Meet the Chef

Originally from Virginia, Nick Shankland has been enjoying the art of BBQ from a young age. His experiences began in the form of Carolina-style pulled pork and pulled pork sandwiches through local BBQ joints and annual weekend smoke outs with the Boy Scouts. Unbeknownst to him at the time, these experiences would shape his cooking career years down the road, ultimately leading to the fruition of Gypsy Q. He has been cooking in Colorado since 2011 and has been in the food and beverage industry since 2008. While studying architecture at Virginia Tech, Nick began his then-not- expected career working in local bars and restaurants, learning the basics of the industry. In 2011, he moved to Denver, where he continued his passion for the culinary arts working as a cook at such places as Colt & Gray, Old Major, and Parker Garage. During his free time, he would continue learning through practice, buying any unique ingredients he could find and cooking unusual foods to hone his techniques.

Moving through the ranks of the kitchen, Nick eventually earned himself the position of Executive Chef at Epernay Lounge in Denver, where he designed quality ingredient, from scratch dishes.

There he began dabbling in unique methods of creating BBQ with limited resources and began to study the art of smoked meats using what supplies were available. He would continue his practice during his off time, grilling and smoking meats with friends at backyard barbecue parties. Though still not fully clear to him, he had started the process of making BBQ his full-time passion and career focus. His practice in the smoked arts continued at Parker Garage, where he worked as Chef Duy Pham’s Sous Chef, assisting in the preparation of BBQ offered in the Parker location. With an affinity for long process cooking, and new tools and techniques at his disposal, he went up to Genesee, CO as the Executive Chef of Hideaway Kitchen & Bar. While there, he began delving deeper into the science behind smoking meats, offering his BBQ as frequent specials for guests to enjoy. A culmination of childhood experiences, professional culinary growth, and passion for low and slow smoked meats led to the concept that is now known as Gypsy Q. Nick has now decided he wants to share full-time with the community the experiences he had that led to his love for BBQ through his own unique take on one of the oldest forms of cooking. Join and follow as his smoked meats and Asian-inspired sides become available for all to enjoy at Gypsy Q.