taught Ned about the importance of fresh ingredients. From Linda, the baker, Ned learned patience. Both taught him that life should be about continuous learning, a philosophy that was reinforced by Chef Ducasse and his mentor Chef Doug Psaltis.
“My mantra is attention to detail,” says Elliott. “Chef Psaltis instilled this in me and it is an important part of how we define Foreign & Domestic.” It was at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park in 1999 that Ned met Jodi. Eager to further his career outside of his schooling, Ned left the CIA and began 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, Country and on the opening team at Thomas Keller’s Per Se.
Pastry Chef Jodi Elliott’s love of baking developed at an early age in the kitchen with her Grandmother, “Meme.” A picky eater, but a sweets lover, Jodi enjoyed the playfulness and nostalgia that went along with baking. With the encouragement of her mother, she started her pastry career at age 16 at a local café in San Antonio, TX. Jodi comments, “I was lucky to find my passion early on even before I knew what a pastry chef was.”
Following her high school graduation, Jodi attended the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park where she met Ned. While earning her culinary degree, Jodi worked at Gramercy Tavern under highly-acclaimed Pastry Chef Claudia Fleming. After graduating from the CIA in 2001, Jodi moved to London and took a position at the Savoy Hotel. After a year in London, she returned to New York in 2002 and continued her culinary career at such heralded restaurants as Bouley, Thomas Keller’s Per Se, Peacock Alley in the Waldorf Astoria and Michael Symon’s Parea. It was during Jodi’s time as the Pastry Chef at Parea that the restaurant earned a two-star review from the New York Times.
We’re excited to see the new Stampede 66 product line of sauces and shirts available for purchase. Be sure to stop by Stephan Pyles newest restaurant concept for some Texas cuisine if you haven’t been. Stephan and his team have put together another fabulous dining experience! Enjoy!
Claire McCormack Photography 2013
“Chef Philip Speer conceives desserts that are an anticipated finish to dinner rather than an afterthought. A native Texan, Speer spent his early years in and out of bakeries around Houston and Austin, preparing for his jump to restaurant pastry.
In 2005, Philip settled at Uchi under James Beard Award winning Chef Tyson Cole. Combining elements of surprise and artistry with fresh ingredients are hallmarks of Speer’s approach to his craft and these techniques have garnered him awards in the Austin Chronicle, the Austin-American-Statesman and Texas Monthly as well as national recognition in Bon Appetit, Cooks Illustrated, and U.S.A. Today. Speer has been named a James Beard Award semi-finalist in the overall pastry chef category for the past three years, a Rising Star Pastry Chef by StarChefs.com, and Best Pastry Chef by Culturemap Austin Tastemaker Awards.
Speer’s talents are reinvented at Cole’s newest restaurants, Uchiko in Austin, Texas and Uchi in Houston, Texas. In addition to leading the pastry programs, Speer has taken the helm as Director of Culinary Operations at all three restaurants. Cole’s cookbook, Uchi the Cookbook, features an entire chapter on Speer’s desserts that highlight his inventive techniques and creative uses of less traditional ingredients.
While awards and recognition are greatly appreciated, Speer will tell you, “At the end of the day, it’s all about my love affair with food and working at such a high caliber establishment with diverse and talented chefs.” – Uchi
A big thank you to Chef Philip and his amazing team at Uchi for spending some time with us and allowing us to come into their busy kitchen! Enjoy the images!
A huge thank you to the pastry chef of Vespiao Austin, Sandi Reinlie, for inviting us in to the restaurant and allowing us to spend part of the afternoon photographing and speaking with her about her love of pastries, food and Austin! Her passion for baking and talent with food is incredible. Located on eclectic South Congress Avenue the restaurant is a long-time favorite of locals and visitors alike. And in the midst of a busy weekend of the Austin Food & Wine Festival, for all involved, we were grateful for all the chefs, talents, and time given to us!
Reinlie grew up in Florida working in her family’s restaurant business, making pizza dough and washing dishes from a young age. Most of her time was spent in her grandmother Beverly’s kitchen, eagerly watching as her grandmother transformed basic ingredients into delicious sweets. When she moved to Texas with her family, she went on to graduate from pastry school in 2008 and worked her way up to become the Executive Pastry Chef at Walton’s Fancy and Staple, a gourmet bakery in Austin owned by Sandra Bullock.
Reinlie’s love of traveling has become a powerful stimulus for creating dishes. In 2009, she began working with Austin based culinary tours company Petite Peche, where she teaches hands on pastry instruction for tour guests. The tours allow her to work in France and Italy’s most celebrated food and wine regions, exposing her to an international culinary art scene, while working with some of the finest seasonal ingredients.
Between culinary tours, Reinlie is also the pastry chef at Chef David Bull’s Second Bar + Kitchen, where she created their fall pastry menu in 2011. In 2012, Austin Chronicle Food Editor Virginia B. Wood gave Reinlie’s lemon panna cotta from Vespaio the number one spot on her Top 10 Sweet Bites of 2012, calling it an “elegant offering” and a “transcendent sweet bite.”
If you are in Austin, be sure to stop by Vespaio for an incredible meal. Their idea is simple—combine great food, great people, and a casual atmosphere. Lively and sociable, their comfortable restaurant features a bustling open kitchen, a social bar, and a simple, warm décor. At Vespaio, you’ll find authentic antipasti & salads, wood-fired pizzas, pastas from light to robust, extraordinary entrees, and decadent desserts. Enjoy!
“Growing up just outside of Sacramento, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Charles Smith began craving worldly travel at a young age due to his Welsh mother and French father. As soon as he had the chance, Charles decided to move to Denmark (for a “hot piece of a**” i.e. a lady friend he met in the states). While in Scandinavia, Charles spent the next nine years managing rock bands and concert tours throughout Europe, including the famed Danish duo, The Ravonettes. Wining and dining while on the road became a catalyst for his passion of wine, which ultimately triggered the career he has today.
In 1999, he moved back to the United States, specifically to the Pacific Northwest, opening a wine shop on Bainbridge Island, just across the Puget Sound from downtown Seattle. On a road trip in late 1999, he passed through the small town of Walla Walla and met a young Frenchman and winemaker named Christophe Baron. After the two found their common passion for great Syrah, Christophe suggested Charles move to Walla Walla and make his own juice. In 2001 Charles did just that and released 330 cases of his first wine, the 1999 K Syrah. The Walla Walla Valley was now his home.
After a devastating freeze in 2004, Charles brought to life a label he had once in a dream: House Wine. Low and behold, the label concept had never been created or trademarked, so Charles launched the legendary brand before selling it to Precept Brands in 2006. That same year, Charles started a second brand, Charles Smith Wines. The brand was themed as “The Modernist Project,” which focuses on the way people generally consume wine today: immediately. The intent was (and still is) to create wines to be enjoyed now, but with true typicity of both the varietal and the vineyard.
A self-taught winemaker, Charles is a true artisan and a pioneer in the wine world. In 2008, K Vintners was recognized by Wine & Spirits magazine as one of the “Best New Wineries of the Last Ten Years,” and as “Winery of the Year” in their annual buying guide. In 2009 Food & Wine magazine awarded Charles “Winemaker of the Year” and in 2010 Seattle Magazine recognized Charles as their “Winemaker of the Year.” – Charles Smith Biography, www.charlessmithwines.com