Born in New York, Billy Allin moved to Greenwood, South Carolina where he spent his formative years. In 1997, Allin traded the East Coast for the West, moving to San Francisco with his wife, Kristin.  While in California, Billy left his career as a money manager to attend the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, where he graduated with honors. While in school, Allin simultaneously worked at the internationally-lauded Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. It was in that kitchen, under Chefs Chris Lee and Kelsey Kerr, that he developed an understanding and philosophy of the interrelation between food and culture and the importance of sustainable, local cuisine. After graduation, Allin and his wife Kristin moved to Napa Valley in 2003 where he worked at The Martini House under Chef Todd Humphries, expanding his knowledge of wine and ingredient seasonality.

In 2004, Allin and his wife moved back to the Southeast. He furthered his career at Watershed Restaurant in Decatur, Georgia, where he worked as a sous chef for more than two years. Under the tutelage of Chef Scott Peacock, Allin developed a true appreciation for Southern ingredients and forged relationships with local farmers and producers. He left Watershed in 2006 to begin the process of opening his own restaurant, Cakes & Ale, in Decatur, Georgia.

Allin and Kristin modeled Cakes & Ale after their principal dining philosophy: cook unassuming food using the highest quality ingredients and serve it in a comfortable, welcoming space. Cakes & Ale opened in 2008, and was named one of Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurants in 2009. Since then, Allin’s restaurant footprint has expanded to include the Café at Cakes & Ale (2012 Bon Appetit Best New Restaurant list) in Decatur and Proof Bakeshop and Bread & Butterfly in Atlanta’s Inman Park neighborhood.