Jake Nicolson began his illustrious cooking career at the Lake House in Daylesford, under the guidance of respected chef and owner Alla Wolf-Tasker. Following this, Jake gained international experience while working in London with Phillip Howard at the two Michelin star, Mayfair Restaurant, The Square. He further developed his culinary skills working at another two Michelin star restaurant, The Vineyard at Newbury Stockross under then Executive Chef Billy Reid. Jake completed his time in London working with fellow expat Brett Graham (the youngest ever Australian to earn 2 Michelin stars) at highly acclaimed restaurant, The Ledbury.
In 2004, Jake was awarded with the prestigious Borges/Ferran Adria Culinary Scholarship and was granted the ultimate opportunity for any young chef – to work at the famed El Bulli Restaurant in Spain. Further awards followed with Jake winning the prestigious Lexus Young chef of the Year in 2008. This award provided Jake with opportunity to represent Australia in the San Pellegrino International Cooking Cup in Venice where he received 3rd place.
Jake took the reigns as Head Chef at Circa in 2010 after 3 years as Sous Chef under renowned chef Matt Wilkinson. He now heads up with kitchen with Executive Chef Paul Wilson from the Melbourne Pub Group, who took ownership of Circa in early 2012 and has relaunched the famed venue with a new look, feel and menu to match.
Jake and Paul have collaborated to produce an inspired ‘Pacific Rim’ menu featuring Korean, Japanese and native Australian influences and ingredients. Jake combines his classical training with a passion for sourcing the best seasonal produce, including rare breeds and artisanal produce, to deliver a menu which Jake describes as being ‘seasonal, fresh and electric’.