Chef Bios: Shawn Cirkiel

Staff Writer
Food Mayor of Austin

Shawn Cirkiel is an accomplished Austin chef with two popular restaurants, the gastropub Parkside and the recently-opened Neopolitan pizzeria Backspace. As a chef, he is known for innovation with local ingredients and raw oyster bar. His food is unpretentious but bold: braised pork jowls are paired with Texas peaches, and roasted pecans and mascarpone fill out a pasta primavera.

Cirkiel graduated from the CIA, working at restaurants including the The French Laundry, Union Pacific (now closed), and Café Boulud before heading the popular Austin restaurant Jean Luc's Bistro. He opened Parkside to great critical acclaim, named by Texas Monthly magazine as the "Top 10 Best New Texas of 2008," and by Bon Appétit as one of the "Hot 10 New American Taverns."  In 2010 Parkside was featured in an Esquire article "Where Men Eat." 

Cirkiel lives in Austin with his wife and two young children, and manages both Parkside and Backspace, which are conveniently located within walking distance of each other.