Chelsea and Cy Buchheister: Sister and Brother Chefs at Cafe Blue [Galleria] and [Downtown].
With all the competition for the best culinary talent in Austin it’s rather fortuitous for Cafe Blue, one of our Top 25 restaurants, to have a sister and brother at the helm of both its Galleria and new downtown restaurants.
Chelsea and Cy Buchheister grew up in the Dallas area and both caught the cooking bug in their teens. Cy was called out of class one day by the guidance counselor and asked about his plans after graduation. He replied that he wanted to attend culinary school. The counselor remarked that he thought that was a terrible idea. Lucky for Austin foodies, Cy didn’t agree.
Being a couple of years older Chelsea got going first, attended culinary school in Austin, and graduated just as The Belmont on W 6th had become one of the hottest restaurants in town.. Chelsea went to Exec Chef Ben Nathan and offered to work for free so she could learn. He started her on prep work and learn she did, quickly working her way up the ranks. Chelsea’s intensity and talent propelled her to the sous chef position. She then asked Cy to join her at the Belmont as well and the two worked there together for several years.
Eventually Chelsea joined chef Ben at to the new Cafe Blue in the Hill Country Galleria. She helped him execute his exciting creations [like The Cubano or the Brown Sugar Salmon Salad] and that yielded a vibrant seafood restaurant, one that was thought of so highly by the ownership of the Galleria, that they moved the restaurant around the corner to a more propitious location.
After also departing the Belmont, Cy had a successful turn at Elizabeth Street Cafe and Olivia’s at [under James Holmes]. Like Chelsea, he learned quickly and soon developed quite a reputation. He’s a bit more laid back than Chelsea, but equally passionate about his kitchen. Thus, when the position opened up at the new Cafe Blue downtown, which like its sister restaurant specializes in wonderful seafood dishes [best Clam Chowder in the city, for instance], Cy jumped at the opportunity.
Is there a friendly rivalry between brother and sister at the two restaurants? Perhaps, particularly when creating occasional specials. But the key is that they are both exceptionally talented chefs and as noted, have a great friendship. And they have a terrific relationship with Chef Ben which results in the flawless execution of two identical menus. I don’t see how this can create anything but a win-win outcome for the original Cafe Blue and it’s newer sibling, and of course Austin foodies.
Top 25 restaurants need high quality chefs, and I can’t envision a more creative or productive team for Cafe Blue than to have siblings Chelsea and Cy running the two kitchens along with Chef Ben.