My Native Admission Statement: A San Antonio, Texas native with permanent roots in Auburn, AL, Bancroft is a self-taught chef, farmer, and forager committed to showcasing sustainable ingredients and local harvests. In August 2013, Bancroft and his wife opened Acre restaurant in Auburn, AL. The seasonally-influenced menu reinterprets the rich heritage of Alabama cuisine and celebrates sustainable ingredients sourced from the on-site gardens & local bounty of the surrounding community. In November 2018, Bancroft opened his second restaurant concept, Bow & Arrow, an interpretation of a South Texas smokehouse juxtaposed with the communal and casual dining approach of an Alabama potluck. Bancroft is a 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: South” award and winner of Food Network’s “Iron Chef Showdown” competition in 2017.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the business?
I have so many vivid memories of my Grandpa Kennedy out on his south Alabama farm. His life was the embodiment of farm to table, sustainability, and most of all, survival. He utilized every single inch of land to his advantage. Acre is my continuation of his life and his legacy. Acre is set on one full working acre of land and is wrapped in an edible landscape, from peaches and plums to watermelon patches and corn fields.