Starting under mentorship with James Beard winner Barbara Lynch, Nicolai Lipscomb has chefed at some of the best restuarants in the world, full stop — Arzak, El Celler Can Roca, at Fundacion Alicia with scientists and nutritionists under the direction of Ferran Adria and Pere Castells, the list goes on and on. And so this conversation with Skipper Chong Warson ranges the globe, starting in Half Moon Bay, Calif. to bungee jumping outside Vancouver Island, British Columbia to working in high pressure kitchens in Boston, Mass.; San Sebastián, Spain; Girona, Spain; and back to northern Calif. again among other locations.
The topics range from talking about thrill seeking in motorcycle riding/bungee jumping, homemade Eggo waffles cooling on chopsticks, falling into and grinding through the ever challenging work of making and serving some of the most highly regarded food in the world while racing the clock and the swirling kitchen chaos, the requisite patience to not rush food, the secret to great paella, the importance of downtime in working as a chef, and the brain drain in running restuarants that's happening during COVID-19.
One thing that we learned is that restaurants are the number one employer in Calif. And working backwards from the idea that the golden state has 1/8 of the United States population and by some estimates the various 2020 shutdown orders will end up closing 50% of restaurants that aren't backed by chains or corporations, that's a huge impact of which we weren't aware.
While recording, Skipper mistakingly attributes Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours of work equals mastery theory to "Blink" instead of "Outliers". (He corrected it with Nicolai offline as soon as he was able to look it up.) Stay tuned after the outro music for a bit of tape where Nicolai first mentions working on the line for the first time in six years.
This episode was edited and mastered by Troy Lococo.
- Eggo waffles
- Barbara Lynch
- No 9 Park
- B&G Oysters
- Butcher Shop
- Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers"
- Anne Sophie Pic
- Elena Arzak
- Juan Mari Arzak
- Joan Roca
- El Celler de Can Roca
- 2018 San Pelligrino list with Arzak and El Celler de Can Roca
- Fundacion Alicia
- Ferran Adria
- Pere Castells
- Restaurant Industry at a glance in California
- Ferdinand's Paella
- Mustard Seed Hospitality
- Nicolai Lipscomb on LinkedIn
- Nicolai on Instagram
- Intro and outro song: "Zombie Nation" by Jose Travieso