Born in New York City and raised in Ohio, New Hampshire and Virginia, Chef Andrew Evans developed a passion for food and travel at an early age. As a child, he accompanied his mother and brother on excursions to Amsterdam, France, Spain, Lebanon, and Morocco. Taught from childhood to be curious about the world and about food, Evans received a BA degree in Far Eastern Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and later attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York.
After graduating from the CIA with honors in 1993, Evans pursued his dream of cooking and traveling. He was sponsored by The Restaurant and Caterer’s Association of Queensland, Australia to move to Brisbane, Australia, for one year to participate in a cultural exchange program while working in five different restaurants. That led to his seeking other sponsorships that allowed him to work as a line cook and Chef de Cuisine for many top Brisbane restaurants, including the Green Papaya restaurant, which was voted Best Vietnamese Restaurant in Australia by Australian Gourmet Traveler magazine. While down under, Evans indulged his passion for travel by taking forays to nearby locations, such as Thailand, Japan, China, Vietnam and Hong Kong. On these trips, he joyfully explored the local food stalls and markets, eating extensively to develop his palate and taste memory. At the end of seven years, Evans felt he had come to fully understand Australia’s food culture, with an additional focus on Asian cuisine.
Because Evans had always yearned to own and manage his own small inn and fine dining restaurant, he settled in the historic town of Easton, Maryland, on the Eastern Shore in 1999. There he purchased and fully renovated an historic 1790 mansion in the heart of downtown Easton. He transformed it into a contemporary boutique hotel with four suites, three guest rooms and a 45-seat restaurant. The Inn at Easton welcomed its first guest in June 2000. As Evans structured it, the menu at The Inn at Easton was modern Australian, and Evans used the bounty of the local Chesapeake Bay and neighboring organic farmers to showcase his dishes.
Andrew Evans currently balances his time managing the The BBQ Joint and promoting his brand of professionally packed competition barbecue rubs. Evans has been a contestant on the Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and has been featured in the Food and Wine Festival in Atlanta as well as showcasing his American-style barbecue at the International Food and Wine Festival in Noosa, Australia. He is always practicing for the upcoming year’s barbecue competitions, as well as participating in charity events and collaborative ventures with fellow Chefs. But most importantly, Andrew values spending his time as the primary caregiver to his two daughters, Gabrielle and Lilly and being a new husband to his wife Sonja.
Although Chef Andrew Evans began as a fine dining chef, one experience as a celebrity guest judge at the Jack Daniels World Championship Barbecue Competition in 2004 stoked his enduring love of barbecue. Soon after, he started his barbecue team, Walk the Swine, and began competing on the national barbecue circuit. A shelf full of barbecue competition trophies later, he was recognized by Food and Wine magazine as one of the “Best New BBQ: Pit Masters and Grill Geniuses” in 2012. His barbecue prowess has also been featured on the front page of the food sections in the Washington Post in 2012 and the Baltimore Sun in 2014. He was recently invited to contribute his recipe for Bourbon-glazed chicken wings for Southern Living’s Bourbon & Bacon guide to the South’s favorite food groups. He was also just crowned the overall BBQ Champion at the DC BBQ Bash 2016 and named best BBQ restaurant in MD and top 50 in America by MSN.
Earlier in his career, Evans’ culinary vision earned The Inn at Easton recognition from Food & Wine magazine, where the restaurant made the top 50 hotel restaurants list in both 2002 and 2003. The Inn’s restaurant also received an excellent review from The Washington Post’s food critic Tom Sietsema and was named in the newspaper’s annual “Dining Guide” in 2003/2004/2005/2006/2007 with three stars and selected as an “editor’s pick.” Sietsema also nominated Evans for the James Beard “Best Mid-Atlantic Chef” for 2004. Evans won the Mid-Atlantic Pork competition in 2003 and the Mid-Atlantic Crab Cake competition in 2007.
National Geographic Traveler Magazine featured the Inn in their “101 great food and travel experiences issue,” and it was featured in Southern Living and Travel & Leisure magazines, among others. In February 2004, the editors of Southern Living selected the Inn at Easton as one of their 10 favorite romantic restaurants in America. The Washingtonian included the Inn in their 2006 top 100 list of restaurants for DC, Maryland and Virginia. In 2007, The Washingtonian ranked The Inn at Easton 16t out of the 100 of the best restaurants in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Evans was also featured on the cover of The Washingtonian for the 2007 issue of rising star chefs. His most celebrated review came from the late Johnny Apple, who featured the Inn’s restaurant in a full length article on the front page of the New York Times food section.