Chef Austin Sumrall
2021 White Pillars

Austin Sumrall, 2020 James Beard Nominee and the chef owner of White Pillars has been working in restaurants for many years and has had a passion for cooking most of his life. Austin grew up on a cattle and horse ranch outside of McComb, Mississippi, and went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He received classical training at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has worked for three different James Beard award winners with the title of “Best Chef: South”. Austin met his wife, Gulfport native, Tresse Young while in school at Ole Miss, Hotty Toddy! While Austin was in culinary school in New York, Tresse was across the country studying to become a nurse at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Soon after their respective graduations, the couple married in October 2012, and moved to Birmingham, Alabama, for Austin to begin his career at the famed Hot and Hot Fish Club under Chef Chris Hastings. Not long after, they welcomed son Ollie to the family in 2015, and the Sumrall’s began making plans to move back home to Mississippi and pursue their dream of opening their very own restaurant. Chef’s vision for White Pillars is to provide a meaningful and memorable culinary experience crafted with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients in a beautiful and historical setting. When they are not at White Pillars, the Sumrall's spend nearly every Saturday morning at the local farmers markets gathering produce and thinking about how they could best prepare it for dinner that night. ” Even growing up, Austin and his family always joke that they would sit at the table for one meal and be planning the next.