Founders

  • Chef Michael Hu

    Head genius. Inspired and intuitive Master’s Master. Doesn’t do appearances. Chef, just chef.

    Michael is a world-renowned Pastry Chef. He honed his skills in such lauded positions as Head Pastry Chef for the Waldorf Astoria and other hotels as well as advisory roles for Nabisco and Hyatt.

    With over 30 years of experience in cooking and serving the public, he discovered that he possessed a singular and remarkable talent as an advisor, consultant and mentor to those who were seeking to take new culinary products to market.

    He is a master of recipe refinement, kitchen science, and conceptual visualization. And he is able to communicate this in a way that his audience can then harness for growth.

    Michael has a keen intuition to recognize those entrepreneurs who possess the unique mix of talent and skill that can be sharpened for success. Michael founded Hana Kitchens in 2007 and made it profitable in 2009. This concept was the proving-ground for what we now lovingly build and call the Kitchen Nation.

  • Nicole Bermensolo

    Investment banker, turned chef and restauranteur, turned visionary.

    Nicole began her career at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., managing an $85B portfolio of short-term asset backed securities. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in Business Administration, Finance and International Business.

    In a story that is not uncommon in today’s cultural landscape, she became disillusioned with her “financial world” focus and wanted to pursue a career that was closer to her passion: food. She left a lucrative, rising position to open a restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen and began what would become a successful line of vegan and glutenfree desserts; as well as authored a cookbook “Kyotofu: Uniquely Delicious Japanese Desserts.”

    During this process she formed a partnership with “Chef,” and planted seeds for a greater narrative that would combine their talents. She has set out on a track that proves the inevitable genius of her initial career choice and brings everything full circle: Kitchen Nation and Kindustry.

  • Pam Patterson

    Master of the message. Always thinking.

    Founder of an award-winning, worldclass ad agency and graphic design firm, 14-forty, Pam helps guide the vision of Kitchen Nation, Kindustry and all the Makers with fiscal responsibility and brand forward desirability.

    After working at the agency Della Femina McNamee and as a senior copywriter for Ogilvy Mather in Los Angeles, Pam set out on her own to create a boutique agency. She has guided award-winning work for Canon, Technicolor, Heal the Bay, Motorola, Panavision, Kaiser Permanente, Bang & Olufsen, W Hotels, and a host of others over a long and successful career.

    With a team of amazing creatives, her agency brings a branding know-how, technological proficiency, and seasoned experience to an arena that has leveraged shelf-presence to make the next trend in America touch you for over 22 years.

  • David Nikzad

    Moneyman and synergistic unicorn trainer.

    You might call David a perpetual beginner, backer of the most disruptive entrepreneurs. He is an investor in Betterment, the $5B investment fund, an original investor in Y Combinator companies starting in 2009, and founder of Reinmkr Satsang. A rainmaker he is.

    David has invested in start-up and emerging companies for the last fifteen years. With a keen eye for viability, profitability, and successful team building, he is known for recognizing companies that embody the bleeding-edge of success in time. You might say all of this entrepreneurship ultimately found its Nirvana in a sixth sense for venture capital.

    David serves his true calling brilliantly by connecting great ideas with the potential for even more greatness through venture funding.