Kendall Melton is Al Fico’s new pastry chef!

Kendall Melton web ready

We are thrilled to announce that Kendall Melton (above) will be joining the Al Fico team as Pastry Chef.

A Dallas native, Kendall, 32, will be doing a short stage in Paris before she begins working at Al Fico. She’s been accepted at L’Arpège, a three-Michelin star restaurant and one of the most venerated kitchens in all of France.

We asked Kendall, 32, how she got into cooking and here’s what she told us:

“I’ve literally always been baking. When I was little, I wanted to open a restaurant called ‘Buffet Everyday.'”

“I even had plans drawn (with crayons).”

“I was working in Los Angeles in a totally different industry and baking became my most favorite hobby. Then I moved to Austin to go to Texas Culinary Academy in their pastry program, and a year after that, I became the pastry chef at Contigo [2011-2014]. Things moved pretty quickly.”


A16 and Vespaio alum Clinton Bertrand to be Al Fico executive chef

al fico chef austin

“I come from a Cajun family,” says Clinton Bertrand (above). “All the men in my family cook. And so it was in my blood.”

The southeast Texas native first began working in the restaurant business straight out of high school.

By the late 1990s, he had moved to Austin where he landed a spot in the kitchen at Vespaio, where he worked from 1999-2003.

But California’s burgeoning food scene was calling him.

“I never wanted to cook French food,” says Clinton, now 39, “but I wanted to learn foundational French cookery and basic charcuterie.”

In 2003, he took a position at San Francisco’s storied Jeanty at Jack’s with acclaimed chef Justin Deering.

It would only take a few more years before he would land a spot as sous chef at A16, widely considered one of the best Italian restaurants in the U.S. today.

It was there that he honed his skills and knowledge in authentic Italian gastronomy and the experience inspired him to follow a career path in Italian cooking

What brought him back to Austin in 2008?

“I met the right girl and married her,” he says. “And Austin was where she wanted to live.”

Al Fico
1700 E 2nd St. Austin, TX 78702 (cross street: Chalmers)

Owners: Jeff Courington and Kelly Bell (founders and owners at Vino Vino)

Food: Authentic and creative Italian cuisine inspired by osteria cooking; traditional dishes and contemporary interpretations of classics; Roman-style wood-fired pizza; 100 percent Italian wine list featuring iconic estates as well as avant-garde winemakers.

Décor: Old-school Italian osteria with tiled floors, white tablecloths, and chandeliers; photographs of Italy and Italians, shot on and printed from analog film by Austin artist Nils Juul-Hansen, line the walls.

The name “Al Fico” means literally “by the fig tree.” In the era after WWII, Italian cheese mongers and salumi producers would set up stands in the shade of trees along the road so that they could sell their wares to passing travelers. As Italy rebuilt and the economic outlook improved, many of them opened restaurants in the shadow of those same trees. The name of Jeff Courington and Kelly Bell’s Al Fico is inspired by that tradition and their love of all things Italian.


help us get al fico open!

Vino Vino owners and co-founders Jeff Courington and Kelly Bell first decided to bring their Italian concept to east Austin nearly three years ago. Today, Al Fico osteria-inspired kitchen is nearly ready to open. We just need a little help from our FAMIGLIA to help get things started… Donate now to help us make Al Fico a reality!

fico tshirt black

By joining Al Fico FAMIGLIA, not only will you receive one of the premiums below but you will be added to the Al Fico FAMIGLIA VIP email list which gives guests early event reservation offers, priority seating on holidays, and access to exclusive dining offers and wine tastings.

Please note that your donation is not to purchase
any shares in the business or any interest in its profits.

DONATION TIERS

$100 – famiglia (family) member

Premium: “al fico famiglia” t-shirt

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

$250 – cugina/cugino (cousin) member

Premium: a bottle of wine selected especially
for you on your first visit

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

$500 – sorella/fratello (sister/brother) member

Premium: a four-person guided wine tasting (four wines)
led by an al fico wine expert

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW


Getting close!

The build-out is almost complete!

The photo below was taken today, March 12, and we’ll be announcing our new chef any day now!

Stay tuned!

restaurant builders


Stay tuned!

italian kitchen austin

We’ll be revealing details about Al Fico, its new chef, its menu, and opening date shortly.

Please click here
to sign up for our
email newsletter!

Click here for
media inquiries.

Al Fico

1700 E 2nd St. Austin, TX 78702 (cross street: Chalmers)

Owners: Jeff Courington and Kelly Bell (founders and owners at Vino Vino)

Food: Authentic and creative Italian cuisine inspired by osteria cooking; traditional dishes and contemporary interpretations of classics; Roman-style wood-fired pizza; 100 percent Italian wine list featuring iconic estates as well as avant-garde winemakers.

Décor: Old-school Italian osteria with tiled floors, white tablecloths, and chandeliers; photographs of Italy and Italians, shot on and printed from analog film by Austin artist Nils Juul-hansen, line the walls.

The name “Al Fico” means literally “by the fig tree.” In the era after WWII, Italian cheese mongers and salumi producers would set up stand in the shade of trees along the road so that they could sell their wares to passing travelers. As Italy rebuilt and the economic outlook improved, many of them opened restaurants in the shadow of those same trees. The name of Jeff Courington and Kelly Bell’s Al Fico is inspired by that tradition and their love of all things Italian.


Build-out update

italian restaurant austin

al fico austin italian restaurant


Build-out update: plumbing done, electric in the works

beautiful sky texas

The Al Fico build-out is nearing completion.

Plumbing has been completed and electric is going in this week.

Once all the wiring is done, the builders can begin to add the finishing touches.

We’re still looking at a late summer 2013 launch.

Stay tuned! And thanks for your support.

italian restaurant east austin


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 101 other followers