Kevin Fink found his love for food, restaurants, and hospitality at the age of eleven when he would trail his father working in the restaurant industry, learning the ins-and-outs of the culinary operations.
Since beginning his career fifteen years ago, Fink’s culinary achievements include cooking at 13 Gobbi in Florence, Italy, and front of house service at Thomas Keller’s iconic restaurant, The French Laundry, which was awarded World’s Best Restaurant by Restaurant Magazine in 2003. Fink continued his career by staging at Copenhagen’s Noma, which held the same Restaurant Magazine rank for three years following The French Laundry. From there, Fink continued on to the competitive Noma Test Kitchen, where he was able to create new techniques and dining trends.
Fink went on to work alongside the Department of Health to build systems and restructure policies, allowing him to be at the helm of a renowned charcuterie, curing, and smoking program. Fink also served as director of operations for the successful and award-winning Zona 78 Italian Kitchen in Tucson, Arizona, before moving to Austin to be chef de partie at Austin’s Olamaie.
Fink opened Emmer & Rye on Rainey Street in Austin, Texas in November 2015. Fink brought a unique dining experience to Austin, as Emmer & Rye is the first contemporary American restaurant in Austin to offer dim sum service as part of their meal, where guests are able to order items directly off of circulating carts, along with a weekly rotating menu using local farm-to-table ingredients.
Where: Emmer & Rye, Austin 51 Rainey St.; 512-366-5530; emmerandrye.com
Why Fink is amazing: He’s wildly passionate about grains, milling up to 15 kinds in his Austin kitchen. He uses them to make everything from the White Sonoran Bialys he often serves at brunch to Red Fife tagliatelle with merguez, tomato and fennel.
Born: Concord, MA, 1984
Résumé: Olamaie, Austin; Noma, Copenhagen, The French Laundry, Yountville, CA (stages); Trattoria 13 Gobbi, Florence
Education: Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Quintessential dish: White Sonoran pappardelle with pork ragout and basil
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