The Driskill Welcomes New Executive Chef Christian Apetz

Eecutive Chef Christian Apetz

Eecutive Chef Christian Apetz

The Driskill is proud to announce Christian Apetz as the new Executive Chef of the venerable hotel. Chef Apetz comes to The Driskill from the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, and takes the helm of the culinary team from Chef Troy Knapp, who recently moved to the Park Hyatt Washington D.C.

Chef Apetz has more than 22 years’ experience within the hospitality industry and has worked and traveled throughout the United States, giving him enviable first-hand experiences cooking regional American cuisine. His travels indulged his love of history and discovering new cultures, however his passion remains with Southern foods, flavors and traditions. At The Driskill, Chef Apetz combines his love of history and discovery to develop menus using products that are native to the Central Texas region and are farmed, raised, and harvested nearby

“The Driskill is an iconic hotel with an incredible history, and I’m thrilled to join the team and help continue telling its stories,” said Executive Chef Christian Apetz. “Growing up I developed a healthy respect for traditions and learning from those who know the local ingredients and products best. I’m looking forward to getting to know the community so I can further The Driskill’s commitment to authenticity and creating distinctive culinary experiences.”

Chef Apetz is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the dining operations for the hotel’s two restaurants, The Driskill Grill and 1886 Café & Bakery; menu service for The Driskill Bar; catering and events operations; and in-room dining.

About The Driskill

Built in 1886 as the showplace of a cattle baron, The Driskill is a legendary destination in the heart of Texas. Located on Sixth Street, the iconic hotel is steps away from the State Capitol and Austin’s downtown music and entertainment district. With 189 newly revitalized guest rooms and signature suites, The Driskill offers a variety of elegant accommodation types featuring classic styling, custom furniture, and modern comforts and luxuries. The Driskill offers an authentically Austin and distinctively Driskill culinary experience for guests and visitors at 1886 Café & Bakery, The Driskill Grill and The Driskill Bar. More than 131 years after opening, The Driskill remains a beloved icon in Austin and one of the most well-known hotels in Texas.

As originally published by Arrow.

Juliann Stoddart Named Executive Pastry Chef at Parkside

Julianne Stoddard

Juliann Stoddart

Parkside Projects’ flagship restaurant, Parkside, adds Chef Juliann Stoddart to its talented culinary team as executive pastry chef. Stoddart will be responsible for overseeing pastry production and creation of the dessert menu under the direction of Parkside Executive Chef Nathan Lemley.

“Chef Juliann has continuously raised the bar in the world of pastry by developing inventive confections that are not only unique, but also delicious,” said Shawn Cirkiel, president of Parkside Projects. “We are so excited for her to join our Parkside team and know that she will bring a fresh perspective and new creativity to our dessert menu.”

Upon graduating with a diploma in baking and pastries from the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago in 2013, Stoddart joined the opening team at Nico Osteria as a pastry cook working under James Beard Award Semifinalist Amanda Rockman. In 2015 Stoddart moved from Chicago to Austin, Texas for her most recent position as pastry sous chef at South Congress Hotel. There, she assisted in executing desserts for hotel events, two restaurants, an ice cream truck and a coffee shop.

In her current position at Parkside, Stoddart will lead a team to produce all confections at the busy 6th Street landmark restaurant. Through continued innovation and staying ahead of current trends in the evolving world of pastry, Stoddart will develop a dessert menu of superior quality that is sure to exceed expectations.

For reservations and more information on Parkside, call 512-474-9898, or visit

Dining at Hotel Ella is an InFluential Experience

By William Jackson and Ingrid Garner

Hotel Ella offers guests a truly world-class travel experience minutes away from all things Austin. Inhabiting the Goodall Wooten mansion, one of Austin’s original landmark estates, the refined property reopened in October following a multi-million dollar renovation. Now featuring 48 impressive guestrooms (inclusive of 10 luxury suites), a cabana-lined lap pool and wrap-around veranda overlooking an expansive front lawn. Beautifully designed indoor and outdoor spaces and stately meeting rooms provide ideal backdrops for events, weddings and corporate gatherings. Guests enjoy exceptional dining along with a superior level of personalized service wrapped in the relaxed hospitality for which Austin is known.

Scott Mechura, Executive Chef at Goodall’s

We stopped in recently for Social Hour and the experience was exceptional.  From the enthusiastic welcome we received upon arrival, to the decor, everything is well conceived and delivered.  The goal is to remain true to the original aesthetic while providing a “current” appeal and to our mind, mission accomplished. 

Our Social Hour menu selections

Dining at Goodall’s Kitchen & Bar, the sophisticated neighborhood restaurant concept featuring inventive global cuisine from Executive Chef Scott Mechura, is a delightful culinary experience.  Chef Mechura’s locally-driven, seasonal menu showcases the best from top Texan purveyors and is certainly sure to please.  We were thrilled to have a table side chat with Chef Mechura who has a gleem in his eyes as he talks about his vision for a perfect dining experience at Goodall’s. 

William Jackson, Publisher of InFluential Magazine reclining in the beautiful lobby of Hotel Ella

Let us know when you plan to visit, we just might join you!

Read the editorial of Hotel Ella written by Ingrid Garner,  in the November / December issue of InFluential Magazine.

Hotel Ella is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ collection and is located at 1900 Rio Grande Street, Austin, Texas, 78705.