Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Brooke Williamson began her culinary career as a teacher’s assistant at the Epicurean Institute of Los Angeles, followed by securing her first kitchen position as a pastry assistant at Fenix at the Argyle Hotel, under the tutelage of Michelin-starred Chef Ken Frank. Her undeniable star quality and concentrated 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 being their youngest sous chef. Two years later, 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, where she began to develop her signature California-inspired cuisine—infused with local ingredients, 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.
The two opened their first independent venture together a couple years later, Amuse Café in Venice, followed by Beechwood restaurant soon after, earning them the title of “Rising Star Chefs” from StarChefs in 2004. Although both are now closed, in 2009, the wife and husband team opened Hudson House, an elevated gastropub in Redondo Beach, followed by The Tripel in 2011, a modern American and craft beer dining destination in the neighboring beachfront community of Playa del Rey, which closed in the summer of 2020. During that time, Williamson became certified by The Court of Master Sommeliers, given her strong interest in wine that first sparked in the early 2000s after traveling extensively through France and Spain. 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. From 2015-2020, Williamson and Roberts owned and operated Tripli-Kit, a culinary-focused retail store, selling unique kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, and other cooking essentials. The duo debuted their fifth venture, a fast-casual, Hawaiian concept called Da Kikokiko in Playa Vista, celebrating Hawaii’s popular street foods, including poké, shave ice, and musubi, which closed in summer of 2020. Williamson won Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 14 in Charleston in March 2017 and a few years prior was a runner-up on “Top Chef” Season 10 in Seattle, which catapulted her career. During her day-to-day operations, she works alongside Roberts creating new menus and running the front and back of house, takes her chef talents on the road to local and national food events and festivals, and regularly participates in philanthropic efforts with No Kid Hungry.
When she finds time outside of her many ventures, Williamson stays active by running, bike riding, and playing with their 11-year-old son, Hudson.