Austin Johnson

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised by determined young parents who taught me there is no substitute for hard work. After college, I began a career in health care supporting chemotherapy patients, but would bartend two nights a week as relief from the intensity of chemo. I found I loved hospitality — so I got serious about it and joined the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville. I was hired as a server/bartender, and eventually The Private Dining and Events Manager. I met Benoit at Bouchon Bistro. He’d come in by himself during harvest... skin tanned from the sun, dirt under his nails...but always with a bright smile, cheek kisses, and great vineyard war stories. I admired his profound, unapologetic understanding of what drives his creativity, and that’s what ultimately inspired me to join his team.