Traveling the world with the USA’s Track & Field team ignited Chef Dawn Burrell’s deep love for the language of food. The 2000 Olympian eventually traded in her track spikes for a full-time culinary career, cutting her teeth with everyone from Chef Tom Aikens in London to Houston’s Monica Pope before landing a gig with Uchi Houston — a move that led to a sous chef position at its award-winning sister restaurant Uchiko in Austin. An Executive Chef title at modern Southern restaurant Kulture followed, where she honed her signature “global comfort” cooking style. Following three years at the helm of Kulture, Chef Dawn snagged her first James Beard nomination for “Best Chef: Texas” in 2020 before her eventual departure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Burrell has since joined Lucille’s Hospitality Group, where she will serve as Partner/Executive Chef of their forthcoming restaurant Late August, while also working to advance the group’s non-profit, Lucille’s 1913, which serves as conscious community collective that is building a vertically integrated ecosystem to combat food insecurity and waste; creating training and employment opportunities in traditionally under-resourced neighborhoods; and empowering communities to discover a self-sustainable livelihood through food. To Late August — Burrell’s very first proprietary concept — she brings her signature global comfort flavors to the table, while exploring the intersections of African and Asian cuisines via a spring 2022 debut. Most notably, Chef Dawn prevailed on the 18th season of Bravo TV’s hit show Top Chef as a series finalist. She also serves on the board of I’ll Have What She’s Having, a women-led non-profit raising community awareness and funds in support of better health and healthcare in the food and beverage industry.