Hi, my name is Ryan! I’m a personal chef and brand ambassador. You can call me Chef Chubs!

I’ve been interested in cooking all my life. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been interested in EATING my entire life, but only in the past decade have I really found a love for cooking.

My first few experiences with food started when I was about 11 or 12 (see pic below) and I had an over-easy egg for the first time. It was like the heaven’s opened up and I thought it was the most delicious thing I ever tasted.

Since then my curiosity with food blossomed and eventually grew with the help of an unlikely job while I was in high school.

It all started in an unlikely place.

While I working at a concession stand at a movie theater when I 16 years old, I was used to serving really boring and bland food. The managers taught us how to make popcorn, “one scoop of popcorn, one shot of oil and one scoop of seasoned salt,” they would tell us. Just like all my other experiences with food, cardboard would be a good description of how the popcorn tasted.

It wasn’t until I was bored one day that I started trying to make the popcorn with two extra shots of oil and some extra salt. It was my first experience with being able to experiment with food outside of the traditional “recipe”.

In hindsight, and knowing what I know now, it was incredibly simple and silly concept. But nonetheless an important milestone in crafting my mindset about food. I mean, of course popcorn is going to taste WAY better if it’s laden with butter flavored Pennzoil and extra salt!

It was that moment that I realized that food COULD taste good and that if no one was going to make it to my liking I was going to have to take it on myself to make my own food taste good.

ryan-nicholson-chef-in-5th-grade

Then I moved to Hawaii.

For the rest of high school I managed to always have a job that had something to do with food. I remembered to always keep trying new things and to experiment (usually disastrously). After high school I had the opportunity to move across the Pacific to Hawaii and that was where my third major food experience happened.

For the first time in my life I was surrounded by food that tasted GOOD and food that I didn’t have to mess with to make taste decent! As a middle class middle American boy experiencing a new culture of mostly Asian and Polynesian influence, it was an upheaval of everything I knew about food.

I had my horizons not just broadened, but completely obliterated.

The things I had eaten, the different perspectives, the way food was portrayed. It all had showed me there was so much more out there than the little sliver of the food world I had seen.

Then attended Culinary school in Seattle.

I moved back to the mainland and started college as an English major all the while working more food jobs, slowly moving up the ranks and constantly learning and trying new things. It wasn’t until my final semester of college that I realized that I wanted to go to Culinary School.

I dropped what I had done and moved to where I was accepted into school — Le Cordon Bleu in Seattle, WA. I worked my way through culinary school. One of the chef instructors was from Hawaii, so it made it easy to get high scores and I may have intentionally targeted what I knew local Hawaiian palettes to liked.

Began working for an iconic restaurant in Pikes Place Market.

Once I had finished Culinary School, I moved onto working jobs in kitchens throughout Seattle. Slowly moving my way up in each place. Until I landed a job literally steps away from the iconic Pikes Place Market — Steelhead Diner.

The chef and owner was originally from New Orleans LA. and he brought Creole classics and a twist to the fresh seafood focused cuisine of the Pacific Northwest.

I worked there for a long while taking in what I could. Learning a style of cooking I had never even considered and something that would come in very handy in the what-would-be-near-future — Cajun. A style that is very based in French technique but with the local ingredients of the South.

Ryan Nicholson personal chef

Learning southern cuisine in Texas.

After my time at Steelhead Diner, I was presented with the opportunity to move to a town in East Texas right outside of Dallas, to be with my girlfriend (who’s now my wife). In the more than three years living there, I really tried to immerse myself into the Cajun cooking.

Trying everything Creole I could get my hands on; alligator, catfish, craw fish. It was also this time, between jobs, that I tried to be a Personal Chef — a take home chef that would completely cook you a restaurant level dish in your own home. I pride myself on constantly exploring new foods and techniques.

Putting it all together as a personal chef in Boulder, CO.

New flavors and combinations of styles not seen or tried anywhere else. After months of doing the personal chef thing (and getting married) I was given the chance to move back to my home state of Colorado.

I now live in Boulder, bringing my unique style of Classical French training inspired by both the unique fresh flavors of the Pacific Northwest and Cajun South. My new experiment is to produce meals and food that contain 4 ingredients or less per component.

Want to learn more? Let’s talk! Click here to contact me.