LINDSEY & COLBY CRELIA, OWNERS
Co-owners, Lindsey and Colby Crelia, met and married in Waco, Texas. They relocated to the Austin Hill Country area 7 years ago. Having a toddler at home, they were inspired to create a relaxed atmosphere that fosters a sense of community through family friendly activities, great food, and live music.
Colby is an artist, musician, and designer who paired his experience in the restaurant business with his passion for curating inviting and captivating spaces when designing the environment at Wild Kitchen + Bar. “Wild is the intersection of the modern and the natural,” said Colby, “We want to combine excellency in food, quality and taste in a modern atmosphere and cozy ambiance, perfect for friends and families to gather, connect and relax.”
Lindsey has been in the non-profit world and is a children’s therapist. “As a mom of a toddler with lots of energy, I wanted a place to come relax, enjoy phenomenal food and drink – a restaurant that was both nice enough to go out on a date and that it was acceptable for my child to be a kid!” As she is an avid gardener and enjoys spending time outside, she desired to bring outside elements indoors by incorporating plants and greenery into the design concept.
They both are committed to providing excellent service – which they believe stems from making sure their employees are compensated a living wage and fostering a welcoming and supportive working environment.
STEVE NELSON, EXECUTIVE CHEF
Born and raised in the eclectic melting pot that is Southern California and Hawaii, later living in San Francisco, New Orleans and Aspen, Chef Steve Nelson’s upbringing has inspired his eccentric and inventive cuisine. Growing up immersed in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Hawaiian cultures has instilled an intense passion for Asian food and that passion ultimately pulled him into the professional culinary industry. His acute knowledge of fish and seafood coupled with a desire to share his culinary talents led him to the Rocky Mountains where he worked at the famed Sushi Den in Denver, Viceroy in Snowmass, and then Plato’s Restaurant at the Aspen Meadows Resort.
While in Aspen, Chef was able to meld his love for hunting with family, along with his exposure to a wide variety of new ingredients into a deep passion for wild game meats. Steve was able to hone his skills with wild meats - cooking Elk, Venison and other game meats.
Chef Steve has also worked with a plethora of renowned chefs, from Susan Spicer at Bayona in New Orleans, Donald Link at Elite Cafe to Mark Franz and Jeremiah Tower at Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco.
“I am excited to be a part of this team that helps foster my creativity and passion. I enjoy feeding people a meal that they may not have been exposed to before – something from the natural surroundings. It brings us back to our origins. The combination of locally sourced ingredients, quality food, and the unique atmosphere at Wild Kitchen + Bar was appealing to me because the world needs more places that can offer unique dining experiences in which families can come together around a meal.” - Chef Steve Nelson
AARON DODDS, GENERAL MANAGER
Aaron Dodds’ passion for local sourced, healthy food and craft beer and spirits was influenced by his work at Balcones Distillery and the World Hunger Farm, as well as his time in restaurant management. Aaron, Lindsey and Colby met in Waco and have been close friends since.
“Growing up, I spent a lot of time working the farm, ranching, hunting, and showing pigs. Wild Kitchen + Bar provides an opportunity to support community supported agriculture – and get back to fresh, local, and sustainable.” Aaron said “I am excited to be a part of something that I can contribute to and use my knowledge of the fermentation process to pair beers and mix spirits with food.”
ANTHONEY FARMER-GUERRA, FRONT OF HOUSE MANAGER
Anthoney’s experience in healthcare as a registered nurse nurtured a passion for healthy, organic and natural food. He is excited that Wild encourages people to spend time outdoors and enjoying nature.
His time in the hospitality industry combined with passion for public service, instilled a love for socializing and creating places to network and connect with others. Anthoney said “What I love most about my job is the people I get to serve and building relationships in the community. Good food brings people together.”
BRITTANY SMITHEE, BAR MANAGER
Brittany Smithee majored in nutrition in college and started bartending because of her love for music and attending festivals. Working downtown, she gained experience and inspiration for infusion cocktails and she discovered her passion for mixology. She enjoys pairing fruits and herbs with the notes of the spirits and using natural sugars to create flavorful cocktails that are balanced and just the right amount of sweetness.
Brittany enjoys sewing, knitting, quilting, gardening, baking, and cooking. “My grandma taught me the importance of kindness, creativity, and openness. My love for fresh herbal flavors, gardening, and trying out new recipes drives my passion for creating new flavors and encouraging a sense of community and friendship at Wild.”