Rising Star Chef David Bull of Congress - Biography

Austin, TX

February 2012

Growing up in his family’s restaurant, David Bull got the wide-eyed, youthful view of both the inner workings of the kitchen and the role a restaurant plays in the community. These experiences not only introduced Bull to his love of cooking. They also taught him that creating lasting memories through taste and smell connects people to each other.

In 1994, Bull took this lesson to the Culinary Institute of America and its decidedly more squinty-eyed, highly technical training. After graduating, Bull joined The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, where he rose through the ranks, becoming the hotel’s youngest-ever sous chef. Bull’s next move took him to Austin, where he served as executive chef of the Driskill Grill, earning the Austin American-Statesman’s Number One Restaurant Award” for three consecutive years.

Bull’s accolades kept coming. Food & Wine named him “Best New Chefs 2003.” In 2006, he appeared on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” And in 2007, as chef and partner of La Corsha Hospitality group, Bull was nominated for James Beard’s “Best New Chef Southwest.” Two years later, he released an interactive Bull’s Eye on Food, and helped start La Corsha Restaurant Partners, the team behind Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen, and Bar Congress. In 2011, Congress was recognized as the only five-star restaurant in Austin by the Austin American-Statesman and was named as one of the “Best New Restaurants 2011” by Esquire. Esquire also named Bar Congress “One of the Best New Bars in America,” and all three establishments mad Bon Appétit’s "Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America". And in 2012 Bull earned a StarChefs.com Austin-San Antonio Rising Stars Award.

But even as he’s excelled in the craftsmanship of cuisine and the techniques he’s honed as an adult, Bull has never forgotten that simple lesson of his childhood—that a restaurant is responsible for giving back to the community that supports it. It’s a philosophy that drives everything he does.