Parker County Today August 2017 - Page 24

our cover: Part 4 - FOOD FIGHT Chef Extraordinaire Aaron Austin A aron Austin, the young execu- tive chef at Vintage Grill & Car Museum, was named Parker County Today Dessert Chef of the Year for 2016-2017 in PCT’s fundraising competi- tion Sweet Charity & Bachelorettes. 22 Then last month, Austin earned the title of Entrée Chef of the Year in PCT’s Boots, BBQ & Bachelors with his spectacular version of chicken and waffles, tender fried chicken pieces and coleslaw in a waffle cone, topped with a spicy sauce. He also brought his award-winning bread pudding, always a crowd pleaser. A Parker County native, Aaron has lived here for most of his 31 years, leaving long enough to serve his country. “I was in the Army for eight years,” he said. “I traveled all over Iraq and Afghanistan.” The consummate family man, Austin is married to a nurse, and together they have two children. He worked in healthcare for several years before he went to culi- nary school to pursue a life-long dream. “Being a chef is a passion, not a job,” he said. “I don’t feel like I am going to work every day.” His philosophy has served him well in his career. “Never give up,” he said. “I kind of got into the culi- nary industry late after doing a job I wasn’t into. It was something I had always wanted to do, so I just went for it.” What he loves most about his career is pleasing his diners. (again) “I love watching people smile when you bring out their different foods,” he said. “I love seeing their enjoyment. My job is about making other people happy.” Dustin Deel, Aaron Austin, Austin Kinney Photo by Megan Parks