Beginning his professional career under the direction of Chef Daniel Boulud, at Restaurant Daniel in New York City, Knudson found his passion for connecting people with warm hospitality and a distinguished menu. Excelling quickly in his craft, he led the opening team for DB Brasserie at The Wynn Las Vegas Hotel and would eventually move on to 2-Michelin-Star-awarded, Restaurant Guy Savoy. His subsequent years garnered positions in world-renowned kitchens from coast to coast including Aspen’s only 5-star hotel, The Little Nell. All the while, Knudson eagerly soaked up the stories of communities in which he cooked, techniques from the professionals from whom he studied, and dreams of the kitchen he hoped to one day run. As fate would have it, a quick vacation would lead him to an introduction to Chef Bobby Flay, where he would become the Executive Sous Chef for Flay’s restaurants at Caesars Palace in Vegas and Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas. Returning to New York City Knudson found an incredible mentor in celebrity Chef, Marc Forgione. He spent his next five years serving at various Marc Forgione restaurants and was even a member of Forgione’s winning team on the popular cooking show, Iron Chef. Knudson credits each of the Chefs he has worked alongside for encouraging his exploration of creative freedom in cooking, chasing a higher caliber of clientele, and understanding all components and people that make up the world of food.
In his new role at Tillie’s, Chef will bring a lot more to the table than just delicious food. His methodology centers around international inspiration and an appreciation for the discipline that international cooking embodies. Dining at Tillie’s will continue to be an all-senses experience considering everything from the restaurant aroma to presentation and sounds. “Tillie’s is for celebrating all things, whether it be life’s biggest milestones or simply enjoying the gift of another day,” Knudson states. Chef aims to tell the story of his travels through the voice of local purveyors. “A meal is much more than the food on your plate. It is a combination of history, cultures, ranchers, farmers and so many more that work together to create what ends up on your table. It is my goal to know the intricate details of where my food is coming from, tell the stories of those growing and raising it, and then share the best of the Hill Country in ways it has yet to be explored,” said Knudson. Lastly, with acknowledgment of the culture that life in the kitchen can foster, Knudson shares, “I want my team to be a professionally-trained kitchen and have the skill set to pursue their passions. However, it is equally as important for me to support them in their growth and ensure a healthy environment for them to do so.”