Chef Austin Freels
Executive Chef of Lilah Restaurant
Chef Austin has achieved one dream and is ready to reach to new heights as a Rising Star!
Austin Freel has always known he wanted to work in the culinary industry. Since he was old enough to work he has worked his way up through the ranks with the goal of becoming a chef. Austin began as a Busser, Dishwasher, Food Runner, and eventually Line Cook. He is now proud to say that he has finally reached his dream of being named Executive Chef of Lilah Restaurant in Shepherdstown, WV! His dream is just getting started however and is well on his way as a Rising Star of Taste of Blue Ridge.
Your Favorite Ingredient: A good ribeye
Favorite Dish to Cook at Home: Wild Mushroom and Venison Stroganoff
Most Essential Item in the Kitchen: Good knives
Guilty Pleasure Snack or Dish: Hamburger Helper
Meet Rising Star – Chef Austin Freel
Who influenced your love for food?
My Grandmother and my Father were always cooking when I was growing up. Most of my childhood memories include food. Growing up in Central PA, I was exposed to PA Dutch and Amish cuisine and loved cooking things from scratch.
Loving the Challenges of a New Restaurant
What makes your menu different from others in the area?
Lilah is a New American restaurant with a smoker and wood fire oven. We have seasonal menus that utilize what is locally in season. Having a wood fire oven allows us to offer artisan flatbreads, rustic pastas, and exceptional flavor to our offerings that only wood fire can impart.
How has working at Lilah’s challenged you?
I have had to learn to multitask, manage a variety of types of people, become a strong leader, and be flexible.
What is your favorite thing about the working in your restaurant?
I love to walk out to the diningroom during a busy service and see people enjoying their food.
How do you feel about the growing locally-sourced movement & home-grown ingredients?
At Lilah, We like to use seasonal ingredients and work with local suppliers when it is cost effective. We currently source some of our meats, produce, and breads locally.