Sam Hellman-Mass is the founder and owner of Suerte, an East Austin restaurant focusing on Mexican-inspired culinary experiences grounded in refined cooking techniques and house-made masa. Hellman-Mass discovered his love of the culinary arts at a young age, working in kitchens throughout his hometown of Boston. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Boston University to fuse his culinary skills with the practical demands of operating a business with the goal of one day opening his own restaurant. He eventually departed Boston for the white peaks of Aspen, Colorado, working as a line cook at Montagna Restaurant in the Little Nell Hotel, where he refined his culinary skills and had the good fortune of meeting chef Bryce Gilmore.
Hellman-Mass moved to Austin in 2010 to open Barley Swine alongside chef/owner Bryce Gilmore as a sous chef and partner. After three great years cooking on the line at Barley Swine, Hellman-Mass and team opened the critically acclaimed Odd Duck, where he worked as a chef and partner. No stranger to providing customers with a top-of-the-line culinary experience using fresh, local ingredients, Hellman-Mass decided after eight years of living in Austin that it was finally time to open his own restaurant on the East Side that focuses on house-made masa.
Hellman-Mass was named to the Zagat 30 Under 30 Austin list in 2014 and was a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for “Rising Star Chef” in 2015. When he’s not spending his days and nights overseeing Suerte’s construction, he is shopping at the downtown farmers market, cooking at home with his wife Roxana, watching Celtics basketball and exploring Austin.
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