Rene Ortiz is Executive Chef of James Beard-nominated La Condesa in downtown Austin. Chef Ortiz is a native Texan, born in Houston and raised in San Antonio. He spent the last two decades traveling the world and cultivating his international culinary skills. Chef Ortiz began his career as chef de cuisine for Robert Clark atVancouver’s Star Anise, named Canada’s ‘Restaurant of the Year’ in 1996 by Gourmet Magazine. He later worked his way through the brasseries and bistros of Western Europe until he returned in 1998 to the US and New York City.
For five years, Chef Ortiz worked under such notable chefs as Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse and the late Jean-Luis Palladin. He then became chef de cuisine for Douglas Rodriguez at Patria, dazzling diners with his modern Latin American fare. In 2003, Mark Miller sent Chef Ortiz to Sydney to revamp menus at his restaurants Wildfire and Ocean Room. Most recently before La Condesa, he opened and served as executive chef at La Esquina. Time Out magazine’s ‘Best New Restaurant’ of 2007, La Esquina remains one New York City’s most coveted reservations. Chef Ortiz lives in Austin with his wife Amy, their son Milo and daughter Papillon.