Chef Nelson was born and raised in NYC. His passion for cooking started as a young boy while watching his mom and grandmother create amazing dishes with simple ingredients. He garnered over a dozen years of experience in the NYC restaurant scene working his way up from prep cook to Executive Chef. During that time, he had the fortune of being trained under Iron Chef Yuji Wakiya at Gramercy Park Hotel. Fast forward to 2010, Chef Nelson relocated to Oakland, CA where he fell in love with the culinary scene. He chose to open his very first chef-driven eatery, alaMar, in the heart of Oakland. Since then, he has been commissioned by Visit California and Visit Oakland to showcase California cuisine in their Mexico/Arizona sales missions. He was an esteemed panelist at the Cuisine Noir conference and Golden Gate Restaurant Association Annual conference. He took home the crown for the 2018 Oakland Athletics Town Cook off against 3 other Oakland Chefs. He has been featured in a Golden State Warriors commercial, as well as Coca Cola, Pam Cooking Spray, and Milk commercials, in addition to a BuzzFeed Tasty episode and numerous local news stories. He was nominated as Best Chef in 2018 and his restaurant won Best Oakland Restaurant in 2016.