James Richardson of Nook
11628 Santa Monica Blvd #9
Los Angeles, CA 90025
James Richardson started his career in the kitchen washing dishes and shucking oysters in his home town in the Gulf-coast region of Florida. When he moved to Tampa for college, a strange accident involving the resident chef of a kitchen Richardson was working in led to him filling in and writing the specials for the day. He was always interested in the culinary arts, but this fateful opportunity changed his focus, and he began to take cooking seriously.
In 1997, his first mentor, chef Jean Pierola, took him from line cook up to sous chef at Boca, advancing his skills and focus. In 1998, Richardson went out on his own and opened a restaurant named Atomic Café. At Atomic Café he learned the ups and downs, ins and outs of the kitchen and earned his hard knocks. The restaurant ran its course, and he eventually ended up back with Pierola, where he contributed to modernizing the classic steak house, Berns. Feeling as though he had done all he could in Florida, Richardson headed out to Los Angeles in 2001 for a fresh start.
Working his way up from line cook to co-executive chef, Richardson was finding his way again. After spending the summer of 2002 back in Florida due to family obligations, Richardson returned to Los Angeles and began working with friends and current business partners at Bergamot Café. The idea for opening Nook Bistro was quickly hatched where Richardson is now part owner and executive chef.