Foodie Feature: Meet Executive Chef Nicolas Bour!

We’re thrilled to introduce Nicolas Bour, Ocean House’s new Executive Chef. He joined the team in April 2017 from Humphreys in San Diego.

Chef Nicolas brings two-and-a-half decades of professional experience to Ocean House’s kitchens and dining outlets. Prior to his tenure at Humphreys, Chef Nicolas served as Executive Chef at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort, also in San Diego. We recently sat down with Chef Nicolas to learn more about his background and interests outside of the kitchen:
Riegel_161221_0624 copy

When did you know you wanted to become a professional chef?

I grew up in a heavily agricultural area in the maritimes of Canada. My family had a vegetable farm which supplemented our daily meals, and my mom spent a lot of time cooking. As one of four kids, I would make helping my mom part of my daily routine, as I knew there would be plenty of scraps for me to feast on.

We also spent a lot of summers in France, as my father is a native Parisian and my grandparents are Alsatian. This had a huge influence on me as a child. I was spoiled with incredible bread, good butter, stinky cheeses and funky pâté. This left an indelible mark on me.

As far as a defining event, I stuck my finger in a wire whisk when I was four years old, and it had to be surgically removed. I still bear the scar to this very day. I think it was a sign of things to come.

Favorite meal to prepare?

I developed a love of Cuban food while living in Miami and really enjoy making Ropa Vieja, a deeply flavored, slow-cooked beef dish, for my family. As a matter of fact, it was the dish I made for my wife, Evenie, when I was trying to convince her to marry me. It must have been good because we now have a five-year-old girl named Mia!

Favorite ingredient?

Mustard.

When I’m not at work, I am…

Spending time with my girls and teaching my little one how to cook and appreciate fine ingredients.

Proudest accomplishment?

Becoming Executive Chef at Ocean House and being a part of the Relais & Châteaux organization. If this really is a dream, don’t wake me up!

Favorite TV show or movie?

Ratatouille is my all-time favorite movie and something I can watch with my daughter. Yes, I love animation and kids movies!

Favorite genre of music?

Punk Rock and Classical. I guess opposites do attract.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

You always have to be good before you can be great, but take the time to be both.

Fun fact?

I once drove a Ferrari from the West Coast to the East Coast in two-and-a-half days.

If you could have dinner with anyone – alive or dead – who would it be?

I would love to have dinner with my grandparents now that I am old enough to cook for them. I realize how short and precious our time together was.