THE CHEFS

 

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JACK GILMORE

OWNER / EXECUTIVE CHEF

Jack Allen's Kitchen and
Salt Traders Coastal Cooking

Chef Jack Gilmore’s bold, flavorful style is influenced by his experience across the Gulf Coast Region of the South, his upbringing in the Rio Grande Valley, and his extensive work with Master German chefs. However, his legendary hospitality is 100% Texan, and everyone is treated like family both at his restaurants and in his home.

Jack has used his culinary talents to grow the brand into four Jack Allen’s Kitchen locations in the Austin area, along with developing a sister concept, Salt Traders Coastal Cooking, which will be opening a second location later this year, bringing the portfolio total to six restaurants. He’s also the proud author of cookbook Jack Allen’s Kitchen: Celebrating the Taste of Texas.

Gilmore is committed to fostering relationships with Texas farmers and purveyors, and he has pledged himself and his restaurants to supporting his community—no matter what the ups and downs of working with Mother Nature may be. You can often find Gilmore scouring the local farmers’ markets for the best finds of the season. At the end of the day, Gilmore tells all of the farmers, “You grow it, we’ll use it.”

When he’s not in the kitchen or with farmers, Gilmore can often be found giving back to charities that are near and dear to his heart. A few of the many charities include the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation and the Coastal Conservation Association — which each receive a portion of proceeds from special dishes at his restaurants. Jack Allen’s Kitchen also donated all equipment for the commercial kitchen at The Refuge, and Jack and his wife LuAnn donated all the kitchen equipment for the cottages on site. In addition, Gilmore enjoys spending free time with his wife LuAnn, their two sons Bryce (chef and owner of Odd Duck, Sour Duck Market and Barley Swine) and Dylan (partner at Odd Duck), his grandchildren and his dog, Mr. Maker.

 

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JIM TRIPI

DIRECTOR OF CULINARY OPERATIONS
James Island

PARTNER OF CULINARY OPERATIONS
PURE Jerky

OWNER
crEATe

Chef Tripi’s culinary beginnings started in the gardens of his grandmothers in Upstate New York, each with a strong sense of their heritage, Polish and Italian. At the young age of 10, he was an integral part of bringing the food from the garden to the table or pantry as he harvested sweet peas, heirloom tomatoes, beets, carrots, cucumbers, concord grapes, plums from the plants and trees in their garden.  He would have apple-peeling contests with his grandmother when she made Polish crepes, he would cut the vegetables for soups, stews, prepped fruits for canning, but little did he know how this would influence his career choices later. The principles of using high quality, fresh, local and seasonal foods when preparing meals would always stay close to his heart as he moved throughout the country to grow and fulfill his culinary dreams.

At 16, he began working at Samuels Grande Manor, in Williamsville, New York, while still in high school,where he started as a dishwasher and busboy, after a short time he was promoted to a prep cook.   He was given the jobs that others found mundane and these would ultimately help hone skills necessary for his life in the kitchen, such as shucking the oysters, clams, butchering meats, cleaning and prepping fruits and cutting vegetables. 

At 17, he moved to Nacogdoches, Texas and began working at Crown Colony Country Club as well as a family restaurant alongside his chef father, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Working along side his father, Jim received some of the best advice ever, working with an “old school” chef and father who instilled the insights and realities ofbeing a chef, he established his strong work ethic and basic culinary skills.                                                                                                                  

Soon after, he was hired by Marriott hotels where he began what would be a long, dedicated career. This new endeavourer would bring him to work in some of the company’s largest hotels in Dallas, Chicago, San Antonio, Austin, and resorts in New Jersey and Horseshoe Bay and on task force in New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, Kansas City, Orlando and Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics.  The spectrum of his training quickly ran the span of the Hotel Restaurant and Banquet Kitchens. He started his progressive career as a Line Cook, Kitchen supervisor, Senior Banquet Chef, Executive Sous Chef and Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director.  His gradual rise to the top was recognized not only by his associates but by the company, he received many awards for his dedication and expertise in the culinary field, as Executive Chef, in 2001, and 2005, he was honored with the ACE (Award of Culinary Excellence) which recognized Chef Tripi as one of the top ten chefs in all of corporate Marriott International.

His 6th property, the historic Seaview Marriott Resort and Spa in Southern New Jersey, hosts the LPGA annual Shoprite Classic which first introduced him to Professional Golfing events and would later lure him back to Austin to open the Horseshoe Bay Golf Resort. Under Chef Tripi, the Hotel hosted several Texas Food and Wine Events showcasing the flavors of the Hill country. He built a team that would be recognized as one of the top for quality of food for special events within the Marriott network.

