Chef Kristen Thibeault is considered one of the pioneers of the modern plant-based food movement. A nationally recognized vegan chef, Kristen founded Nybll (formerly Kombu Kitchen) in 2012, one of the first plant-based personal chef delivery companies in the country. Having served over one million meals nationally, she is an authority in healthy food.
“I take my inspiration for the farm to fork meals I prepare from many places,” says Chef Thibeault. “My culinary idols include Chefs Thomas Keller and the divine Alice Waters. My favorite meals have been savored at Souen in New York City, L’Ami Jean in Paris, and of course The French Laundry in Yountville, CA. My time in Paris often comes through in what I have coined my vegan fusion style of cooking– I call it stealth health.”
Kristen first learned about veganism and sustainability in 1992 from the late founder of the The Body Shop, Anita Roddick, while sitting at her kitchen counter in Littlehampton, England. Years later, a magical macrobiotic dinner with Richard Gere and Professor Robert Thurman discussing Tibetan Buddhism and the principles of non-harming would open her eyes to the principles she employs today. In 1994 she co-hosted a plant-based dinner party for Sting and Trudie Styler in honor of their work helping indigenous peoples through The Rainforest Foundation Fund. That night augmented her belief in the importance of sustainability and power of local sourcing.
After launching Kombu Kitchen in 2012, Chef Kristen served as Executive Chef at The Four Seasons’ San Francisco where she opened the first healthy, plant-focused restaurant inside the esteemed 4-star hotel brand. Having cooked for countless celebrities, athletes and high-profile corporate executives, her client list includes Amazon, Pandora, Levi, Apple, Glassdoor, the SF Giants, the Red Sox, the Patriots, to name a few.
In 2013, Chef Kristen won the prestigious title of S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef, having competed against 450 chefs with the first ever vegan dish. She has since been honored to judge the 2015 and 2016 competitions.
In 2015, Kristen launched Nybll, a next generation, healthy corporate catering company with kitchens in Boston, San Francisco, and Denver. Today Nybll is the fastest growing corporate catering company in the Bay Area, serving thousands of meals a day to high-profile companies.
Guided by a passion to end the growing food inequity in our country, Chef Thibeault founded The Patra Project in 2016, a non-profit that gives at-risk children and their families access to healthy food in urban food deserts through a meal for a meal program. “1 in 4 children in our country goes hungry,” notes Kristen. “In a country obsessed with The Food Network, gluttonous eating habits, and rapid eating out, it’s a travesty that so many of our children go to bed hungry.” The Patra Project pledges a meal donated to a child in need for every meal served to a corporate client with the goal of donating $10 million annually.
As a double cancer survivor, Kristen credits her plant-focused diet for her speedy recovery from treatment and a second chance at living her dream of being a chef. Chef Kristen holds her degree from Le Cordon Bleu, having graduated valedictorian. When she is not cooking, Kristen lives between her hobby farm in northern California and a beach house north of Boston with her husband Keven, two adopted sons, and two Nigerian pygmy goats, Greta Garbo and Coco Chanel.