by Steven Doyle
Nicole Gossling has been at the forefront of our attention as of late. As a chef and now manager of the famed Petra and the Beast in East Dallas, Nicole recently took a major spill while riding a scooter to Deep Ellum to join chef friends after an event last week. We thought it might be a good time to revisit the chef who has had an exciting and interesting career in the Dallas area. We have personally enjoyed her engagements with restaurants and a famed pop-up series, and now will learn a bit about her.
She has a deceptively youthful patina, but do not allow that to mask the fact she is a powerhouse in the Dallas food scene. Today we blast through some of her local career.
Good afternoon, Nicole. I know you recently had a body shredding accident that we want to know a bit about but first tell us a bit about yourself.
Sure. I started cooking when I turned vegetarian when I was just 14. I knew then that food to me was exciting, and much more than what we were presented as a vegetarian.
You have a good formal education in food.
I do, I went to the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco for my education. But my first job was with BJs Brewhouse as a corporate chef, and it didn’t take lon dor me to realize that corporate dining was not for me.
You have a good background with some excellent kitchens in Dallas. Tell us about those and what sparked your passion with food again.
I worked for Nana at the Anatole. That was a major building block in my career.
Yes, and I worked for Graham Dodds when he was at Bolsa who taught me so much about local produce and met farmers from the area. I began to feel the connection with the community, reduce our carbon footprint and actually feel the connection. I also was manager at Urban Acres where we produced organic vegetables.
You are better known for two years producing your now famous secret supper club and underground dining in Dallas. That is where I met you.
That’s right. It was an enlightening time for me. But then I took time off to travel and stage around the world. Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Amsterdam and New York to name a few. I genuinely enjoy cooking with cultures that made food by hand and take no short cuts. It was enlightening.
I recall the dinner you had upon returning where we sampled foods you created during your travels.
I have since been consulting and working with restaurants since, but started an apron business after working at Cafe Momentum . I had an apron that didn’t fit just right and took that into a business making these amazing aprons. But after some time I realized that was more of a hobby for me at that time.
Petra and the Beast. Plenty of national accolades, incredible dining.
That’s right. I started working with Misti Norris when she was doing pop-ups and as that business grew she needed me more and more. It has been incredible. I am the general manager and I miss cooking, but it has been enjoyable talking with people about food with my chef background.
That leads us to that fateful night where you had your accident. Tell us about that.
On Monday, September 23rd, after the Food Talk 1.1 event at the Anatole, the industry family wanted to go celebrate in Deep Ellum at The Armory. I decided it would be best to take my car home since drinking would surely ensue. I thought I’d take a Bird scooter to The Armory and Uber home. Only 3 blocks in, the scooter hit a divot in the road and began to wobble. To save myself from crashing and burning, I jumped off the scooter, at which point my leg twisted and I heard a snap. The end result is where I am now. A broken femur, fractured patella, torn outer quad muscle, and a sprained ankle.
Eight screws and a metal plate later.
I will be laid up on off my feet for maybe twelve weeks depending how I heal.
This is where readers can help. Nicole has a GoFundMe set up to offset whet will be insurmountable hospital bills, and she is missing work for at least two months. A donation would be appreciated, but also Misti Norris is doing a dinner to help the cause as well. Next Sunday at Petra and the Beast there will be a dinner for $75 with proceeds going to chef Nicole. Buy your tickets here.
Thank you for speaking with us today, you are a joyous soul.