Montana Long Table®: Bounty on the Blackfoot
Chef Brooke Williamson
Executive Chef and 2017 Top Chef Winner
A native of Los Angeles, Chef Brooke Williamson has carved out an impressive résumé full of leading roles and professional achievements, such as being the youngest female chef to ever cook at the James Beard House and winning Bravo’s Top Chef Season 14. Although officially beginning her career at the age of 17, Williamson always wanted to be a chef. “I love creating things that make people happy, and I’ve found that food genuinely does that,” she explains.
Williamson began her culinary career at the Epicurean Institute of Los Angeles, then secured her first kitchen position as a pastry assistant at Fenix at the Argyle Hotel, under the tutelage of Michelin-starred Chef Ken Frank. Her creative energy brought her to Chef Michael McCarty’s nationally acclaimed restaurant Michael’s of Santa Monica, where she worked her way up from line cook to sous chef. Williamson later staged at the renowned Daniel restaurant in New York City. Williamson was appointed her first executive chef position at the notable Los Angeles restaurant Boxer. Following that, she opened the Brentwood eatery Zax as executive chef, and there she began to develop her signature California-inspired cuisine—infused with local ingredients and global flavors and centered around the idea that simplicity goes a long way. While at Zax, she also met her husband and business partner Nick Roberts.
In 2014, the culinary couple debuted a unique four-in-one-concept, Playa Provisions, featuring a grab-and-go marketplace, King Beach; an artisanal ice cream shop, Small Batch; a seafood dining spot, Dockside and an intimate whiskey bar, Grain. In June 2015, Williamson and Roberts opened Tripli-Kit, a culinary-focused retail store, selling unique kitchen gadgets, cookbooks and other cooking essentials. In October 2016, the duo debuted their fifth venture in Playa Vista, a fast, casual, Hawaiian concept called Da Kikokiko, celebrating Hawaii’s popular street foods.