Casey Mena wrote to us and told us about our first Chef ECO of the Month winner, Mark Driskill. Casey is a lead line cook and training to be a sous chef at Chef Mark’s restaurant, Ash. He called Mark his chef, mentor, and friend. Mark has guided Casey and given him the opportunity to grow. He’s been there when Casey needed professional guidance or a personal friend. Mark works long hours alongside his staff and always takes the time to listen and teach.
From his earliest memories making biscuits from scratch and shelling peas with his grandmother, Chef Mark Driskill learned at an early age how satisfying and delicious homemade food could be.
He rediscovered this love for cooking while in college and grew to appreciate the camaraderie, adrenaline, and the intensity of a restaurant kitchen. Upon receiving his Bachelor’s from the University of Alabama, Mark attended the nationally recognized culinary school of Johnson and Wales in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he graduated top of his class.
Moving home to Alabama brought Mark to Frank Stitt’s Highland’s Bar and Grill. Beginning in the pastry kitchen, he quickly worked his way through the ranks to sous chef, lead butcher, and eventually lead grill cook. Chef Driskill continued this invaluable experience of working under Frank Stitt by coming on as head chef and kitchen manager of Bottega Cafe at the early age of 26. A relationship with Mauricio Papapietro welcomed Chef Driskill on as the head chef of the launch team of Brick and Tin in Mountain Brook, AL. Chef Driskill’s time under Mauricio’s mentorship and friendship as he started a new restaurant has been immeasurably appreciated.
Following his time with Mauricio, Chef Driskill accepted a position with Time Inc., as the coordinator of their food studios. While there, Mark developed recipes for such publications as Southern Living, Coastal Living, Food and Wine, People, Health, Real Simple, and My Recipes. He has also contributed to numerous cookbooks as well as providing the food styling in magazines of several Fortune 500 companies.
After planting roots in Homewood, AL, Mark has begun a new chapter in his exciting and accomplished career. Using the freshest ingredients Alabama has to offer, Chef Driskill has opened his own restaurant, where he incorporates his love of preparing foods from scratch and having the ingredients speak for themselves. These influences along with international food inspirations have helped shape Chef Driskill’s culinary identity and fuel his passion for creating masterfully delicious food experiences.