Chef Niki Starr Weyler


Niki Starr is a true Southern Californian, born and raised in Orange County. Her love of food began early. Growing up, she visited the Bay Area often as a child, eating oysters at the ferry building, going to the cheese board in Berkley, and watching fresh pasta being made in Little Italy. She attended college at Cal State Long Beach and received her bachelors of science in Health Science. Planning on a career in nursing, Niki realized her passion for the culinary world and decided to switch career paths and go to culinary school. She attended the San Diego Culinary Institute in La Mesa, receiving her Commi De Cuisine certificate.

From there, Chef Niki began an externship at French 75 in Laguna Beach, California. After a year, she took a position at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s in South Coast Plaza, meeting her mentor chef Amar Santana. Niki continued to work with Amar as he opened his successful restaurant in Laguna Beach, Broadway, when she got her break and was commissioned as the executive chef of Mesa Lounge in Costa Mesa. Today, she is reinventing modern California cuisine. She prefers simple dishes, evoking strong feelings with attention to detail and utilizing seasonal ingredients.