Local Love With Austin Sumrall, James Beard Nominated Chef, on Facebook Live

By Gardner Realtors | April 6, 2020

When times are hard, we rally together as a community like no other place in the world. As a local business for 77 years, our GARDNER, REALTORS family is proud to say that we have seen this time and time again. We’re all neighbors, and we help each other in times of need, proving we are truly stronger together.

Let’s Stay Connected to Our Local Businesses!

We’re also a community that loves to celebrate, so even in these virtual times, we think it’s time to do just that! Join us each Thursday at 11am on the Gardner Realtors Facebook page for a Facebook Live hangout as we celebrate local people, businesses, & organizations who will share their talent with us followed by an interactive Q&A. We’ll be bringing you live chats and demonstrations with some of the most talented people from all over our local community. Think athletes, chefs, designers, doctors, artists, etc. Our goal is to connect you to the amazing talent that exists in our community even while we socially distance. 


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This week, we’re proud to bring you James Beard-nominated chef, Austin Sumrall. Austin is the chef-owner of White Pillars in Biloxi, Mississippi and has been working in restaurants for many years after having a passion for cooking most of his life. Austin grew up in McComb, Mississippi and went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He received classical training at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has worked for three different James Beard award winners with the title of “Best Chef: South”.

Austin met his wife, Gulfport native, Tresse Young while in school at Ole Miss. While Austin was in culinary school in New York, Tresse was across the country studying to become a nurse at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Soon after their respective graduations, the couple married in October 2012 and moved to Birmingham, Alabama for Austin to begin his career at the famed Hot and Hot Fish Club under Chef Chris Hastings. Not long after, they welcomed their son Ollie to the family in 2015, and the Sumrall’s began making plans to move back home to Mississippi to pursue their dream of opening their very own restaurant.


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When they’re not at White Pillars, the Sumralls spend nearly every Saturday morning at the local farmers’ markets gathering produce and thinking about how they could best prepare it for dinner that night. Even in his free time, Austin lives, breathes, and thinks food. He loves to cook dinner for his family, and Tresse has no problem doling out critiques. They end almost every meal with, “but was that good enough for the menu?” Even growing up, Austin and his family always joke that they would sit at the table for one meal while planning the next.

We are so excited to bring Austin’s passion for food to our Local Love series. He’ll be making grits and collard greens, so you won’t want to miss out! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook as we’ll be posting the ingredients list for Austin’s recipe in case you want to follow along with him.

We’ll see you on the GARDNER, REALTORS Facebook page this Thursday at 11am as Austin will be cooking and taking your questions live!

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