Monday, January 11, 2010

Olivia adds new Talent to the Kitchen

Olivia adds new talent to the kitchen

AUSTIN, TX—Austin's favorite locavore, Chef James Holmes of Olivia, has kicked off the new decade with the exciting decision to hire two new talented chefs—Chef de Cuisine Andrew Francisco and Pastry Chef Taff Mayberry. The chefs bring impressive skills and experiences that blend harmoniously with Olivia's mission to stay local, seasonal and fresh.

This decision comes as a result of Morgan Dishman's recent departure from the Chef de Cuisine position to focus on family endeavors. Chef Holmes says, "Morgan is a friend and was my partner in the kitchen since Olivia opened so I'm sad to see her leave, but I'm also excited about the new creativity that will come from this talented new team." Holmes made the decision to not only replace the Chef de Cuisine, but expand his staff to include a Pastry Chef and says, "I want to take the Olivia experience to the next level and ensure that our diners are satisfied from the first bite to the last."

Francisco, a C.I.A graduate, best known for his work as Executive Chef of Word of Mouth Catering and most recently as Chef de Cuisine of Lambert's, brings an authentic "farm-to-table" sensibility that is an ideal match to Chef Holmes's approach. In addition to his recent experience, Chef Francisco served as Sous Chef at Vespaio, and Cook at Asti, Mars and Emilia's after completing a coveted internship at the renowned French Laundry. Despite his impressive resume, Francisco keeps a quiet confidence and says, "When I die I will still have so much more to learn about food so I maintain a sense of humility and patience about my profession that is not always seen in chefs."

Mayberry, a Georgia native, is a self-taught pastry whiz with innate talents honed as Executive Pastry Chef at Jennings Mill Country Club in Athens, GA, Pastry Cook at the Four Seasons in Austin and most recently, as the Executive Pastry Chef of the Shoreline Grill in Austin. Despite earning a full scholarship to the University of Georgia on academic merit, Mayberry elected to pursue his professional training on the job working his way up in front- and back-of-the-house positions in bakeries, hotels, restaurants, country clubs, catering and more. Mayberry brings a keen eye for presentation and a penchant for fresh, interesting flavor profiles and says, "Dessert is the last thing a customer sees and tastes so it has to leave a lasting, delicious, impression."

After opening its doors in 2008, Olivia has gained countless praise for its innovative take on Mediterranean cuisine with a seasonal, Southern spin. Chef Holmes is a fervent locavore who changes his menu at Olivia every day ensuring that it captures the absolute best the market has to offer. A follower of seasons and an avid supporter of local ranchers, farmers and artisans, the majority of the menu items, from the tiniest herb to the chunkiest cut of lamb, come from Texas. This dedication resulted in Bon Appétit magazine naming Olivia among the “Top Ten Best New Restaurants in America” in 2009. The restaurant is open for dinner Monday-Thursday from 5:30-10:00; Friday and Saturday from 5:30-11:00; Sunday brunch from 10:30-2:30 and Sunday dinner from 5:30-9:00. The restaurant is located at 2043 S. Lamar Blvd, Austin TX, 78704 and reservations can be made by calling 512.804.2700.


Media Contact
Bread & Butter Public Relations
Meredith Vachon
Ali Slutsky

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