Click on a name below to learn more about each member of our talented team.
Austin Fausett - Executive Chef
Born and raised in small-town Wisconsin, Fausett followed his inherent passion for cooking and earned his culinary chops in some of the most celebrated restaurants around the world. With a keen sense for hospitality and refinement, and an affinity for working with local product, Faucett helms the kitchen at Proof, a wine-centric Modern American restaurant in the heart of Washington, DC.
Fausett came to Proof from Trummer’s on Main, where he served as Executive Chef for three years. It was during his tenure at this esteemed Clifton, Virginia destination that he developed his culinary style and honed his eye for detail. Prior to Trummer’s, Fausett worked for two years under Chef/Proprietor Patrick O’Connell at The Inn at Little Washington, serving first as Chef de Partie, and then as the purchasing Sous Chef at the acclaimed country house hotel in Washington, Virginia. During his tenure, Fausett developed a deep appreciation for and understanding of Virginia’s agricultural community, working closely with the farmers who inspired him and creating American cuisine from their pristine ingredients.
Before his stretch in Virginia, Fausett spent time in the kitchens of some of the most applauded restaurants in the country, including Town Hall in San Francisco and Craftbar in New York City. In order to learn more about European culinary style, he traveled to Vienna, Austria to work under Chef Konstantin Fillipou at his Michelin starred restaurant, Novelli Bacaro con Cucina. Upon returning to the States, Austin moved to the DC area to serve as Sous Chef under Chef Cedric Maupillier at Michel Richard’s Central.
Fausett’s dedication to his craft has earned him numerous accolades, including a well-deserved 2015 nomination for Rising Culinary Star by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) and a 2014 StarChefs Rising Star Chef Award. Last year, Fausett was also named to DC’s first-ever Zagat 30 Under 30 list of “Rock Stars Redefining the Industry.” As Executive Chef at Proof, Fausett honors the restaurant’s Modern American focus, continuing to weave Mediterranean influences into new menu items while using local ingredients as much as possible.
Joe Quinn - Wine Director
Joe Quinn was a part of the opening waitstaff at Proof; in the summer of 2010 he became a sommelier at Proof and at sister restaurant Estadio under Wine Director Sebastian Zutant.
Joe’s interest in wine came about almost by accident. During his senior year of college, he took what was intended to be a temporary job in a specialty food, beer and wine shop. Not long after, he became the shop’s beer buyer. The owner insisted that Joe familiarize himself with the shop’s wine selection. His interest was not strong until a glass of the spectacular 1998 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape was presented to him. Like any great wine, this one told the story of a place and a time, and it was utterly captivating to Joe. He had to learn more. He took over wine buying for the shop.
In 2003, Joe left the states for a six month stay in Spain, but didn’t return for two years. While teaching English to pay the bills, he steeped himself in the food and wine culture of the country, learning how the cuisine and the wine of a place evolve in tandem and influence one another. He left Spain with a powerful appreciation for its diverse wine landscape and a strong belief that wine and food belong together on the table as partners.
Upon returning to Washington, Joe spent two years developing a high-end wine retailer’s Web business and online content. Tasting and writing about dozens of wines a week, he honed his ability to communicate, translating wine’s elusive qualities into useful vocabulary. When Proof began looking for staff in anticipation of its 2007 opening, Joe jumped at a new challenge. The restaurant environment offered an opportunity to work with wine and food together, helping guests to find that perfect wine for the dish in front of them.
The varied influences and vivid flavors of Chef Haidar Karoum’s menus at Proof and Estadio present an exciting world of opportunities for wine pairing; there is always a chance for a surprise combination. Joe loves the challenge of guiding guests to a new experience. And with the restaurants' massive array of wine offerings, there’s always a new discovery to be made.
Morgan Fausett - Sommelier
Morgan Fausett, a native of the Philadelphia metropolitan area, moved to DC in 2004 to attend The George Washington University and never left. Majoring in International Affairs & German, she studied in Berlin and traveled throughout Europe, where she cultivated her love for local food and wine. Upon her return from Europe, Morgan made the bold decision to become a Sommelier instead of pursuing a career in International Affairs. Her husband, Austin Fausett, who is the Chef at Trummer's on Main in Clifton, has encouraged and challenged Morgan every step of the way.
Ever the student, Morgan has taken many rigorous courses beyond the "standard" path to becoming a Sommelier. She received her Intermediate Level certification from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Masters Sommelier as well as a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators.
Before accepting the position of Sommelier at Proof, Morgan was the Beverage Director at Del Campo, the Assistant General Manager and Sommelier at the Oval Room, and the General Manager and Sommelier at Vinoteca. Morgan is excited to be part of the team at Proof where she can continue to "nerd out" on wine.
Adam Bernbach - Bar Director
Adam Bernbach’s love of mixing began at the age of 7 when he made his first egg cream. Not long after, his career in hospitality began in the resorts and restaurants of his native Cape Cod.
After moving to Washington DC when he was 16, Adam began apprenticing at a micro coffee-roastery near his high school. It was as an apprentice and later, as a roaster, that he first appreciated the importance of tasting. Moving from estate -grown coffees to illicit sips of single-malt scotch, he fell in love with well-crafted spirits, laying the foundation for an interest in mixology that would follow later.
After stints bartending at a pool hall, a jazz club, and an art-house movie theater, Adam became the Bar Manager at Cafe Saint-Ex. At Saint-Ex, Adam built an extensive whisky list and also took the opportunity to share in his employers’ interest by beginning his education in wine and beer.
In 2006, Adam became the opening Bar Manager at PS7s Restaurant. There, Adam was able to experiment with unusual ingredients and preparations in crafting an ever-changing cocktail list.
In 2007, Adam returned to the Saint-Ex family as General Manager of their sister establishment, Bar Pilar. At Pilar, Adam immersed himself in his craft working outside the box in pursuit of new and unusual formulations. As part of this process Adam created the Tuesday Cocktail Sessions, for which he gained a reputation for creative artistry."
Coming to Proof, Adam, again, has the fortune of working with respected colleagues who are already close friends. He will work closely with Executive Chef Haidar Karoum to craft drinks that mesh well with the cuisine and compliment Haidar’s strong tradition of seasonality.
Sarah Luckenbill - Events Director
Sarah Luckenbill was born and raised in Robesonia, Pennsylvania. Growing up, her favorite foods included chicken fingers, well-done burgers, and packaged ramen
Sarah attended Penn State University and in 2010 earned her Bachelors Degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management. During her time at Penn State, she participated in competition cheerleading and was a gymnastics instructor. Dance, cheerleading, and gymnastics have always been among her favorite activities.
In July 2010, Sarah moved from Pennsylvania to Northern Virginia and joined the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, first as a manager at Rustico in Alexandria, and a few months later as part of the opening team at the second Rustico in Arlington. Working with Rustico's outstanding team, she grew as a manager. She particularly credits Chef Steve Manino for helping to expand her palate beyond packaged ramen and well done beef, and beer director Greg Angert for indoctrinating her into the world of craft beer.
In June 2012, Sarah left Rustico and joined Thompson Hospitality as the bar manager at American Tap Room in Arlington, where she used her knowledge of craft beer to broaden and enhance their beer selection.
In April 2013, Sarah joined Proof as the events director, where her responsibilities include all group dining and special events. If you have a large party or a special occasion, Sarah will personally assist you to maximize your dining experience at Proof.
She can be reached at 202.737.7663, or at