Nick Rodgers helped open The Root Restaurant & Bar in White Lake, Michigan in 2011. Brought in by his childhood friend, restaurant partner and chef James Rigato, Rodgers served as sous chef until he was promoted to executive chef in 2015 when Rigato opened his second restaurant. Rodgers grew up in the Detroit suburb of Howell where he still lives. After briefly pursuing a degree in education, he found full-time work in the kitchen a better fit. Starting out as a line cook, Rodgers quickly discovered his natural instinct to create unique dishes and thrived on the adrenaline of making something people go out of their way to enjoy.
Before The Root, Rodgers honed his skills in varying positions at restaurants around Michigan. In these roles, he perfected techniques for different cuisines including Japanese at Cherry Blossom in Novi and American at Morels and Shiraz in Southfield. Thanks to his small-town roots, the only love greater than food for Rodgers is his community of co-workers, farmers and restaurant guests. At The Root, he mentors young staff by sharing his knowledge of cooking, food cultivation and nutrition. You can often find him training others, meeting and getting to know new food producers and giving back to the community.
Rodgers believes the closer your kitchen to the area where your food is grown and raised, the better your meal. This dedication highlighting the quality of hyper-local ingredients is evident in his cuisine at The Root where he’s added dishes like vegan tomato salad with avocado mousse and summer vegetable succotash with polenta and charred corn to the menu.
Outside the kitchen, Rodgers enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, exercising, and riding and collecting BMX bikes.