After receiving his degree from the University of Kansas in Political Science, Nick Goellner was a congressional aide in Topeka. Quickly realizing that this was not the path he was interested in pursuing, Nick took the advice from his sister Tasha to attend culinary school. In 2006, Nick got accepted to the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Once finished with school, he completed his first externship on The World cruise ship. After traveling, working and learning throughout the Mediterranean for four months, Nick went back to NYC to work for French chef Alain Allegretti. At his eponymous restaurant, Nick worked both lunch and dinner six days a week.
After a year, he got called by a friend from culinary school to help him run the historic restaurant, Robert Morris Inn on the Chesapeake Bay. After the season was finished, Nick was curious as to what was happening in the culinary scene in Kansas City. At The Rieger, he quickly moved up the ranks to sous chef and learned the in’s and out’s of the local food scene.
Nick and Leslie are always full of wanderlust and were not ready to settle down in Kansas City after becoming engaged. San Francisco was set to be their home for the next two years. Falling in love with the food and produce, Nick went to work for one Michelin star restaurant Boulevard. He moved from lunch to dinner services with ease and earned a spot on management in this very successful and competitive environment. While watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, they discussed the prospects of Nick doing an internship at Noma in Copenhagen.
Several months of applications went by and he was accepted to the internship program at the highest rated restaurant in the world. The couple traveled to Denmark in April 2015. While Leslie was traveling the world and formulating a business plan for their future restaurant, Nick was experiencing and learning more than he ever thought possible. Working impossible hours and being pushed to the limits, he moved through every section in the restaurant, finally reaching his goal of test kitchen intern. He made close connections with highly trained chefs from all over the world. They left Europe wide eyed and ready to take on their next adventure together.
Owning a restaurant in Kansas City was the final step in the long progression. They are excited to be back in their home town near friends and family and are ready to do what is necessary to make their dreams come true.