Executive chef; founder
Chris’ love for the food industry traces all the way back to his high school years, working part-time in the kitchen of a local restaurant in Philadelphia. After high school, Chris entered The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College for his formal culinary education, but, unlike his school peers, he landed a part-time job at the world-renowned Ritz Carlton after only two months of studying, and continued throughout schooling.
Upon graduation, Chris won the attention of highly acclaimed Master Chefs Paul Bocuse and Joel Antunes who offered Chris a job at The Ritz Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta, the only five-star, five-diamond restaurant in the Southeastern United States. After working diligently for two years under Chef Antunes, Chris was recommended to assist in the grand opening of The Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA. Upon competition, he returned to The Ritz Carlton Buckhead, where he spent the next four years perfecting his craft. After six intense and informative years working exclusively for The Ritz Carlton, Chris felt it was time to diversify his culinary talents and explore his entrepreneurial dreams back on the West Coast.
Back in California, Chris worked as a private chef for high profile clients until he decided to work exclusively for a family in Beverly Hills. Chris was quickly consumed with creating specific, innovative and diverse meals three times a day for the family, while simultaneously prepping for weekly cocktail and dinner parties. As one might expect, his natural and unique ability to customize and cater to an array of requests ultimately led to the birth of Chris Brugler Catering.
director of catering & events
Nichole VanAllen began her career in events at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. After working for numerous restaurants, she made the decision to take a management role with Levy Restaurants where she would spend the next 10 years.
As Director of Sales and Marketing, Nichole successfully opened five new sports and entertainment venues in the US, including Microsoft Theatre (formerly Nokia Theatre) at LA LIVE. Responsible for the overall execution of hospitality and backstage catering for numerous concerts and special events at both downtown LA venues, she worked on globally and nationally recognized events such as the GRAMMY Awards, X-Games, Pac-10 Conferences, EMMY Awards, NBA Finals, American Music Awards, and ESPYs, in addition to events for the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Sparks, and the Los Angeles Avengers.
She later joined the Patina Restaurant Group, overseeing the off-site catering division. Here she found her true appreciation for the culinary arts. While working with chef Joachim Splichal, Nichole successfully booked one of the most coveted events… The BAFTA Brits to Watch event, attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate).
The next big step would land her with the culinary team of Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of ‘Animal’ and ‘Son of a Gun’ restaurants. The duo, known for blending innovative and seasonal cooking with ambitious dining experiences, were ready to expand their business. After much success, she was would be given the opportunity to work with chef Ludo Lefebvre and his portfolio of events to her roster.
As Director of Events, Nichole has planned and operated numerous private, high profile, and celebrity attended events including the Sundance Film Festival, Fox Golden Globes Party, Entourage Premiere, among many others. Many of which have been featured in publications such as People, US Weekly, and Elle Magazine.
Nichole’s excited to bring her love of great food, great people, and making great memories to Chris Brugler Catering where she looks forward to helping you design your perfect event.