As the son of a father who was a professional chemist for a French fragrance company as well as an avid home cook, Executive Chef T. Nicolas Peter grew up in a household that wholly embraced the art and science of cooking. Having lived in internationally recognized culinary capitals such as Paris, Belgium and the south of France, Nicolas absorbed methods, tastes and ingredients which ultimately developed into his inimitable cooking style.
Upon moving to the United States in his twenties, Nicolas quickly moved up the culinary ranks in the fine-dining establishments of regional Omni and Radisson hotels. Here he combined his European background with new experiences and began to develop a distinct culinary style that relied on the senses as well as a highly intellectual understanding of the chemistry of cooking.
Chef Nicolas’ talent in the kitchen grew to an executive role as he took charge of everything from creating menus for formal dinners to running large scale catering events at the hotel. His career at the Radisson ultimately took him to California where he took on the role of executive chef at San Diego’s Radisson Harbor View hotel. Then, after trying his hand as a personal chef for a year, Nicolas was hired on as executive chef at Hollywood’s celebrated Café des Artistes where he fine-tuned the restaurant’s bistro menu.
After four years, Chef Nicolas left to open The Little Door, where he has been for more than eleven years now. Consistently lauded by critics and clientele as one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, The Little Door’s simple and elegant French Mediterranean fare showcases Chef Nicolas’ natural talent of creating harmonious dishes – balancing the ingredients’ color, texture, flavor and consistency. Captured by the aromas of fresh produce, herbs, and spices, Chef Nicolas carefully considers the flavor of each ingredient in developing a new dish, and is always refining familiar entrees to keep surprising and pleasing palettes.
It is this unabashed dedication to developing dining as a complete experience that led Chef Nicolas to his latest culinary venture, Little Next Door. The French-deli and artisanal marketplace setting provide him with a new set of opportunities and challenges. At Little Next Door, Chef Nicolas can create a vast variety of options ranging from recognizable to trend-setting, all showcased in a translucent copper-lined case for customers to feast their eyes on. Little Next Door allows Chef Nicolas to blend all his passions and knowledge to create the ultimate sensory experience: the scent of fresh bread wafts through the entryway; colorful displays of old-fashioned terrines, jarred preserves and colorful salads line the walls; and the marketplace setting provides guests the opportunity to tease, stretch and satisfy their palettes with Chef Nicolas’ cuisine.