Bio: At age 12, Tim Nugent's culinary career began with flipping burgers and cooking eggs at a truck stop in Alburgh, Vermont. Nugent decided at a young age that he wanted to be a chef, and throughout the years has mastered both the sweet and savory sides of cooking.
In 1988, 20-year-old Nugent graduated from the New England Culinary Institute and took a job at Fresh Cream Restaurant in Monterey, California. He packed up his life on the East Coast, and with the company of his dad, began the road trip across the country to California. After a short time, he worked his way up to Executive Chef for the restaurant.
Nugent eventually relocated to San Francisco in 1994 and landed at Acquerello, where he continued to create his signature savory dishes. At the same time, as a favor to a friend, he offered to do pastry and discovered his love for it – and the rest is history.
Nugent began his transition to the pastry world, working at Zuni Café, Campton Place, Café Rouge, The Wine Spectator, Liberty Café and helped with the opening of Arlequin Café. All the while developing his own flair, Nugent consistently received high praise for his creations.
Nugent's philosophy on sweets is simple – make it taste great. "You have to taste everything," Nugent says. "I don't believe there is a recipe for sorbet I can write down on paper; you just have to taste it to know if it's right."
Since 2007, Nugent has been the Executive Pastry Chef at Kimpton's Scala's Bistro, located adjacent to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. For Scala's Bistro, Nugent's goal is to create rustic, simple and delicious desserts. Along with Scala's Bostini Cream Pie and chocolate desserts, Nugent also focuses on housemade panna cottas, gelatos and crostatas to keep with the rustic Italian flair.
Nugent has appeared on "Bay Café," a Bay Area cooking show, has taught local cooking classes, has received coverage in local magazines and newspapers and The New York Times. Most recently Nugent was a participant in the first season of "Top Chef: Just Desserts."
Nugent currently resides in Oakland, California with his partner of 10 years.