For as long as she can remember, this week’s Dish’n Dames feature, Augusta Passow’s life has been centered around cooking and food. From helping her mom run a seasonal cafe during summers to fishing with her dad or watching him break down wild game after a hunting trip, Augusta learned that cooking is as much about experimenting and a feeling as it is about measuring ingredients and following a recipe.
Her parents instilled the value of respecting where your food comes from — and respecting how food is treated. Growing up around that atmosphere, a career in hospitality was inevitable. As much as she loved her home state of Montana, she knew she needed more opportunities if she was going to build a career with cooking. So, on a whim, she decided to move to Austin in 2013.
She attended Le Cordon Bleu with a focus on baking and pastry. An externship at Uchi opened the door to the possibilities of dessert and a level of cooking that she had been looking for when she moved to Austin. From there, her hard work, creativity, and connections with fellow cooks led her to positions at Uchiko and Old Thousand before joining Barley Swine in 2018.
As Pastry Chef of Barley Swine she's been able to grow into a style of cooking that is inspired by the desserts she grew up with. Balancing them with the techniques she’s learned over the years, she showcases the local and seasonal ingredients that Bryce Gilmore has always celebrated in his restaurants. Her combination of creativity and usage of ingredients is one of the sweet reasons so many love the tasting menu at Barley Swine.