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Chef Ross Burtwell

Chef Ross Burtwell

“At the Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant, we have a true belief that supporting our friends and neighbors by using largely Texas-sourced products is something that our customers expect and enjoy. Be it Texas wine, local produce, artisan cheese, wild game or Texas-raised beef, we are proud to be serving the best that Texas has to offer. Our commitment to using locally-sourced ingredients is not confined to dry land. Texas Gulf shrimp is a large part of our menu and something our guests truly enjoy. We have been using Texas wild-caught Gulf brown shrimp since the day our doors opened. It has a fresher, sweeter taste than anything else on the market and is a product that we can offer as an economical benefit to both our customers and our bottom line.”

Ross Burtwell’s culinary career—spanning more than two decades—reflects an ability to capture imaginative flavors and innovative food and wine pairings, as well as his motivation to partner with a variety of local vintners, farmers and entrepreneurs to showcase the best food and wine that Texas has to offer.

As executive chef and owner of the Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant, Burtwell oversees one of the most renowned restaurants in the Texas Hill Country—an award-winning, accolade-receiving restaurant ranked one of the nation’s Top Ten Restaurants by leading travel website TripAdvisor.com.

Inspired by the early Southwest cuisine movement in Dallas, Burtwell’s culinary education began in the late 1980s with apprenticeships at the Dallas Chapter of the prestigious American Culinary Federation’s Chef Society and at Huntington’s Grill, a fine-dining restaurant in the renowned Westin Galleria Hotel in Dallas.

In 1991, Burtwell became executive sous chef at San Antonio’s Sheraton Fiesta Hotel, creating the Cascabel Restaurant and Bar, a Southwestern fine-dining restaurant, which received a Four Diamond rating from the American Automobile Association within six months of its opening. In 1992, Burtwell was promoted to executive chef at the Sheraton Fiesta, overseeing Cascabel, as well as a second on-site restaurant (the Courtyard Café), room service dining and banquet services for the 300-room property.

In 1995, Burtwell moved to Retama Park—one of the premiere horse racing venues in Texas—to prepare its Grande Catering for the facility’s grand opening. Burtwell hired, trained and oversaw an 87-person staff working in 14 different kitchens on the Retama Park grounds.

Burtwell’s next challenge came in 1996 and would bring him considerable awards and accolades. He became executive chef and food & beverage director at the Flying L Guest Ranch in Bandera. During Burtwell’s time there, this Texas Hill Country resort and conference center was awarded Best Breakfast in Texas by the Texas Tourism Council in 2000 and won second place in the 2001 Taste of San Antonio.

In 2002, Burtwell became owner of Cotton Gin Village in Fredericksburg, opening the Cabernet Grill as executive chef that year. Under his guidance, the restaurant has developed a reputation for featuring Texas wines and pairing them perfectly with expertly-prepared Texas Hill Country cuisine, which includes the creation of the Texas Wine Maker Vintner dinner series and the largest all-Texas wine list of any restaurant in the state or, for that matter, the nation.

TripAdvisor.com ranked Cabernet Grill the top restaurant in the nation in the summer of 2008, and the restaurant has since been a consistent presence in the website’s Top Ten restaurant rankings. Burtwell’s favorite accolades for the restaurant include multiple Flavors of Fredericksburg awards, including the People’s Choice Award and the designation from My Table (Houston’s Dining Magazine) as the best place to taste Texas wines.

Burtwell is regularly featured as a guest chef at a number of Texas Hill Country festivals, including the Becker Vineyards Lavender Festival, the Fredericksburg Food & Wine Festival, the Wine Road 290 Trail Events and the Gourmet Chili Pepper & Salsa Festival at Wild Seed Farm.

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