Nicole Lou’s Vietnamese heritage and upbringing has always centered on food -- enjoying elaborate claypot cuisine, assembling egg rolls alongside her cousins and preparing duck that had been freshly slaughtered in the backyard. After years in a corporate cubicle, Lou enrolled in the California Culinary Academy where she began pursuing her interests of simple, global cuisine focusing on pork, offal and various styles of charcuterie. As a student, Lou apprenticed at the world-famous Nobu in New York City and later returned to the Bay Area where she worked her way up to Sous Chef for Robbie Lewis at Bacar. Her love of the pig brought her to Perbacco, where she helped Stefan Terje win the 2010 Cochon 555. Lou has extensive experience in Mediterranean, Japanese and Chinese cuisine, but would like to now focus on her Vietnamese roots. Nicole has plans to take time off and travel through Southeast Asia to learn more cooking techniques and eating rituals.
The Latest from Nicole
Zai Jian Nicole
Nicole Lou does not need to defend herself when it comes to passion for food.
Chefs Deal with Angry Crabs
The chefs have trouble with this challenge when they come up against pissed off crabs.
Button Down or Button Up?
The chefs are wary of Steve 'Nookie' Postal's attire for being in the front of the house.
John Vermiglio and Steve 'Nookie' Postal are confused on where they are.
Another Gondola Ride for Nookie
Steve 'Nookie' Postal is not thrilled with having to ride another gondola.
Things Get Pissy
The remaining chefs must deal with pissed off crabs and pissed off chefs.
Big in Size, Not in Balls
Steve 'Nookie' Postal cannot believe how he has to get to the next challenge.