Meet the Chef
Chef Nicolas Lebas is the Executive Chef at Castile Restaurant at Kimpton Hotel Zamora in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Born in France, Lebas was exposed to the restaurant world early in life, following his mother around local restaurants as she worked as a waitress. At fifteen years old, Lebas took a part time job making pizzas at a local restaurant in the French Alps, where he discovered his love for cooking. Driven by his passion for food, Lebas went on to receive his culinary arts degree from the prestigious Sévigné culinary school, specializing in French techniques. Upon graduation, he moved to Lyon, France where he took the Chef Garde Manger or Pantry Chef position at a small classic bistro.
At eighteen, Lebas’s adventurous personality lead him to Mexico’s Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos, where he worked as line cook at the Arrecifes Restaurant and mastered the Spanish language in just six months. In the winter of 2002, Lebas made his way north of the border to San Antonio, Texas, where he made his mark at one of the city’s most renowned French restaurants, L’Etoile. Upon his return to France in 2010, Lebas joined the prestigious Le Relais de la Madeleine as Executive Sous Chef in Gémenos, a city just outside of Marseilles, France. In 2013, Lebas was lured back to the United States by none other than James Beard Award-winning chef John Besh to join Besh’s team as Executive Sous Chef of the San Antonio fine dining outlet, Luke. A stint as Executive Sous Chef at La Cantera Resort & Spa followed, where he oversaw the renovated multi-million dollar, 100,000-square-foot hotel banquet space. In July of 2014, Lebas made his way to sunny Florida, where he joined the distinguished Waldorf Astoria Orlando team as Chef de Cuisine of the property’s renowned steakhouse, Bull and Bear.
In August 2016, Lebas joined Castile Restaurant at Kimpton Hotel Zamora in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida as Executive Chef. Lebas incorporates his expertise of authentic Mediterranean cooking style with hints of his classic French cuisine into Castile’s menu, elevating the restaurant’s casually elegant Spanish fare. Castile’s menu features authentic fare from the Castilian-Leonese region of Spain showcasing Lebas’ Mediterranean and French styles and fresh coastal ingredients. His creativity shines in Castile’s signature dishes including Olive Gnocchi with Pata Negra and Romesco Butter-Crusted Sea Scallops.