Austin Rocconi’s interest in cooking started with homemade tortellini. The son of a full-blooded Italian father, Rocconi remembers their family gatherings always being centered around food. Years later, Rocconi was attending Delta State University for business management when he took a job as a dishwasher in a local restaurant. Realizing his interest in restaurants far surpassed his commitment to a business degree, Rocconi drove across the country to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, CA. After graduation, Rocconi began his career at acclaimed Greek restaurant, Kyma, where he worked every station during his 3-year tenure before leaving as senior chef de partie. From there, Rocconi worked as a poissonnier at BLT Steak and served as chef de partie at Canoe Restaurant, an Atlanta mainstay on the Chattahoochee River. Rocconi went on to become executive chef for Le Vigne Restaurant at Montaluce Winery in north Georgia, where he created the menus and played an integral role in developing the winery into a top wedding and dining destination in the state. In 2015, an opportunity at Michelin-starred La Toque brought Rocconi back out to California. He worked at the acclaimed French restaurant in Napa Valley for over three years before deciding to settle in Austin, where he joined the Hotel Ella team in July 2018. As Executive Chef, Rocconi helms in-room dining, banquets, catering, and the hotel’s restaurant, Goodall’s Kitchen, a classic American bistro. In his work, Rocconi enjoys taking a unique approach to familiar dishes to create menus that excite and engage his guests.