Chef C.R. “Robbie” Nicolaisen has been highly recognized in and around the southeast for his unique approach to southern style cuisine. He attended the highly-accredited Johnson and Wales University in Charleston where he graduated with honors. While in attendance, he served as a teaching assistant, mentoring and guiding culinary students. It is here where Chef Nicolaisen received his first culinary accolade by winning the “Top Performer” award from The Citadel in Charleston.
At the age of 24, his culinary career elevated immensely as he received his first Executive Chef position with Hilton Hotels. Since then, his career has expanded to other high-end venues such as the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina in Charleston, SC, the four-diamond Marina Inn in Myrtle Beach, SC, the exclusively private Moore’s Mill Club, as well as the Fountainview Mansion, both of which in Auburn, AL. Currently, Chef Nicolaisen serves as the Executive Chef for The Hound, a restaurant and bourbon bar in Auburn, AL.
His passion of the culinary arts started early with fond memories of working on the family farm just outside of Asheboro, NC. It is there, where he began learning the importance of fresh, locally sourced foods while harvesting crops, canning & preserving, and learning how to properly prepare food with his mother and grandmother.
As a teenager, he continued to work in several different restaurants in the Raleigh area of NC, but it took working for his dad, who was an Executive Chef, to inspire him to take his culinary career to the next level.
Staying involved in the community is an important aspect of his career. Chef Nicolaisen has served on the board for the Chef-Farmer Coop Initiative through Clemson University and is currently an active member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and the James Beard Foundation. Chef Nicolaisen has also been publically recognized for his talents by winning multiple awards from national publications and organizations such as the US Blueberry Council and California Almond Board. He is an honorary member of Chaine des Rotisseurs and has been featured in local print and television. He currently resides in Auburn, AL with his wife Rachael, daughter Paisley, son Charlie, Black Lab named Lucy, and Biscuit the cat.