Trace’s Winning Team

Mar 5th, 2011 | By | Category: guest bio, the show

Trace Restaurant in the W Hotel is one of the newest eateries to grace downtown Austin, Texas.

From its sleek, stylish interior to the expertly crafted menu, featuring locally sourced ingredients, Trace has made its mark on the dining scene, and the  team of Valerie Broussard and Paul Hargrove have been instrumental in its success.

Forager / Director of Food & Beverage Purchasing

Valerie Broussard

Valerie Broussard

A Louisiana native, Valerie Broussard spent 11 years in New York City as a chef, food stylist and writer.

She then completed an MA in Food Culture and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Parma, Italy before moving to Austin, where she most recently was the Organic Food Coordinator at Barr Mansion and volunteers as Slow Food Austin’s Biodiversity Chair.

Valerie joined W Austin as Forager, sourcing local ingredients from nearby farms, as well as and cheeses, cured meats, jams and even hot sauce from artisanal producers.

Valerie’s role goes beyond just finding ingredients, it’s researching production methods to ensure that the foods she chooses don’t harm the environment, our health, taking into account animal welfare too.

She strives to find heritage breed meats, heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables, and wild, native foods.


TRACE Paul Hargrove

TRACE Paul Hargrove

Paul Hargrove began his culinary career as a bartender in Shreveport, Louisiana and has risen to become the W Hotel Austin’s Chef de Cuisine at Trace. The Culinary Institute of America graduate’s noteworthy beginnings include cooking for such critically praised New York restaurants as Gotham Bar & Grill, Hearth Restaurant and Café Boulud.

In 2007, Hargrove was promoted to Executive Sous Chef at Café Boulud Palm Beach at the Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club, where he developed his passion for creating seasonal menus with an eye towards the freshest and highest quality ingredients.

After returning from a six-week stage in Spain, Hargrove landed a position at the James Beard Award winning Restaurant Daniel in New York. It was there that he combined the breadth of his fine dining experience to create menus for large high-end parties, banquets and private functions.

Chef Hargrove continues to perfect his technique at Trace. His “conscious cuisine” features a menu with peak-of-the-season local and regional ingredients.

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  1. Paul, Did you grow up in Torrington, CT and have a brother Gordon. If so, I am your Aunt Andrea would like to reconnect. I’ve been searching for you for a long time. Last time we spoke you were in CA. If you are not the same Paul, please forgive me. We used to play the small organ on the porch at Grandma’s on Red Mountain ave.

  2. Paul, please see message above. Did you come from Torrington,CT. Do you remember playing the cord organ on the porch with me at Grandma’s. You have a younger brother named Gordon. I am your Aunt Andrea. Please leave me a message at