The Story Behind The Austin Cantina

JefeJefe Birkner

Jefe has been working in restaurants since the 1970’s, his first real-life introduction to the cuisine of Texas was the 1995 Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival where he assisted Kinky Friedman with a cigar and port tasting. Kinky talked about smoking Cuban cigars with President Clinton and requesting; “Mr. President, don’t think of it as supporting their economy, think of it as burning their fields”.

     Restaurants go back 3 generations in Jefe’s family, his great-grandmother was an independent restaurateur, grandparents on both sides of his family worked in the restaurant industry and despite getting an MBA and working in hi-tech for several years the lure of the kitchen proved too strong to resist.

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