Growing up in Carmel, California, Nick Roberts was raised by his family in Durney Vineyards, a pioneering wine operation in the Carmel Valley. Surrounded by his family’s vineyard, his palate for wine matured and developed with ease, but Roberts was more fascinated with food.
His passion led him to The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. While at culinary school, Roberts was trained under some of the best teachers, and their lessons paid off. Upon graduation, Roberts headed to New York to work in such acclaimed restaurants as Union Pacific, Ducasse, and Café Boulud.
When he returned to the west coast, Roberts worked briefly in the pastry department of First Crush restaurant in San Francisco, but soon headed to the kitchens of the prestigious Highlands Inn, located in his hometown of Carmel. According to Roberts, it was at the Highlands Inn where his true culinary training began. Here, he was able to absorb lessons on the international scale, including a rule that he lives by to this day: “simplicity is key.”
In 2001, Roberts moved to southern California to work at Zax in Brentwood, where he was quickly promoted to sous-chef. At Zax, Roberts gained insight in American Bistro cuisine as well as business knowledge on how to run a successful neighborhood restaurant with far-reaching appeal. Here, Roberts met Brooke Williamson and the pair instantly became friends.
Roberts’ business savvy along with his culinary expertise helped him greatly, as he and Brooke Williamson took on the roles of co-owners and co-chefs at Amuse Café. At Amuse Café, Roberts worked hard fulfilling his passion for all things food, and earned a 2004 StarChefs.com Rising Stars Award. And in 2010, Robert's opened another locale with Williamson, a Playa del Rey gastropub called The Tripel, where the duo offers small plates of local, seasonal fare.