The Truth About Nelson German From Top Chef Season 18

Top Chef is set for a comeback this year, featuring a bunch of talented chefs from various parts of the country. According to Food and Wine, season 18 of the show was shot in Portland, Oregon back in September and fans can look forward to getting a glimpse of the local food scene (via Chicago Tribune). The line-up is considered to be really strong this time around and features chefs who already have some serious experience in the kitchen.

One of this year's contenders is Nelson German, a Dominican American chef. According to San Francisco Bay Times, German is the only contestant from California, and he hasn't taken the responsibility lightly. He told the Times, "Having the Bay Area and California on my back was a lot of pressure ... but a lot of motivation, too." 

The chef felt that his time on the show was rather memorable and said that it was gratifying to be chosen. He explained, "You'll see it in all of our faces. Just to be chosen, you realize that when you step into that kitchen. It's like making it, in a way."

German runs two respected restaurants

According to Food & Wine, Nelson German currently owns and runs alaMar Kitchen as well Sobre Mesa Afro-Latino cocktail lounge in Oakland. While studying at the NY Art Institute, German blended French culinary techniques with his love of Mediterranean food. From there, the chef worked for several established names such as Gramercy Park Hotel, Jerry's Café, Joseph's, and Citarella. At these establishments, German started from the bottom and grew as a line cook, eventually being promoted to executive chef. 

German makes it a point to use food as a canvas that he works with, recounting the lessons from his travels, childhood, and more. One of his biggest strengths, according to Bravo TV, is the fact that his cooking style is essentially innovative and "unorthodox," leaving plenty of room for new styles of cooking and experimentation. Today, Nelson German's eclectic dishes combine sustainable Californian ingredients along with Asian, Dominican, and African cuisines.