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Tim Nicholson - 2019 Distinguished Alumnus

2019 – TIM NICHOLSON, CLASS OF 2009

Tim Nicholson is a 2009 graduate of the Culinary Arts and Management program at Metropolitan Community College. While in school, Nicholson started working in his first kitchen frying fish. Working his way up through the ranks, he soon moved on to work for hotels and steakhouses around the area.

In late 2010, Nicholson met with founding chef of the Boiler Room, Paul Kulik, where he was brought on as sous chef. Nicholson fell in love with the restaurant, its food and philosophy. Kulik and Nicholson worked side-by-side, molding the Boiler Room into the restaurant it is today. Promoted to chef de cuisine in 2013, Nicholson really started to put more of himself into the restaurant by learning new techniques, perfecting recipes and helping push the Boiler Room forward.

With a constant pursuit of quality and refinement, he was given the promotion and title of executive chef at in 2017. His menus utilize local produce, cheeses and meats. Nearly all preparations are made from scratch–from soft cheeses and pasta, to charcuterie. Most animals enter the restaurant whole and are subsequently processed to utilize everything down to the pig’s head for terrines and bones for stocks.

Nicholson’s care, craft and precision have not gone unnoticed. In February 2017, he was announced as a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award in the Rising Star Chef Category–an award that is given to “a chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.” In 2018, he was a semi-finalist once again as a Rising Star Chef and in 2019 is a semi-finalist for Best Chef: Midwest.

Nicholson is involved in the community. He also hosts students and provides internships at the Boiler Room. Nicholson continues to give back to his alma mater and, in January 2019, was presented the Sage Medallion—an honor given to a culinary or hospitality MCC graduate.