|THE PROOF is a weekly roundup showcasing local creatives. A column for creatives to share their story and work, in a unique, concise format: each creative shows 8 pictures and answers 8 questions. Past participants include Bob Kronbauer, Omer Arbel, Carson Ting, Lizzy Karp, Branislav Henselmann, Hannah Georgas - all living in Vancouver.|
Nick Miller applied to work with us at Wildebeest via Twitter from his spiritual home of San Francisco before we were even close to opening, and so began a relationship as awesomely unique as any I’ve had. It was unusual to me to see such a level of professionalism and perfectionism in such a young man, particularly one who has the courage to take his own lead more than some wisdom would deem appropriate; but in Nick stirs the flawed, evolving wonder that is an exception of a generation.
If ‘Nick Miller’ has the twang of a superhero name, I suspect it’s because he is one.
1. View from the pass. Funny enough, standing here is as close as I get to feeling at home.
2. Vancouver & San Francisco. Since 2010, I’ve split most of my time between these two wonderful cities.
3. My tools. They have knives, I have pens… and a watch.
4. My bike. Love is just a word until something comes along and gives it meaning – I love my bike.
5. Hampton. The family bulldog – still comes charging through the door every time I pay my parents a visit.
6. Thought of the day. Something that started a long time ago and has really picked up steam. This is one of my favourites – I also love drawing paper airplanes.
7. The Giants. “Players win games, teams win championships” – listening to Jon Miller call a game on the radio is my favourite way to unwind.
8. The back door. Every restaurant has one – whether you’re just catching some fresh air, having a smoke, or walking out after a long shift it’s funny how these ugly little places provide such a relief.
1. What neighborhood do you live in?
Much to the dismay of most of my colleagues (I work in Gastown), I live in Coal Harbour. Most people feel as though that area doesn’t have a lot of ‘soul’ – but I’d like to argue otherwise. Surrounded by the best Asian restaurants in the city, an immediate proximity to Stanley Park, and a quick walk to English Bay – I’d have to say Coal Harbour is pretty underrated.
2. What do you do and where?
I like to think I do a little bit of everything at the restaurant. I have a pretty ‘hands-on’ roll at Wildebeest, whether its maintaing our social media network, ensuring a crisp service in the dining room on a busy night, or simply just putting smiles on peoples faces – I try to fill in where I’m needed most.
3. What are you working on?
Well, we just celebrated our one-year anniversary here at Wildebeest - as you can imagine, that feels pretty good and we’re extremely grateful for all the support we’ve received from the local community. That aside, we’ve got a few exciting projects in the works for the fall – biggest of which is an exciting new space we’re opening underneath the restaurant called ‘Underbelly’.
4. Where can we find your work?
Follow me (us) on Instagram @wildebeestyvr – or stop by and check out my ‘Fresh Sheets’ in person.
5. Who are your role models?
I’ve met a lot of really great people in this industry and have had the chance to work in a lot of great restaurants in a few great cities. Outside of those people I’ve had the pleasure of working with, I’d have to say my mom and dad (cheesy answer, I know), they took the ‘kid gloves’ off at an early age and I’ve reaped the benefits ever since.
6. What keeps you going in this industry?
I’ve always enjoyed the way that things are constantly changing in the restaurant world – whether it’s keeping up with new trends or creating something unique, no one day is the same as the next. As I’ve learned, “If every night went exactly as we planned, there wouldn’t be any good stories.”
7. If you had a chance to start your career all over again, how would you do it differently?
I would have spent more time pushing myself in the right directions, it’s easy to become complacent and settle for what you have. In our industry, it’s important to align yourself with the right restaurants, the right chefs, and the right managers – and sometimes that means taking risks.
8. What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were young?
For starters, the most important things in life are impossible to teach, they must be experienced. Most of the time, it’s just getting your foot in the door – be persistent and roll the dice, you only get what you take.
If you were going to recommend a creative to VIA, who would it be? (optional)
I would recommend you check out Alex Usow (RHEK). Follow him on instagram @rhek - he’s the shit.