To make it as a chef in Southern California, a region known for its rich and diverse cuisine is not an easy task. However, Nicholas Shipp is quietly earning his keep among the ranks. Using a wealth of culinary experience, Shipp has brought an enticing, well-blended mix of flavors, aromas, and tastes to the Laguna Beach restaurant, “Oak.” As Executive Chef, Shipp’s menu offers a discriminating palate with innovative twists to contemporary American cuisine.
Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, the “Funkytown” native began his cooking career at the early age of 15. Nicholas worked part-time for several high-end restaurants in the greater Fort Worth/Dallas metroplex, all while playing drums in a local rock band. As his culinary skills developed and his passion for fine cuisine grew, Shipp found himself devoting more time to the kitchen and less time craving rock stardom. Finally, he found his calling and started his formal education at the Culinary Institute of Dallas.
Shipp eventually ventured west to broaden his cooking endeavors where he soon became immersed in Los Angeles’s famed Wolfgang Puck franchise. Perfecting his craft for the next couple of years, he strengthened his cooking abilities by working for the governor’s ball, various award shows, weddings, and private celebrity parties. Eventually, the hard work paid off. Following his departure from the Wolfgang Puck franchise, he became the Executive Chef of Pete’s, a restaurant that helped catapult the revival of the downtown Los Angeles restaurant scene. From Pete’s, he ventured to the westward side of the city where for more than a decade he manned the stoves as Executive Chef of Upper West in Santa Monica. While there he developed his palate for modern American/Global cuisine. Following his venture through Santa Monica, Shipp set his sights on the quintessential southern California beach city of Laguna Beach. Chef Nick has brought his emerging outstanding reputation and his love for food and hospitality to the kitchen of the “Oak.”
Nicholas Shipp’s passion for food has granted him the ability to assemble an expert staff that shares his vision and taste. That same passion has allowed him to create an always-evolving superb menu that weathers the storm of an ever-changing culinary landscape. Nicholas Shipp’s biggest supporters can be found on the home front as well in the form of his wife Ivette and children Giselle and Ethan.