BBQ Brawl Judge Brooke Williamson is Making Waves in the Culinary World

After watching the country's best pitmasters face off in BBQ Brawl: Flay vs Symon last year, viewers have been anxiously awaiting another season. Finally, season 3 is here with a new roundup of talented pitmasters ready to prove themselves and win Master of 'Cue. Although this season has an entirely new group of pitmasters, the judges are the same. Brooke Williamson is one judge whose accomplishments are as impressive as her judging abilities.

A Rising Star From a Young Age

Brooke Williamson has been a rising star in the culinary world since her induction into it at the young age of 17. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Williamson always wanted to be a chef growing up. She says "I love creating things that make people happy, and I've found that food genuinely does that." 

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Williamson's first position was as a teacher's assistant at the Epicurean Institute of Los Angeles. Since her talent and drive was evident from the start, she moved on to work as a pastry assistant at Fenix at the Argyle Hotel, learning from Michelin-starred chef Ken Frank. 

From there, Williamson continued on a trajectory to culinary stardom, becoming the youngest sous chef at nationally acclaimed restaurant Michael's of Santa Monica, a restaurant known for pioneering California cuisine with its focus on local, seasonal ingredients.

The up-and-coming chef then secured her first executive chef position at LA restaurant Boxer, and then opened her first restaurant in Brentwood, Zax. Working as Executive Chef at Zax, Williamson continued to hone her skills and find her style, focusing on local ingredients and dynamic flavors. 

Along with being a stepping stone in her impressive career as a chef, Zax is where Williamson met her future husband and business partner, Nick Roberts, who worked as her sous chef. The two are now happily married with a son, Hudson.

Brooke's Restaurant Ventures

TNT Supper Club Presents: TNT's Claws Brunch By Chef Brooke Williamson
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Brooke Williamson and her husband were a match for many reasons, not least of which being their interest and compatibility in restaurateuring. A few years after meeting, the couple opened Amuse Café in Venice, which was an instant success. 

In 2004, the two were named the "Rising Star Chefs" from StarChefs, a title that they continued to earn by opening more top-notch restaurants like Hudson House, The Tripel, Playa Provisions, and Da Kikokiko. 

Although the pandemic has been hard on the chefs' businesses, she and her husband are currently running Playa Provisions, a four-in-one restaurant concept on the beachfront in Playa del Rey, California.

Williamson's TV Stardom

TNT Supper Club Presents: TNT's Claws Brunch By Chef Brooke Williamson
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Along with being a star in the kitchen, Brooke has made her fair share of TV appearances. After coming in second on "Top Chef" season 10, she returned for Season 14 for redemption, successfully claiming her crown as "Top Chef."

This victory propelled her career to even greater heights, and she went on to participate in shows like "Top Chef Duels," "Knife Fight," "House of Food," "Guy's Grocery Games," and of course "BBQ Brawl." On BBQ Brawl, Williamson can be counted on as a fair judge with high expectations for the contestants.

Brooke Williamson's Net Worth

Williamson's talent and success is undeniable, from her high quality culinary skills to her prowess at restaurateuring. She is currently the youngest female chef ever to cook at the James Beard House, a champion of "Top Chef," and the winner of Food Network's "Tournament of Champions" in 2020. Her net worth is estimated at $2 million, namely due to her restaurant concept Playa Provisions. 

To young chefs, Williamson's advice is full of compassion. She says, "Embrace the imperfections of who you are and what you do, as it's those imperfections that make you special. Remember that it's not going to be perfect every time, and that the practice-makes-perfect mentality will take you far. There's no one aspect of the restaurant business that is the most important. In fact, it's the balance of it all that is most important--balance of life, balance of work ethic, and balance of pride."

READ MORE: Where is Top Chef Winner Kristen Kish Now?

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