the story of food is always a good one
The Lake Travis area outside of Austin is a beautiful place to live, but it was missing a key element of a gracious lifestyle: an elegant restaurant known for a delicious, seasonal menu and a world-class wine selection. Chef Wayne Brooks, formerly executive chef at the University of Texas Golf Club and a top-ten winner of the Chaine des Rotisseurs national Young Chef competition, wanted to bring modern French cuisine and a sophisticated and elegant dining experience closer to home. In 2015, Chef Brooks was proud to bring his vision to life in 827Ray’s Kitchen + Cellar. Named for Chef Brooks’ two boys, the restaurant was built on the pillars of high-quality ingredients and impeccable service.
Today, 827Ray’s welcomes guests with a seasonal menu of responsibly raised meats and farm-fresh vegetables, cooked in a style that lets the ingredients shine. Known for their popular Wine Dinners, 827Ray’s has become home to a community of foodies and wine buffs who appreciate the spirit of culinary adventure.
chef & owner
Restaurants are something that I have been in love with from a very young age. I was born and raised in Boulder Colorado and was fortunate enough to have my Grandmother living a few houses down from me. She was an excellent cook and loved cooking for me and my friends. We would often meet up at her house after school and on Sundays to enjoy whatever she had been cooking that day. I fell in love with not only the smells and flavors but also how a meal would bring people together for a good time. It was then that I decided I would become a chef and open my own restaurant. During school I would take whatever cooking classes that I could and once I was old enough I got a job at a pizza place working after school and on weekends.
After graduating from high school I took a job working at a nice sit down restaurant in downtown Boulder called 14th St Bar & Grill. I worked there long enough to gain some valuable experience, get a taste of the restaurant life and get accepted to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY. While attending school at the CIA I really began to fall into my own. I excelled in classes and got a job at a local bakery making cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries. During school I did my externship at the Amelia Island Plantation in Fernandina Beach, Florida and worked for a very good French Chef named Jackie Burette. Under Chef Burette and his culinary team I learned a multitude about food, preparation and the importance of mis en place. After a successful externship I returned to school earning my bachelor’s degree in 2002.
After graduating I left New York to go work for Chef Scott Cohen at La Mansion del Rio Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. During the 6 years I worked for Chef Cohen I was fortunate enough to compete in the Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Commis Competition. After winning the local contest I went on to win the regional contest competing against contestants from Texas and 6 other states. After winning the Regional contest I was invited to compete in the National Contest where I represented the Southwest US against the other 9 US regions. Unfortunately I didn’t win that competition but I competed very well and finished towards the top of the pack. After the competition I went back to concentrating on my work at the hotel where I eventually worked my way up to Executive Sous Chef. While working under Chef Cohen I was able to learn even more about food, preparation, management and the business aspect of running a kitchen. After 6 great years at La Mansion it was time for me to move on.
In 2008 I was brought on by the University of Texas Golf Club as their Executive Chef, and my first task was to open the brand new clubhouse. This was an amazing opportunity as it gave me the chance to gain valuable experience, get to know the wonderful people of Steiner Ranch and further expand my culinary expertise. Once opened we continually refined our program to keep up with the members’ tastes, preferences and current trends. After 5 years I was promoted to Food and Beverage Director/Executive Chef. This promotion was quite the honor and allowed me to continue learning while fostering the personal relationships with the wonderful members of the UT Golf Club. After a couple more years I decided this was the time to begin working towards opening my own restaurant.
In September of 2015 we were fortunate enough to close on a beautiful property in the Hudson Bend area, formerly known as The Hill Country Pasta House. The property is 3.2 acres consisting of a gorgeous pavilion for weddings/events and newly renovated restaurant boasting a brick oven, oyster bar, two sided fireplace and brand new bar featuring craft cocktails and over 25 wines by the glass. Slated to open this spring we are all excited and working hard to make 827Ray’s kitchen + cellar a local favorite.