🗣 Locals to Know: Meet Greg Austin, food rescue chef

Greg Austin, with brown skin, curly hair and a beard, wearing glasses and a linen shirt.

Yesterday, we shared a story about how food banks face increased demand due to inflation and economic uncertainty. Well, today’s Local to Know is on the front lines of fighting hunger by turning food donations into nutritious meals in a Millvale kitchen. Meet Greg Austin, who leads 412 Food Rescue’s Good Food Project. Take it away, Greg!

Hi, Greg! Tell our readers more about who you are and what you do.

I manage a special project for 412 Food Rescue, the Good Food Project, where we create meals from rescued foods to help make nutrition accessible to all. 

Wax poetic for a second and tell us: what brings you most alive about this city?

There’s a statistic floating around that Pittsburgh has something like 8000 square feet of green space per capita. I particularly like the ways in which that green space is expressed in our topography — lush hollows and riverside woodlands among little hills populated with colorful houses — [we have] a lot of charming views.

What’s your favorite Pittsburgh memory?

There was a Halloween night a few years back when I rode my bicycle from East Liberty to Southside and back to see friends in three different cover bands at three different venues, and I’m pretty sure I got a tattoo somewhere in there. An A+ night.

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That’s so unfair! Real survival talk, I think any brunch boxty from Piper’s Pub ought to keep me alive and happy for years to come.

Outside of the obvious stop above, share your other top three destinations for where you’d go on your perfect Pittsburgh day.

North Park, Three Rivers Heritage Trail, PNC Park.

What’s your favorite local social media account (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or etc.) to follow and why?

What kind of person would I be if I didn’t say Rick Sebak (@ricksebak)?! The sheer joy on this guy’s face as he shops for records or watches his brother eat a sandwich — he’s unstoppably wholesome.

If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?

“Don’t drive angry…” –Bill Murray, Groundhog Day

Greg Austin in a Good Food Project apron, facemask and rubber gloves, preparing several dozen small pies.

How does Pittsburgh help you do what you do/influence your work?

The energy of a city building back can be palpable, transferable, inspirational. I’m grateful every day for the decade of opportunity the visionaries of Pittsburgh have already given me.

What’s an unpopular opinion you have about the city?

The winters here are mild.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

My first visit to Fallingwater… I’ll actually be one of a handful of featured chefs for a catered event there! Also, I’m looking forward to hosting a “Friendsgiving” at home for a second year in a row.

A paper bag containing colorful meals stacked in compartmented trays.
Meals sit ready for delivery at the Millvale Food & Energy Hub.

You can follow Greg on Instagram at @greg_worms. For more on the Good Food Project and other ways to support 412 Food Rescue, go to 412foodrescue.com.

Know of a person or organization that we ought to feature? Send us an email to hello@theincline with the subject line “Incline Locals to Know,” and you could see their name in an upcoming newsletter!