While in Austin, he had an opportunity to assist in the opening of the Flagship Whole Foods Market on Lamar Street as Team Leader of the Prepared Foods department, which ended his 15 year career with Marriott.  Having the largest staff in the entire company, he was able to engage his culinary expertise in the retail arena using the finest organic products and a healthier style of living.

When approached in October of 2005 to work for the private residential community of Spanish Oaks Golf Club in Bee Cave, www.spanishoaksgolfclub.com, Chef Tripi could not pass up this opportunity. His versatility in creating seasonally sensitive, locally grown, elegant menus on small and large scales for a variety of outlets and events made Chef Tripi a perfect fit with this growing Private Membership Golf Club. He led a progressive team focused on delivering the highest quality ingredients to a very discerning membership while keeping comfort and farm to table close to the forefront of menus and presentations.

In September of 2009, Chef Tripi was offered an opportunity to be the regional chef of the Pacific Northwest for Discovery land Co. www.discoverylandco.com , the parent company of Spanish Oaks at the time. He joined Yellowstone Club, in Big Sky, Montana as the Executive Chef as well asthe Executive Chef of Gozzer Ranch in Coure d’ Alene, Idaho where he spent the summers. Chef Tripi was the regional Chef for Discovery land Co. where he again was recognized a leader at the property and continued the farm to table lifestyle for those who dined at the property, he regained the member’s trust by ensuring that wholesome innovative food, creative events and newly developed menus are here to stay under his watch. The Yellowstone Club, the only private ski club of its kind in the USA and a membership consisting of some of the country’s most elite families enjoyed Chef Tripi and his team’s farm to table regional cuisine. The Restaurants menus focused on Pacific Northwestern fare, and always offered vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dietary restrictions as a standard. During his time away from the Austin Hill Country, Chef Tripi maintained relationships with the team at Spanish Oaks, and was offered an opportunity to come back and head up the program under new ownership. He also began building a relationship with the Salt Lick, in 2011, and while Spanish Oaks reemerged as a premier private golf club under new management in April he began assisting the Salt Lick with high end events and there Texas Wine Country Catering. The club and food and beverage program continues to be a leader in the Austin market as members and guests of Spanish Oak enjoyed the “fruits of his labor.” Spanish Oaks is ranked among the top restaurants in Austin and Texas.

2017 brought a new and bright page as Chef Tripi was the Executive Chef and one of the managing partners of Eberly, at 615 south Lamar. The restaurant delivers contemporary American farmhouse cuisine in approx. 14500 sq ft of dining spaces, he and his team deliver brunch on weekends, dinner service nightly, and a new rooftop catering venue. Chef Tripi was inspired in this role, creating food that inspires the soul, while showcasing the best ingredients from foragers of the land and sea.

Chef Tripi is currently devoting his time to various freelance opportunities. In collaboration with David Hinkle, Chef Tripi is currently Partner and Culinary Innovator at PURE Jerky, as well as the Director of Culinary at James Island, a private luxury community and Discovery Land Company property located in Victoria B.C., and the owner of crEATe, a culinary inspired event company for catering and crafting unique events and food needs.

Many years in the “trenches”, vocational culinary training, and continuing education at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and Greystone combine with his creative vision and discerning palette bring him to the forefront of culinary innovation and refinement. His sensitivity to guest/member tastes and needs are balanced with his unwavering professionalism in the kitchen. Although it seems so natural and effortless, delivering a unique culinary experience requires constant attention to quality, customer service and a dedicated team focused on the pursuit of food and beverage excellence.

Chef Tripi's true pride and joy come from his family: wife of 15 years, Maria, also a culinarian, and his three little boys Alec (12) Cole (11) Everett (6). 

Is it any wonder that his kids love to cook, too?

MANUEL RODRIGUEZ

EXECUTIVE CHEF

W Hotel

Manuel Rodriguez is the executive chef at W Austin. Prior to joining the W Austin team as a banquet chef in 2014 he was at the Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, during his time there he devoted himself to maximizing the guest experience thus earning himself the accolades manager of the quarter and Hilton Hotel of the year all within his first year at the property. Graduating with a Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art – one of the nation’s leading graduate schools of architecture, art and design – Rodriguez decided he’d apply his artistic abilities to the culinary world. He served as the sous chef for a French Gascony Style Five Diamond hotel restaurant at Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco, CA. He spent five years there honing his craft of creating menus which highlighted the freshness of available produce in the area. He then took his talents to Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, his final stop before W Austin, where he climbed the ranks from banquet chef to chef de cuisine. While in his role of banquet chef he gained experience in a vast array of functions, the most notable being a week long, off-site catering operation at the world-famous Waste Management Phoenix Open.