It takes artistry, innovation, and passion to create a dining experience that Zagat rates "extraordinary to perfection" at The Driskill. Meet The Driskill's award-winning, hard-working culinary team:
Chef Troy Knapp was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He developed a love for the kitchen and attended Culinary School at an early age. Progressive positions in restaurants and hotel kitchens provided Knapp the foundation for a bright future in the culinary world. Chef Troy started with Hyatt Hotels Corporation 15 years ago in Southern California, becoming the Executive Chef at Hyatt Westlake Plaza in 2002 and was promoted to the Executive Chef of the business-based Hyatt Regency Phoenix in 2005, and oversaw five casual restaurants, room service and a fine dining establishment as Executive Chef for Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio. Knapp joined The Driskill in 2013 as Executive Chef, overseeing all culinary operations in the hotel.
Troy's menus are heavily influenced by the season with respect for regional traditions and culture. His other love is that of the vine. He is a certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and is an author of a wine column featured on Savor S.A. which has been selected as one of the three "must read" blogs by San Antonio Magazine. Troy was recognized by Hyatt Hotel Corporation as the company's "Chef of the Year 2008." He contributes his success to having great mentors and a vast amount of passion for food, wine, music and art.
Born in Italy, trained in Florida and now Texan by choice, Executive Pastry Chef Tony Sansalone takes The Driskill's longtime tradition of producing exquisite pastries and desserts to new culinary heights. Named as "Austin's Premier Pastry Chef" by the Austin American-Statesman in 2004, Chef Sansalone brings his award-winning credentials and talents to the hotel's nationally-recognized 1886 Café & Bakery.
Baking his first cookies in the family kitchen in Italy, he received formal training at the American Culinary Federation in Palm Beach, FL. Chef Sansalone then spent the next five years working at several of the most prestigious resorts in South Florida before launching his career with Four Seasons Resorts. That move eventually led him to Austin, and he quickly developed a following as pastry chef over his 15 year tenure, becoming a fixture in the community through culinary and fundraising events. He has received national recognition on the Food Network's "Top 5 Summer Sensations" program.
Looking for a change after 20 years in the hotel business, in 2005 Chef Sansalone and his wife, Ashley, opened their own bakery-Sansalone's Specialty Cakes & Fine Pastry-where he continued to produce the amazing desserts for which he had become famous.
Chef Sansalone joined The Driskill's culinary team in late 2007, and has created cakes, pies and cookies in addition to his custom wedding cakes that qualify as works of art. The distinctive dessert traditions of the Driskill combined with Chef Sansalone's innovative artistry make for a legendary duo.