Meet Our Chefs
Tony Sansalone, Executive Pastry Chef
Born in Italy, trained in Florida and Texan by choice, Chef Tony Sansalone takes The Driskill's longtime tradition of producing exquisite pastries and desserts to new culinary summits. Named "Austin's Premier Pastry Chef" by the Austin American-Statesman, 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. His career led him to Austin, where he quickly attracted a devoted following as pastry chef for the Four Seasons Austin Hotel. The gracious and talented chef is a fixture in the Austin community, having participated in countless culinary and fundraising events. He has also been featured on the Food Network's "Top 5 Summer Sensations" program.
Chef Sansalone joined The Driskill's culinary team in late 2007, just in time for the hotel's busy holiday season and to bake hundreds of cakes, pies and cookies in addition to his custom wedding cakes that truly qualify as personalized works of art. The distinctive dessert traditions of the Driskill combined with Chef Sansalone's innovative artistry make for a legendary duo.
Chef de Cuisine Brian Contreras
Chef de Cuisine Brian Contreras has more than a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. An Arizona native, he began working in kitchens as a dishwasher at a local bar and grill, and moved up to become a chef de cuisine in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2010 he started with the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, working his way up from Lead Line Cook to Supervisor of the hotel's multiple dining establishments.
During his time at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, Chef Contreras was responsible for introducing an omakase tasting menu at the Japanese sushi bar, Noh, as well as a locally sourced and inspired happy hour menu in Cantina Due.
In 2013 he joined The Driskill as the Chef de Cuisine of 1886 Café and Bakery. Chef Contreras' responsibilities include overseeing all menu and kitchen aspects of the café, as well as the integration of locally sourced products and non-GMO ingredients into the daily menus.
Chef Contreras' passion for food was instilled by his grandparents, who were strong advocates of cooking from scratch. His cooking style reflects the many locales he's lived in to create southern bistro dishes, with a focus on seasonal, natural ingredients.