Nancy Oakes

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Nancy Oakes
Spouse(s)Bruce Aidells
Culinary career
Cooking styleNew American cuisine

Nancy Oakes is an American chef, who is head chef of Boulevard, and won the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef in 2001.


The culinary career of Nancy Oakes began under Pat O'Shea at the Mad Hatter restaurant in the Richmond District of San Francisco. She left that restaurant to open a location on her own, with L'Avenue opening in 1988. Although the restaurant closed in 1993, the San Francisco Chronicle's website "SFGate" highlighted Oakes' work at L'Avenue as being one of five trendsetting restaurants which changed the culinary scene in the city.[1]

When L'Avenue was closed, Oakes opened her second restaurant, Boulevard.[1] It is located in the only building still standing to have survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.[2] Oakes has continued to work in the kitchen there ever since, although takes an interest in her third restaurant, Prospect.[3] With the exception of 1996, Oakes was nominated consecutively for the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef from 1995 to 2000, winning the award in 2001.[4] Likewise, Boulevard was nominated on eight consecutive occasions for the Best Restaurant Award,[2][4] before finally winning in 2012. She said that over the time she has spent at the restaurant, it was evolved from a neighbourhood restaurant into something that people view as a destination restaurant.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Oakes is married to Bruce Aidells, owner of Aidells sausage company and a cook book author.[5]


  1. ^ a b Bauer, Michael (May 18, 2011). "Restaurants that changed dining in San Francisco". SFGate. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "James Beard Foundation Awards dubs Boulevard best restaurant in America". New York Daily News. May 8, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Wilkey, Robin (May 17, 2012). "Nancy Oakes, Boulevard Chef And Owner, On San Francisco Food Trends And Winning The Ultimate James Beard Award". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Nancy Oakes". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  5. ^ Martin, Glen (October 9, 2017). "Students Sink Their Teeth Into the Search for a Meat Alternative". Cal Alumni Association. Retrieved November 6, 2017.