Chef Thomas Riordan is the Executive Chef at W Austin. Rounding out a stellar culinary team at the property, Riordan brings an exceptional understanding of both the luxury marketplace and farm-to-table dining. With over 17 years of culinary experience ranging from fine dining to large banquet service, he has worked for numerous Mobil 4 Star, AAA 5 Diamond and Zagat Top 100 award-winning restaurants across the country.
Riordan studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York before making a name for himself as a chef in Scottsdale, Arizona where he began honing his culinary skills at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Throughout his career, Riordan worked in various positions at the JW Marriot Camelback Inn and Starwood’s The Phoenician before being named the Executive Chef at Starwood’s St. Regis Aspen Resort. There, he developed and executed the concepts for Italian restaurant Trecenetto Quindicci, as well as the innovative new spa treatment for Remede spa, Farm to Massage Table. Riordan also served as Executive Chef at the renowned Chefs Club, Food & Wine’s collaborative platform for showcasing some of the country’s top culinary talent, where he worked alongside a rotating guest lineup of the magazine’s Best New Chefs.
As Austin continues to thrive as a culinary and travel destination, Chef Riordan’s enthusiasm for hospitality and culinary creativity will be utilized to further establish our standing amongst guest and local visitors alike.
Angel Begaye is the Pastry Chef at TRACE. Begaye joins the TRACE team from fellow Starwood property The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ where she was with the Luxury Collection Resort for over seven years.
Begaye graduated from Le Courdon Bleu in 2006. Honing her pastry skills during her tenure at The Phoenician, a 4 star 5 diamond resort, she demonstrated passion and enthusiasm as she quickly moved up the ranks of the acclaimed restaurant. While overseeing dessert production from fine dining to ice cream for four restaurants, banquets, catering events and weddings, she gained new expertise, becoming proficient in pastillage show pieces, chocolate and sugar work as well as specialty and wedding cakes, in addition to developing menus and focusing on community involvement. With a particular fondness for specialty desserts, wedding cakes and showpieces, Begaye planned and executed the grand holiday buffets as well as the annual gingerbread house.
Giving her the ability to express her creativity and natural talent, Begaye assisted Chef Roy Pell in 2009 and 2011 at Coupe du Monde, one of the top worldwide competitions for pastry professionals, in the categories of Chocolate Showpiece and Ice Sculpture.
Inspired by her family, she sites early experiences cooking with her grandmother as a foundation for her love of food. Begaye brings a renewed excitement about fine pastry to the already stellar TRACE team, adding her own creative touch while maintaining focus on well balanced flavors. In addition to overseeing all pastry production for the hotel’s in-room dining, banquets, and catering, she will also manage production of all wedding and specialty cakes for the W Austin.
With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry Daniel Allen joins the TRACE team as General Manager.
Throughout his extensive career, Allen previously held General Manager positions at an array of upscale casual dining restaurants across the country including Marmalade Café in Sherman Oaks, Venice Cantina in Venice Beach, CA, and Stonehenge Tavern in Marblehead, MA.
Allen notably joined the internationally acclaimed Uchi restaurant group in Austin, and was tapped by its owners as the opening GM of Uchi in Houston. The restaurant is the third location for James Beard Award winner Chef Tyson Cole and was ranked #5 by GQ Magazine’s Alan Richman in an article entitled "The Perfect Night Out: The 12 Most Outstanding Restaurants 2013".
Allen recently returned to the capital city from Houston where he served as Director of Operations for F.E.E.D. TX, a multi-concept restaurant group from the owners of Liberty Kitchen, BRC Gastropub, and Petite Sweets. At the helm of TRACE, Allen will utilize his vast hospitality knowledge, leadership skills and passion to ensure a superior experience for each and every guest.
Scott Darby is the TRACE Outlet Event Coordinator. He moved from the Midwest to New York at a very young age, and enjoyed a 20 year career in theatre, television, and film on the east coast. Scott came to UT Austin seven years ago to study Costume Technology. While he started out as a greeter at TRACE, he was quickly promoted to coordinating the Private Dining space, then was moved into coordinating events in all of W Austin’s outlets – restaurant, Living Room bar, and WET Deck.
Scott has a true passion for helping others and a natural talent for creative endeavors, especially when it comes to costumes and fashion draping. His rich background in creative design and performing arts gives him a unique perspective on events and the ability to make any occasion extraordinary.